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Kenny Acosta "Justice Blues"
It's not uncommon for many blues artists to temporarily step away from their bands to play solo gigs and to put out solo albums. Some artists have actually made these breaks permanent. With clubs closing at an alarming rate, and the rest not wanting to pay a lot for gigs, the process seems quite sensible.
One of those artists is Louisiana blues man Kenny Acosta. I've had the pleasure of enjoying several recordings, and a few live shows as well, by Kenny Acosta and the House Reckers and now on this latest release, Kenny has become one of my favorite solo acoustic players. Other than featuring Kenny Neal's harmonica and Robert Heym's congas on a few tracks, "Justice Blues" is ten all original songs about Kenny's soulful vocals and intricate guitar picking.
Most of us think having our ducks in a row means we've got our stuff together. On the other hand, down on the Bayou, Kenny sees those ducks in a row as an ingredient for a good gumbo. Them, along with some fish, oysters and turtles, are all "Groceries From The Bayou". Kenny's use of some very clever writing reflects his thankfulness to mother earth. Excellent track.
"Maybe Tomorrow" is when a lot of things get put off to. In this case, that's when Kenny 'thinks' he'll have the courage to tell this lovely woman about how he feels for her. Musically, this gypsy style track is one of the discs best. Together, Kenny's guitar playing and Robert's percussion are absolutely magnificent.
As a young boy playing out in the field in Jackson, Louisiana, Kenny ran into an escapee from the Feliciana Institution for the Criminally Insane. That encounter, scary as it was, is what influenced the writing of the title track. The one thing he remembers the old man telling him is that "It's a crazy world and you can do anything you, want". Then just before running off he turned around and said "that is, unless of course, you get caught." That's when you'll have a real bad case of the "Justice Blues". This is storytelling at it's best and, as is the case in anything he helps out on with his harp playing, Kenny Neal takes it up a musical notch.
Listening to "Tubin'", an instrumental, should be part of a lesson all guitar students should have to take. Just hearing how Kenny has mastered the instrument in itself would be an inspiration to any aspiring player. I believe I've just listened to perfection.
Knowing them as I do, I not only know that "Susan's Song" is dedicated to Kenny's wife, but I also know that what he's telling her in this song is sincerely coming from his heart. Lyrically and emotionally, this is an absolutely beautiful love song. More great vocalization, guitar pickin' and percussion work also highlight this one.
Other tracks on this outstanding disc include: "Hog For Ya' Baby", "Funkiest Man Alive", "Hot Dog", "It's All Good" and "Shake That Thang".
Be it as a solo act or with the House Reckers, if you haven't yet done so, Kenny Acosta is a blues man you need to become familiar with. You can learn more about him, check out his schedule and purchase his CDs by going to www.kennyacosta.com. Once you're there, please tell him that the Blewzzman sent ya.
Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro