Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne isn’t after a new job in the new video for his cover of I Don’t Want To Be The President — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“I’m not looking for a different path,” the 75-year-old man of the hour asserts. “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.”
That isn’t all that works: The award-winning ball of fire and 2020 Western Canadian Music Awards nominee gets down to business on this timely cover of the Percy Mayfield classic, taken from the Kelowna singer-pianist’s recently released album Go, Just Do It!
“I actually stumbled across this song and had music already written that would fit perfectly,” Wayne explains. “And the timing was right to mention the importance of this year’s election. To help get this message across, it needed a good beat… It needed a younger-generation person to get the message to the youth.” He’s referring, of course, to SeQuaL — also his son Cory Spruell — who adds a rap verse and a fresh outlook to the classic, elevating it into a track that that touches on the past, present and future.
Spruell is just one member of Go, Just Do It!‘s all-star lineup. Along with Grammy-winner Diane Schuur, the VIP roster includes former B.B. King bassist Russell Jackson, powerhouse horn players Jerry Cook and Vince Mai (Powder Blues, Colin James), plus Boogie Patrol guitarist Yuji Ihara, Juno-winning ex-Parachute Clubber Julie Masi, award-winning Montreal vocalist Dawn Tyler Watson, drummer Joey DiMarco, and Incognito harp ace Sherman ‘Tank’ Doucette.
But as his handle makes clear, Wayne is always the boss. Inducted into the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame in Cincinnati, he lines his shelf with seven Maple Blues Awards, a Juno Award, three Living Blues Magazine Keyboard Awards and plenty more. An American expat by way of Spokane, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans, Wayne credits Canada for helping shape him into the artist he is. “I didn’t know what I was in store for except that the people were great,” he recalls of his move decades ago. “My blues career started in Canada, and I think this country really helps people create their art — whether it’s painting, theatre, or music. Why would I leave?”