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Album Review

It's easy to assume that anyone with a nickname like "Blues Boss" would — when it came to playing the blues — have the goods, and Kenny Wayne does. But Wayne's blues isn't the kind of music that inspires one to cry in one's beer. From the start of Let It Loose, it's clear that the pianist/singer is determined, above and beyond everything else, to have a good time with the music. "Blackberry Wine" is taken at an upbeat tempo guaranteed to jump-start any country dance, while the chorus of the midtempo "Let Me Go Home Whiskey" recalls the smooth harmony singing of the Mills Brothers. Wayne's a good singer who adds lots of energy to the lyrics of songs like the title track, and it's easy to convince oneself that he recorded these pieces on the stage as opposed to the studio. This vocal approach is perfectly matched with his happy piano playing. Wayne loves upbeat material — like "I Never Will Forgive You" — that allows him to cut loose with abandon on the keyboard. It doesn't hurt that he's backed by a sympathetic band, or that he also lets players like guitarist Brandon Isaak and harpist Dave "Hurricane" Hoerl have a piece of the action. All of this is to say that Let It Loose is a good-time album, sure to please anyone who likes spirited blues. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: 1944 in Spokane, WA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Kenny Wayne grew up in the midst of a sharp musical dichotomy, thanks to parents whose tastes were wildly divergent. His preacher father told him to stay on the straight and narrow path, and at all times to avoid "the Devil's music," a classification that included boogie-woogie. His mom, however, was thoroughly taken with everything about boogie-woogie. As a self-taught musician, it was all she could play. She especially favored Amos Milburn's "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer," while she also exposed...
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Let It Loose, Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
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