Monday, February 04, 2008

Artist Profile: Kenny "Blue" Ray

I was searching through the club and artist web sites for good upcoming shows when I came across an old familiar name, Kenny Blue Ray. Kenny has been at the forefront of the local Blues scene for as long as I remember, so his name caught my attention.

I have talked with Kenny several times over the years and know that, along with performing with his own band, he is very interested in helping up-and-coming musicians with their careers. He is not just a great Blues performer who has played with many of the greats; he is a teacher who loves to pass on what he knows to younger, less experienced performers.

I was reminded of the time I ran into Kenny at The Roadhouse in Mountain View (no longer in business) many years ago. It struck me funny that he was playing bass instead of his usual Kenny Blue Ray Signature Guitar. In talking with him, I found out that he was jamming with some of his students that night. I thought that this was a very innovative approach to teaching. It was like on-the-job training on the cool side.

Kenny has always jammed with the great and the not so great. A jam is where musicians who do not normally play together as a group get together and play. Jams are a lot of fun and usually more improvisational in nature than a regular show.

Most Blues artists jam a lot, but lately Kenny has notched up his jam side considerably. Kenny started the jam on Wednesdays at the Little Fox Theater in Redwood City two years ago, and he has lately branched out with his powerhouse jam to some other local haunts like The Mojo Lounge in Fremont and The Bistro in Hayward. You'll see these jams listed in my Concert Calendar for Febrary.

Keep an eye out for Kenny and tell him that Jammin' Jim says "hi" if you see him out and about.

For more information on Kenny, see his web page at Kenny Blue Ray's Web Site


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