Uniquely Baton Rouge: Playing it forward with Kenny Neal

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It’s inside of his north Baton Rouge home, that the music comes alive.

“Our music is totally different out of this area-Baton Rouge- because we have a mixture, like a gumbo, a mixture of all genres of music so I figured the Swamp Blues” said legendary musician and Baton Rouge’s own Kenny Neal.

” This is where I came from and you never forget where you came from” Neal said about returning to Baton Rouge. “I don’t care how successful, financially, I get… I’ve been instilled in me to not forget where you came from” he said.

After a career spanning four decades, playing with some of Blues’ biggest names like Buddy Guy and Slim Harpo, Neal is back in Baton Rouge paying it forward in his own unique way.

“Everybody is somebody” Neal said. “I don’t care if it’s a homeless person on the street-scuffling- I don’t care they’re somebody. And I don’t pass people up. I want to deal with the neighborhood where I know it’s rough for people it’s hard times, but I want to ease a lot of that. I want to say come on in. Hey you’ve got talent and you never know- you’d be surprised what can come out of here” he said.

Neal has transformed his old Brookstown rental property into a music recording studio and a living walk down memory lane. He invites established and aspiring artists alike the chance to spend time with him in Baton Rouge, starting, continuing or exploring down their own roads to musical success.

“We make it possible for the folks to come from all over, maybe on a low budget and get their projects done” Neal said. “A lot of the kids who can’t afford to or don’t know where to start… this place is going to bring us all together” he said.

It’s the perfect encore for a man who’s heard the world through music and he’s now ready to help others hear it too.

“It’s been a great career, so now I’m back on my own turf in Baton Rouge and just want to give back to the community and help out as best as I could with all of the talent that we have here in Baton Rouge” he said.

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