Entertainment

Kenny Neal plus Samantha Fish

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Kenny Neal plus Samantha Fish
Friday, October 6, 7 p.m.
DoubleTree by Hilton Reading Grand Ballroom
Kenny Neal, a true living blues legend, is the real deal and more poised than ever to deliver the blues like no one else can. One of the strongest modern proponents of Baton Rouge swamp blues, Neal is a second generation southern Louisiana bluesman who is cognizant of the region’s venerable blues tradition and imaginative enough to steer it in fresh directions. His dad, harpist Raful Neal, was a Baton Rouge blues mainstay whose pals included Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo. At age 13, Neal was playing in his father’s band, and at 17, landed a job playing bass for Buddy Guy. Kenny Neal’s sizzling guitar work, sturdy harp and gravelly, aged-beyond-his-years vocals served him well, launching a lengthy and prolific career. The guitarist recruited some of his talented siblings to form the Neal Brothers Blues Band up in Toronto (brother Noel later played bass behind James Cotton; five other Neal brothers also play in various bands) before returning stateside. In the last few years, Neal has relocated back to Baton Rouge and has spent much of his time around home with family, writing songs, riding horses and working on his collection of vintage cars, but has come to realize that life on the road is his life. Guitarist Samantha Fish knows that all too well, and it’s been evidenced in the music she’s made her entire career. She made a name for herself as one of relatively few female blues guitarists but she prefers to be measured on her own merits rather than asa female musician. While she’s well known as a purveyor of blues, having been lauded by such legends as Buddy Guy, the Royal Southern Brotherhood and Luther Dickinson, her real love is simply raw, scrappy rock and roll.

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