Down home blues from the patriarch of the Baton Rouge scene. Powerful harmonica, laid-back vocals; Kenny Neal plays lead guitar. "Raw, pure blues without any apologies...powerhouse blues harmonica"--BOSTON GLOBE
RAFUL NEAL, Harmonica and Vocals KENNY NEAL, Lead Guitar BRYAN BASSETT or ERNIE LANCASTER, Rhythm Guitar BARRY RUPP or RED SIMPSON, Keyboards BOB GREENLEE, Bass JIM PAYNE, DENNY BEST or...
RAFUL NEAL, Harmonica and Vocals KENNY NEAL, Lead Guitar BRYAN BASSETT or ERNIE LANCASTER, Rhythm Guitar BARRY RUPP or RED SIMPSON, Keyboards BOB GREENLEE, Bass JIM PAYNE, DENNY BEST or SCOTT CORWIN, Drums
with THE KING SNAKE HORNS: BRUCE STAELENS, Trumpet NOBLE "THIN MAN" WATTS, Tenor Sax JON PALTISHALL, Trombone BOB GREENLEE, Baritone Sax
Produced by Bob Greenlee and Kenny Neal Executive producers Bob "Soulman" Scheir and "Boogie" Bob Snow Recorded at King Snake Studios, Sanford, FL Engineered by Pete Carr and Bryan Bassett Mixed by Pete Carr Cover design by J. Flournoy Holmes Remastered for Alligator Records by Tom Coyne at DMS, New York, NY Originally issued on Fantastic/King Snake Records Reissue prepared by Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records
(This album was originally issued on Fantastic/King Snake Records in 1987, but received limited distribution. Alligator is proud to reissue this fine, down home blues record).
Special thanks to: Little Milton; Cheryl Mogul; WMNF Radio Tampa; Brother Love, WWAB Radio Lakeland; Bob Greenlee; King Snake Records; Kenny Neal and Shirley Neal and the entire Neal family for keeping the blues alive. THANK YOU!
It's been so long," Raful Neal sings, but hell, it has been worth the wait. It's here, and it's the most exciting new blues sound to come out of Louisiana since the heyday of Excello Records in the 1960s. Known as the "Little Walter of Louisiana" to blues harp fans, Raful Neal rates as one of the strongest blues harmonica players today. His singing is powerful, alive and vibrant, and his songs are laced with passion and humor. In short, Raful Neal's blues are unique, distinctive and enduring.
Born Raful Neal, Jr., in June, 1936, Raful was barely in his teens when postwar urban blues styles began influencing his musical direction. In those early years, he worked the local Baton Rouge joints with a small band that featured the great Buddy Guy on guitar. Raful's recording career started early as well, beginning with Sunny Side Of Love on Peacock Records in 1958. He moved to Whit Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In 1982, on a trip to Louisiana to record the legendary Henry Gray and Whispering Smith for Sunland Records, I had the pleasure of seeing Raful Neal on stage with the Neal Brothers. He didn't just steal the show--his blues, his harp, and his overpowering vocals lit a fire in the crowd that night that I will never forget. The next day, I signed Raful Neal to a contract on Sunland's subsidiary label, Fantastic. Raful's first Fantastic single, Down Home Blues, became an instant hit, and his second 45, Man Watch Your Woman, was nominated for "blues single of the year" by the Blues Foundation of Memphis.
And now the fulfillment of a dream: Fantastic Records, in association with Bob Greenlee's King Snake Records, is pleased to release Raful Neal's first album. Yes, "it's been so long," but it's here. It's blues with a feeling--a young, powerful, soulful feeling. Joining Raful on lead guitar is his sensational son, Kenny Neal, one of the hottest up and coming blues guitarists around. Take this record home and experience the same feeling I had when Raful rocked the house in 1982. I guarantee he'll rock your house, too.
Rock on, Bob "Soulman" Scheir
Bob "Soulman" Scheir is a blues programmer for for WMNF 88.5 FM, Tampa, Florida.