Neal and the Neal Brothers Band
a touch of Baton Rouge to the Bottleneck Blues Bar recently was the Neal
Brothers Band, led by Kenny Neal!
14, 1957 into a deeply rooted multi-generational blues family from Baton
Rouge, Louisiana, he's been playing the blues since he was a small child.
He first learned the blues from his father, harpist Raful Neal, and
family friends like Buddy Guy, Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo. It was Slim
who gave Kenny his first harp, trying to pacify the crying three-year-old
boy. It worked. Kenny mastered harmonica, and quickly moved on to bass,
trumpet, piano and guitar. He first performed at age six, playing piano
at one of his father's gigs. By the time he was 13, he officially joined
his father's band as a bass player, before being recruited as Buddy
Guy's bassist at 17. Following Buddy's advice to concentrate on his
guitar playing, Kenny relocated to Toronto, and -- along with his brothers
Raful, Jr., Noel, Larry and Ronnie -- formed the Neal Brothers Band.
the show with a classic Albert King "born under a bad sign",
Kenny paid homage to the legends, with covers of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters
interspersed among his originals. A favorite of STLBlues - "Howlin'
at the Moon" - showcased Kenny's songwriting ability. It was a
high energy show, with Kenny showing his mastery of the guitar, harp
and steel guitar throughout the evening. Being from Louisiana, the evening
wasn't complete without Kenny sharing some zydeco, which he delivered
with a great version of "Don't mess with my TuTu". With his
infectious enthusiasm for his art, Kenny and the Neal Brothers Band
soon had the dance floor full and the joint jumpin! A great evening
of music by one of Louisiana's finest musical families, the Neal Brothers!