“Kenny Hughes’ ‘Born & Raised’: A Blues Rock Odyssey of Heartfelt Narratives”

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Review By Halina Wegner

South African blues rock maestro Kenny Hughes unveils his much-anticipated album, ‘Born & Raised,’ a compelling musical journey set to release on January 19th, 2024. With nine tracks brimming with soulful narratives, Kenny Hughes displays a remarkable blend of storytelling prowess and musical finesse, making this album a testament to his versatile talent.

The album unfolds with ‘All Over Me,’ a nostalgic reflection on a past love, transformed into an enduring song. Hughes’ ability to weave personal experiences into soulful melodies sets the tone for the heartfelt journey that ‘Born & Raised’ promises.

‘She Knows’ delves deeper into Hughes’ lyrical prowess, drawing inspiration from the Earth’s elements and humankind’s relationship with nature. Producer Evert Snyman’s insights into the song’s construction add depth to the intricate layers of drums and vocals, elevating the song’s impact.

’19:20,’ a collaborative effort featuring Albert Frost and Evert Snyman, serves as a poignant reflection of the turbulent times marked by the pandemic, resonating with emotional depth and musical brilliance.

‘Destiny’ takes a dreamlike turn, capturing Hughes’ enigmatic encounter in a groovy, funk-infused tune, showcasing his multifaceted musicality.

‘Wicked Ways,’ an earlier single, maintains its place on the album, urging listeners to steer clear of negative paths, echoing Hughes’ commitment to righteousness.

‘Midnight Man’ emerges as an ode to creativity sparked during nocturnal hours, celebrating the musician’s inherent connection with the night. The song’s genesis and evolution offer insight into Hughes’ creative process and his collaborations with Evert Snyman at Pariah Studios.

‘Run Along’ stands as a tribute to influential guitarists and serves as a reminder of the ticking clock, urging everyone to seize opportunities while they can. Snyman’s contributions underscore the song’s unique sleazy vibe, perfectly complementing Hughes’ vocals and guitar.

‘Blues Truth,’ the album’s initial song, resonates with the reality of musicians’ lives, juxtaposing public perceptions with the true experiences of lesser-known artists, embodying Hughes’ journey in the industry.

The album culminates with ‘Last Stand,’ a declaration of independence and a testament to Hughes’ musical voyage, reflecting his resilience and determination to carve his path.

‘Born & Raised’ is a testament to Kenny Hughes’ evocative songwriting and musical prowess. It’s a blues rock odyssey that traverses realms of personal stories, societal reflections, and musical evolution. Through collaborations and solo compositions, Hughes delivers a soul-stirring album that resonates with authenticity, marking his imprint in the annals of South African blues rock.

The album is a finely crafted testament to Hughes’ dedication and artistry, promising a captivating experience for blues rock enthusiasts and storytelling aficionados alike

Credits ‘Blues Truth’ & ‘All Over Me’

Author: Kenny Hughes

Composer: Kenny Hughes 

Performers: The Kenny Hughes Trio

Vocals: Kenny Hughes 

Guitar: Kenny Hughes 

Bass: Jayson Pieterse 

Drums: Marais Swanepoel 

Recorded: Jo Ellis

Producer: Jo Ellis

Mixing Engineer: Jo Ellis

Mastering Engineer: Jo Ellis

Credits (All Other Songs)

Author: Kenny Hughes

Composer: Kenny Hughes 

Performer: Kenny Hughes 

Lyrics: Kenny Hughes 

Vocals: Kenny Hughes 

Guitar: Kenny Hughes

Bass: Kenny Hughes

Drums: Evert Snyman

Recorded: Pariah Studios

Producer: Evert Snyman

Mixing Engineer: Evert Snyman

Mastering Engineer: Evert Snyman

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