March 21, 2008



It was St. Patrick’s Day and Easter rolled into one at BLUES ON THE RIDEAU @ THE COVE in Westport last Friday. KENNY “BLUES BOSS” WAYNE fresh off the plane from Vancouver and backed by a “pretty good” pick up band from Toronto (Gary Kendall on bass, Mike Fitzpatrick on drums – both members of Downchild Blues Band and 2007 Maple Blues Award winners - along with Pete Schmidt playing some superb Gibson guitar) strode in and “tore the Playhouse down”. What a night!   This Show was Sold Out over two months ago and for good reason. Kenny won the 2006 Juno Award Winner for best Blues Album of the Year, he’s captured the Maple Blues Award for Best Piano Player of the Year 4X and has been nominated for Best Producer and Entertainer of the Year – as well as International Awards like the Bronze Medal for Keeping The Blues Alive in France – the list goes on. When this man hits the stage dressed to the 9’s in his colourful suits, hats and shoes you know you are in for a hot night.
He attacks the keyboard cranking out boogie-woogie as good as it gets with New Orleans blues/jazz, Kansas City swing and West Coast jump thrown in for good measure. You can hear the influences from many of the blues piano greats that Kenny learned from – Fats Domino, Johnnie Johnson, Amos Milburn, Bill Doggett, Johnny Otis and more – but he has molded his own distinct style and it’s great! His smooth vocals blend in beautifully with his piano work. Gary, Mike and Pete stepped into the groove perfectly from the first song and obviously had a good time playing with him all night long. The crowd was treated to it all – including a beautiful and touching solo tribute to Jeff Healey who recorded with Kenny on his new CD ‘Can’t Stop Now”. Judging by the sales that night it is going to be another winner for him. The Cove served up its usual great buffet of roast pork and stuffed soul with tons of salad, veggies and potatoes followed by the usual decadent dessert.



Comments from the attendees:

“The band was awesome. Boy can he play! Food delicious” The Weirs, Westport

“You made Good Friday into Best Friday! 10 out of 10 for everything as usual.” Ron Koob, Kingston

“This place is like the New Orleans of the north – minus the hurricanes!” 10 out of 10 for everything. Ron & Sandie Seaman, Brampton

“ I honestly had not paid much attention to blues music until I started coming here in the fall. Now I just can’t miss a night and I tell everyone I know about it!” 10 out of 10 for everything. Sheri Mahan-Fournier, Rideau Ferry

$600 was raised for Westport In Bloom bringing this year’s total raised for local Westport area charities to almost $5,000!


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