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Overview Program  2003Review 2003Band Informations 1, 2, 3 ... 8Bo WeavilLarry Garner and BandMagic Slim and the Teardrops feat. Big Time SarahSherman Robertson BandMike Andersen BandKenny Neal Band feat. Billy BranchDuke Robillard BandCarl Weathersby

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Saturday, July 5th, 19.30
Kenny Neal
Kenny Neal - guitar, harp, vocals
Frederick Neal - key
Darnell Neal - bass
Kennard Johnson - drums

Billy Branch - harp, voc

Click here for the websites of
Kenny Neal..
Billy Branch..


Kenny Play the Blues? Mrs. Neal's son ignites Moe's on Friday.This Bayou blaster nursed at the bosom of the blues.

By Nicky Baxter
If you were fortunate enough to catch the Kenny Neal Band's blistering BRAVO channel performance recently, you know that this young man may well be the Great Black Hope for whom blues preservationists have been praying. The Baton Rouge native's winning combination of Bayou hoodoo and Chicago-style stomp makes Neal a certifiable candidate for a blues crown.

Neal's BRAVO show emphasized his triple-threat talent. He played guitar (a slightly less frenzied Buddy Guy with a touch of Otis Rush) and harmonica (Slim Harpo, who, it happens, gave Neal his first harp) and sang with the assurance of a guy who not only understands his craft but also has absorbed its essence.
GQ-handsome, Neal has the look of a matinee idol. As it turns out, he's already put in some time on Broadway. Five years ago, Neal landed the lead role in a revival of Mule Bone, a collaborative effort between writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston during the Harlem Renaissance.

Neal's father, Raful, once led a band featuring Buddy Guy on guitar, and pop's first recording came out a year after Kenny was born. Thus, it was nothing to see Guy, Slim Harpo and Little Walter in the Neals' living room, working on tunes and talking trash. "I got a chance to see and hear some of the greatest musicians ever and listen to their stories. All of those guys were my heroes," Neal says.

With some half-dozen superlative recordings under his slender belt, Neal, still in his mid-30s, may one day become a hero himself.

From: www.metroactive.com


Billy BranchBILLY BRANCH has followed a very non-traditional path to the blues. Unlike many blues artists, he isn't from the South. Billy was born in Chicago in 1951and was raised in Los Angeles. He first picked up a harmonica at the age of ten and immediately began to play simple tunes.

Billy returned to Chicago in the summer of '69 and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in political science. It was during these years that he was introduced to the Blues.He soon became immersed in the local blues scene. He spent a great dealof time at legendary blues clubs such as: Queen Bee's and Theresa's Lounge; he learned from such stalwart harmonica players like: Big Walter Horton,James Cotton, Junior Wells and Carey Bell.

His big break came in 1975 during a harmonica battle when he beat Chicago legend, Little Mac Simmons at the Green Bunny Club. He made his first recording for Barrelhouse Records and began to work as an apprentice harp player in Willie Dixon's Chicago Blues All-Stars.He eventually replaced Carey Bell and worked with Willie Dixon for six years.

During this time, Billy formed the Sons Of Blues (S.O.B.s) featuring musicians who where the sons of famous bluesartists. The original S.O.B.s consisted of Billy, Lurrie Bell, Freddie Dixon and Garland Whiteside. They toured Europe and played at the Berlin Jazz Festival. Shortly afterward, they recorded for Alligator Record's
Grammy-nominated Living Chicago Blues sessions, and Billy has been a regular studio player appearing on over fifty albums.

Billy has recorded and/or performed with an incredible list of Blues legends including: Muddy Waters, Big Walter Horton, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, Johnny Winter, and Albert King. In 1990, he appeared with three harp legends:Carey Bell, Junior Wells, and James Cotton on W.C Handy Award winner, Harp Attack! His most recent recordings for the Polygram label are entitled The Blues Keep Following Me Around and Satisfy Me.
Billy is also passing on the blues tradition to a new generation through his Blues In The Schools program. He is a dedicated blues educator and has taught in the Chicago school system for over twenty years as part of the Urban Gateways Project.

In 1996, some of his finest students opened the Main Stage at the Chicago Blues Festival which was broadcast throughout the U.S. on National Public Radio. Blues producer, Chicago Beau has written, "Billy Branch has become a beacon, and model for his times; as an artist, and social/cultural activist... Billy Branch is a Bluesman; Billy Branch is the Blues."

From: www.billybranch.com


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