Monday, June 2, 2008

Review: Kenny Neal "Let Life Flow"

"Let Life Flow" marks Kenny Neal's first cd on Blind Pig Records. It is really good to welcome him back. I've been a fan of Kenny Neal since 1989's "Devil Child." His swampy harp and guitar playing have always sounded good to me. This disc is his first release since he came back from hiatus. In September 2006 Kenny announced he was taking a year off from recording and touring because of an undisclosed illness. He returned to the public eye at the Monterey Blues Festival in June 2007 and the illness was disclosed as Hepatitis C. But let me tell you, he must have gotten himself healed of it--this is the best cd he has ever made. It is recorded with his regular band--Kenny on vocals, guitar, harp, and lap steel, Lucky Peterson on organ & piano, Frederick Neal on keyboards, Ken Johnson on drums, Darnell Neal on bass, and a crack horn section led by Joe Campbell on trumpet. The vocals are sweet, the guitar is exactly right on the money, the rthymn section keeps everything moving along, the piano and organ sound like they're being channelled from the bordello or from the church--whatever each song requires is right there sounding exactly right. I especially recommend the track "Since I Met You Baby." This Ivory Joe Hunter tune is given the definitive treatment--Kenny Neal does it better than anybody ever has. He sounds more confident, stronger, more soulful than ever. This is one of those cds that should be BLASTING out of every radio station in the USA. It deserves to be a big hit--you should buy five or six copies and give them to your friends.

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