Kenne Wayne (21st Century)

Daddy B. Nice's #36 ranked Southern Soul Artist



Portrait of Kenne Wayne (21st Century) by Daddy B. Nice
 



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"The Party Ain't Over ('Til I Get My Groove On)"

Kenne Wayne (21st Century)

Composed by Kenne' Wayne


Note: Kenne' Wayne also appears on Daddy B. Nice's original Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's).  The "21st Century" after Kenne' Wayne's name in the headline is to distinguish his artist-guide entries on this page from his artist-guide page on Daddy B. Nice's original chart.

*************

October 20, 2012:

One of the rewards of doing this countdown of 21st-Century Southern Soul stars is the fresh look it gives the fan of the music into veteran artists who--due to their longevity and familiarity--are too easily taken for granted.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "The Party Ain't Over (Until I Get My Groove On)" on YouTube.

Kenne' Wayne started out very young. He's been recording steadily since the mid-nineties, yet he's still a peer of Sir Charles Jones and T. K. Soul in the "younger generation" of Southern Soul stars.

Sifting through Kenne' Wayne's Southern Soul hits from his start with Old Fashion Love in 1996 through his latest album The MVP in 2010 nets a musical catalog of substantial stature, with hit singles (from the tiny Southern Soul market, unknown to the musical mainstream) scattered in representative fashion over Wayne's fifteen years of performing.

Attempting to prioritize those songs is the pleasurable task here, taking into account that the Kenne' Wayne hits produced before the turn of the century belong to the old chart Daddy B. Nice's Top 100 Southern Soul Artists (90's-00's: Kenne' Wayne #37.)

That effectively disqualifies what I still consider to be Kenne' Wayne's most outstanding singles: 1996's "Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty" and 1999's "Love Down."

"Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty" is one of the unknown early classics of contemporary Southern Soul music. Not only was it a precedent for Ronnie Lovejoy's spectacular recording of "Sho' Wasn't Me." In a repeat of the cannibalistic nature of early R&B/Rock and Roll, Wayne's "Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty" was quickly covered by Bobby Jonz in 1997 with a wider exposure and appeal that lingers to this day. In fact, the song (along with the title tune of the album "In The Mood" from which it came) memorialized Jonz's official entry into the Southern Soul market.

Meanwhile, like so much Southern Soul of the 90's, the credit for the original "Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty" that should have gone Kenne' Wayne's way was sabotaged by the obscurity of the album from which it was taken. Practically no one, including deejays and record outlets, has ever heard or owned a full recording of the Kenne' Wayne original, although the fragments and samples still available on the Internet hint at an emotional power at least equal to--if not even better than--the Bobby Jonz version.

Listen to a sample of Kenne' Wayne's "Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty."

Then came 1999's "Love Down," a mid-tempo, thematic exploration of love as a willing acceptance of being in the jail-like conditions of "lock-down," which gained wider exposure for the increasingly popular Wayne in the late 90's and became my choice as Wayne's #1 signature song in Daddy B. Nice's Original Artist Guide to Kenne' Wayne.

At the opposite end of Kenne' Wayne's fifteen-year calendar of hits, on the other hand, resides the zydeco-flavored single, "Ride It Like A Cowboy," from 2010's The MVP. And in a strange repetition of fate, this present-day Wayne single, although the recipient of substantial chitlin' circuit radio play over the last couple of years, has--like Wayne's two early hits--been doomed to obscurity by limited distribution. (Only two internet sites, Wayne's and Blues Critic's, were sanctioned to sell it.)

Close readers of Southern Soul RnB know that your Daddy B. Nice was not critically kind to "Ride It Like A Cowboy," considering it an interesting but ultimately failed experiment in cloning the musical tempos of Southern Soul and zydeco. When the initial recording didn't universally impress, Wayne recorded a remix, and subsequently he produced yet another remix.

"Ride It Like A Cowboy" was based on the same chords and tempo as Wayne's instantly-recognizable party song, "The Party Ain't Over." (If you know the songs, hum the words "the party ain't over" and then hum the words "ride it like a cowboy" and you'll find they're musically identical.)

"Ride It Like A Cowboy" had undeniable live-concert appeal, but on vinyl it struggled (at least for me) under the weight of the lofty expectations Wayne seemed to invest in it, and in retrospect I think it wasn't so much that I didn't like the song as I questioned the expenditure of time (two years) and energy Wayne lavished on it.

