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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kenny Neal


Review by Gary Hill

This is probably the best blues album I've heard in a while. There is quite a bit of solid competition, but this one is also in the running to make my best of 2016 list. It's just so cool. Everything about it just works incredibly well. If you look up "perfect blues album" in the dictionary, this one would probably be there. There is nothing I'd change about it.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at


Track by Track Review
Ain't Gon' Let the Blues Die

I like the horn section on this. The whole rocking groove of the song works really well, though.

A slower blues tune, this is just oozing with cool. I like the retro organ sound on this. The harmonica lends some magic, too.
Plain Old Common Sense
I love this blues groove. It's old school and so classy. The horn section brings it and the guitar soloing is worthy of BB King. This is another awesome piece of music.
Funny How Time Slips Away
This is a mellower cut. It's more of the spoken old school ballad kind of piece. This is the kind of thing that can go blues or country depending on what sits around it. Although the sound on this is very retro, there is still some modern magic in the passion to my ears.
Keep on Moving
We're back into high energy, soulful blues territory. The horns are a great touch and the whole thing grooves. The spirit of James Brown is on hand here, but with a more pure blues element guiding it.
I Go by Feel
A slower blues, this is magic, too. This is very much like Buddy Guy and BB King rolled into one. It's just so classic in texture. Everything about it just gels.
I'm So Happy
Now, this one brings it more into a contemporary blues style. The horns still lend classic elements, though. I suppose the whole song does, really, but it's more of a modern texture overall.
Blues Mobile
The classic blues groove on this just feels so old school. It's another fun, high energy stomper.
I Can't Wait
Old school blues with some folk is the idea here. This is great stuff and a nice change. It's very down home and stripped back. The harmonica adds some magic here.
Real Friend
A mid-tempo number, this is more classic blues. It makes good use of the horns and the whole arrangement. There is a bit of a journey into jazz mid-track, too.
Thank You BB King
A tribute to the true King of the blues, I love this song. I'd bet BB would love it, too. His spirit is alive and well here. This is really the perfect way to end a nearly perfect disc.
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