Soundbite: Kenny Neal 'Lets Life Flow'

by Brett Thomas, Tahoe Daily Tribune
July 3, 2008

Kenny Neal begins his first solo album in seven years with the CD’s title track. The passion in his voice is haunting, and it’s an example of what sets blues apart from other musical styles. Sure, anyone can play the notes: It’s how they play those notes that gives music the necessary emotion to call it authentic blues.

Neal wrote the song under incomprehensible circumstances: In less than two years, four of the closest people around him died. Neal’s father, Raful, died of cancer, his sister was murdered, and a week later, drummer and 18-year friend Kennard Johnson died. Neal’s brother Ronnie died of hepatitis C, and soon afterward Kenny himself was diagnosed with the disease.

Neal was too sick to get out of bed when he wrote “Let Life Flow” on his guitar, as Blues Revue reported and a Blind Pig Records spokeswoman confirmed.
Life is so unpredictable; that’s the way it is.

Gets a little hard to bear sometimes; things out of nowhere blow your mind.

One thing I know for sure; You got to let life flow.

Neal plays his own style. It’s a modern rather than traditional sound.

He grew up in Louisiana in a musical family. (Two of his brothers play in his band.) He then developed a Chicago blues sound by touring for several years with Buddy Guy.

Blind Pig Records President Edward Chmelewski signed Neal after watching his public access television blues show in Palo Alto.

CHECK THIS OUT: Congratulations to Kenny Neal, and not just for releasing a great album: Doctors have given him a clean bill of health.