Inspiration and perspiration. That’s what it takes to be a genius and a blues boss.
Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne is living proof. With decades of playing, countless globetrotting tours and a slate of acclaimed, award-winning albums under the belt of his flamboyant zoot suit, the 74-year-old piano master might be the hardest-working bluesman in show business. And this true original isn’t changing his tune on his 10th album Inspired By The Blues.
Wayne released his latest album Sept. 28, and he’ll be performing at Lake Country’s Winter Blues Festival on Jan. 19, according to his publicist’s news release.
“I’m not looking for a different path,” says the Kelowna-based performer. “I love that jump blues and boogie-woogie. That’s where my heart is at. I’m just trying to keep that style alive. That’s classic stuff. And I’m at that classic age, so it all works out.”
With 11 originals — including a tribute to Fats Domino — plus a bonus track of Georgia on My Mind cut live in Mexico, the self-produced set serves as a throwback to 1950s rhythm and blues while putting a fresh spin on the genre, the release said.
It’s an approach he’s honed over the course of six decades in music. Born in Spokane but raised in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans, and now based in Kelowna, Wayne was a child prodigy in his minister father’s youth choir. Eventually turning from the Lord’s work to the Devil’s music, he took up the blues, borrowed his nickname from legendary influencer Amos Milburn, got a few fashion tips from Jim Carrey in The Mask, and the Blues Boss was born.
You can watch his performance at Creekside Theatre.