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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Ruf Records artist: Kenny Neal - Straight From the Heart - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Straight From the Heart, from Kenny Neal and I like it quite well. Opening with Blues Keep Chasing Me, Kenny Neal sets a great funky blues pace. With a solid bass line by Darnell Neal, Arnet Hayes on piano, Brandon Adams on B3,  fat sax work by Jason Parfait, trumpet accents by Ian Smith and tight rhythms by Michael Harris, this is a solid opener. Cool blues, I'll Play The Blues For You has great pace and Neal's lead vocal and guitar are really clean and soulful. Horn backing by Parfait and Smith really adds a lot of punch, and the keyboard work of Adams and Henry really work nicely with the snappy drum work of Morris. Very nice. Louise Ana shows that New Orleans slow blues feel. With the melody carried by Lee Allen on bass, addition of Rockin Dopsie Je on washboard and Big Nate Williams on accordion, this track really has the sound. With a great walking bass line by Darnell Neal, I've Got To Tell Somebody, is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Kenny's vocals are perfect and Hayes piano soloing and Neal's own lush phrasing, punched up by Parfait and Smith is great. Wrapping the release is straight up New Orleans street party, New Orleans with Parfait and Smith leading the way. Darnell keeps the bass pace and and snappy rhythms by Morris really keeps it tight. Hayes piano groove is great and Neal's vocals ride high on the mix. Excellent closer. 

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