The last time Kenny Wayne was in Penticton, he had to promise to return before leaving the Dream Café stage.
“That was the first time that ever happened to me, they said we want to let everybody know you’re coming back before you leave the stage,” Wayne said.
He held true on his promise as the Blues Boss returns to Penticton playing the Legion Branch 40 on Sept. 9.
Wayne has received many accolades before, including a Maple Blues Award, but he said his latest album, Jumpin’ and Boppin’, has had the best reception he’s ever seen.
“It’s the first time I’ve actually got that many rave reviews,” Wayne chuckled.
It has sat at No. 1 on the Canadian Roots and Blues charts for a couple of weeks.
“It feels great, I’ve had more great reviews and charting in the first month or two months than I had with a whole year on my last CD,” Wayne said.
Though he noted he’s not too concerned with reviews when putting out an album.
“I just put it out there, but I’ve been told this latest one is the best so far,” Wayne said.
It’s his third release on Stony Plain Records out of Edmonton. He called them the best roots and blues recording company in Canada, and Wayne was featured on a recent 40-year anniversary compilation for the label — owned by Holger Petersen, also host of CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Blues.
“(Petersen) has known about me for a while, but it just worked out a few years ago that he wanted me to record on his label,” Wayne said. “I was really privileged to be a part of that. One of the best labels around for roots and blues.”
With Jumpin’ and Boppin’ Wayne took on a form called “jump blues,” resurrecting the 1940s and 1950s style of music, bringing in some horns — something Wayne has been wanting to take on for a while.
“I try to stay away from horns sections because when I tour, I don’t have a band, so I pick up different musicians. I got them all over the planet now,” Wayne said.
It was tough finding horn players on the road for Wayne, but it was time for him to indulge a bit.
“I thought, you know, I’m getting up there, I want to have horns,” Wayne said. “The label said, you know, I think you’re right.”
He picked up a horns section out of Edmonton and the album was off to the races.
A slight deviation from the Boogie Woogie the Blues Boss is known for, Wayne has some experience with the more swinging sound.
“I wanted high energey because I actually play for a lot of swing dances,” Wayne said. “Especially when I go to Europe. It’s good, upbeat dance stuff.”
Tickets to see Wayne at the Penticton Legion are available at the Legion Lounge for $20 at 502 Martin St. or by phoning 250-492-2882. Wayne also makes his way to the Frank Venables Theatre on Oct. 7.