Kenny ‘Blues Boss” Wayne takes a first-class musical journey on his upcoming album Blues From Chicago to Paris: A Tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon — showcasing today on Tinntist.
The 17-track album, available March 4 via Stony Plain Records, pays spirited homage to piano-pounding blues master Memphis Slim and bass-slapping legend Willie Dixon — all while serving as a rousing and riveting guide to the lively post-war blues scenes of Chicago and Paris.
“Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon were a team, and their styles worked great together,” the B.C.-based Wayne says. “Out of many other blues piano players I’ve listened to, I found a unique playfulness between these two men, unlike the many other great blues pianists.”
Focused on the period when the two giants of the genre teamed up to tour the globe in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Blues From Chicago to Paris presents a robust collection of favourite songs, as well as the innovative tunes that have inspired and influenced artists ever since.
As was the case with his other most recent release, 2020’s Go, Just Do It, Wayne took on the role of producer once again for Blues From Chicago to Paris; he also invited bassist Russell Jackson, a veteran of the B.B. King band during the ’80s, and drummer Joey DiMarco into the studio for the sessions.
Now 77, Wayne’s six-decade musical career began with him soaking up the sounds of gospel music from his father, a preacher. From there, his genre journey traversed through jazz, Latin, R&B, and soul, with explorations in swing, bebop, dance, and the standards, for good measure. A Juno winner who also has multiple Maple Blues Awards and keyboard awards from Living Blues Magazine to his credit, Wayne was also inducted into the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame in 2017.