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Friday 16.10.2020 / Saturday 17.10.2020 / 20:30 h
10 Years of Groove Now - Stars & Friends - The Real Deal - New Orleans Swamp Blues Superstar

Kenny Neal & Band (USA)

The New Orleans Blues man Kenny Neal could be called a star. This is also the reason why Groove Now wanted to present him for the 10th Anniversary celebration in 2020. Kenny is one to experience - the "Real Deal". One of the strongest modern proponents of Baton Rouge Swamp Blues, Kenny Neal is a second-generation southern Louisiana bluesman who is cognizant of the region's venerable Blues tradition and imaginative enough to steer it in fresh directions.

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Neal was born on October 14, 1957, in New Orleans. His dad, harpist Raful Neal, was a Baton Rouge Blues mainstay, whose pals included Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo, the latter of whom gave three-year-old Kenny his first harmonica.


At age 13, Neal was playing in his father's band, and at age 17, he landed a job playing bass for Buddy Guy. The guitarist recruited some of his talented siblings to form the Neal Brothers Blues Band up in Toronto (brother Noel later played bass behind James Cotton; five other Neal brothers also play in various bands) before returning stateside. In 1987, Kenny Neal cut his debut LP for Florida producer Bob Greenlee, an updated swamp feast initially released by Kingsnake Records as “Bio on the Bayou”. The following year, Alligator Records signed Neal and reissued the debut under the title “Big News from Baton Rouge!!” – Young Neal was on his way. Neal's sizzling guitar work, sturdy harp, and gravelly, aged-beyond-his-years vocals served him well, and he cut four albums for Alligator Records between 1989 and 1994. An acclaimed 1991 stint on Broadway in a production of Mule Bone found him performing acoustic versions of Langston Hughes' poetry set to music by Taj Mahal.


In 1998, Neal moved from Alligator to the Blues division of the jazz-based Telarc Records, releasing three albums for the label: “Blues Fallin' Down Like Rain” (1998), “What You Got” (2000), and “One Step Closer” (2001). In the new millennium, Neal recorded sets for a variety of independent labels, including “Easy Meeting” (a 2003 collaboration with Billy Branch), “Double Take” (2004, a one-shot return to Alligator), and “A Tribute to Slim Harpo and Raful Neal” (released in 2005 for True Life Entertainment). Three years later, Neal hooked up with Blind Pig Records and released “Let Life Flow” in 2008, once again incorporating his gritty Louisiana roots with a sophisticated Chicago/Memphis soul approach. A second Blind Pig release, “Hooked on Your Love”, appeared two years later in 2010.

In 2015, Neal released his first holiday-themed album, “I'll Be Home for Christmas”. It was his first album with Cleopatra Records, who also issued his critically acclaimed record in 2016, “Bloodline”, which was nomimated for a 2017 Grammy for ‘Best Contemporary Blues Album’ and also won two 2017 Blues Music Awards; one for ‘Best Contemporary Blues Album’ and the other for ‘Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist’.


Kenny Neal, a true living blues Legend is THE REAL DEAL and more poised than ever to deliver the Blues like no one else can!


Kenny Neal – guitars, vocals
tbd - saxophone


Darnell Neal – bass
Frederick Neal – keyboards
Bryan Morris – drums


Concert Details:
Friday/Saturday, October 16 & 17, 2020
Atlantis, Klosterberg 13, Basel
Showtime: Friday/Saturday 20.30 h
Doors: Friday 20 h / Saturday 19.30 h
Tickets: CHF 69


No guaranteed seating!

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