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items tagged with Kenny Neal

2012 Blues Fest – Carrying the Torch: Kenny Neal (Friday, June 29, 10:30 p.m., Bandshell)
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

2012-06-20 11:55:09

Kenny NealA lot of people count the harmonica player Slim Harpo as an influence – among them the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, and Pink Floyd – but nobody can claim a connection as direct (or harrowing) as swamp-blues master Kenny Neal.

Slim Harpo was a regular in the Louisiana home of the Neals, and Kenny – one of the sons of harp player Raful Neal – recalled in a recent phone interview the story of how he got his first harmonica when he was three years old.

“He was just playin’ around,” Neal said of Slim Harpo. “He tricked me into a trailer one day. ... He told me, ‘Look inside and see if there’s any more equipment in there.’ I went inside, and he closed the doors. It got pitch black and I got phobia. ... Freaked me out. I started screamin’ and yellin’, and that freaked him out. He was trying to quiet me down, so he decided to give me a harmonica – that was the closest thing he had that would probably soothe me a little bit.”

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