Sandwiched between these two bookends--"Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty"/"Love Down" on the one hand (the early hits) and "Ride It Like A Cowboy" (the latest hit) on the other--reside all the other great Kenne' Wayne songs.

Here are the stand-outs:

"Innocent 'Til Proven Guilty"

"A & B Conversation" From Love Down (1997).

"Love Down"

"The Party Ain't Over ('Til I Get My Groove On" From The Licka Sticka (2001).

"If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" From Time To Get Loose (2006).

"Party On The Weekend" From Time To Get Loose (2006).

You're The Best From You're The Best (2008)

"Georgia Pine" From You're The Best (2008)

"Ride It Like A Cowboy"

Of all these singles, "A & B Conversation" is the most chitlin' circuit-"kosher," featuring a very Southern Soul-like, back-and-forth duet with Charlene Howard on a song about an immature, self-involved husband, a doting outside woman and a resentful wife.

"Georgia Pine" and "You're The Best" are Kenne Wayne's two best ballads of recent years, showcasing a mature performer at the peak of his powers on songs which describe grown-up love in heartfelt and unselfish form.

"Party On The Weekend" and "If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" feature Kenne' Wayne in arguably his finest-produced CD.

Sample tunes from Kenne' Wayne's Time To Get Loose CD.

"Party On The Weekend" is an especially crisp dance jam with echoes (but not redo's) of Wayne's "The Party Ain't Over." Wayne's whiplash tenor is at its most biting, and a feverish background chorus gives the song a satisfying sense of depth.

The ballad "If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" is even more spectacular, highlighting a terrific Wayne vocal--maybe his best ever--over a background track featuring stinging and wailing Isley's-style guitar fills.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" on YouTube.

"Better get yourself together
Before it's too damn late,"

Wayne's narrator cautions a friend.

"If someone was loving your baby,
Could you handle it?"

Paradoxically, the only thing (and it's a small thing) "If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" has going against it is the very success of its Isleys'-influenced accompaniment, which at times not only threatens Kenne's vocal but overwhelms the listener's perception of what really makes the song work.

Finally, there is "The Party Ain't Over." I doubt there is any song which conjures the name Kenne' Wayne quicker among the Southern Soul cognoscenti than this 2001 dance jam with the quirky Sir Charles Jones-like synthesizer fillips (all the rage in 2001) at the ends of phrases.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "The Party Ain't Over (Until I Get My Groove On)" on YouTube.

Wayne hit the bulls-eye with this tawdry statement "representing for" all the late-to-arrive party-goers across the land. The song isn't especially remarkable in any single way you can point to--and may even seem "run of the mill" at first--but it's Wayne's most perfectly-realized--his most representative and lasting.

Kenne' sings most of the song in a falsetto-like octave with a second, lower vocal track adding contrast. Towards the end, he really goes up, acapella-like, tweaking his falsetto with a voice-enhancer.

"He (the bartender) said last call for alcohol.
I already got my drink,
But I can't go home
Until I get my groove on."

"The Party Ain't Over" is the quintessential Kenne' Wayne song. In music as in life, it's the simplest pleasures that we cherish, and for the long run, whenever people of Southern Soul persuasion hear the words--

"--When I heard the deejay call,
He said last call for alcohol"--"

--they will instantly think of Kenne' Wayne.

--Daddy B. Nice


About Kenne Wayne (21st Century)

Kenne' Wayne (Landry) was born in Crowley, Louisiana on September 3, 1966. Wayne made his recording debut with an album entitled Old Fashion Love on Master Trax in 1996. "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" from the LP was a bona fide Southern Soul hit and immediately established Wayne as someone to watch. The tune was covered a year later with even greater success by Bobby Jonz on his In The Mood CD.

Wayne recorded Love On Me (MTE, 1997), Love Down (Master Trax, 1999) and The Licka Sticka (MTE, 2001) in the ensuing years, and--excepting Love On Me--each had at least one chitlin' circuit radio hit. The swinging ballad "Love Down" highlighted the Love Down CD. "The Party Ain't Over" drew the most response from Licka Sticka CD.

After the 2001 CD, Wayne had a falling out with his record company and distributor, Crowley LA.-based MTE. As a result, only regional radio stations and a few regional record stores have received copies of Wayne's subsequent CD's.

That was the case with Wayne's 2004 release Who Is It? (G Street 2004), which was never nationally distributed but generated the radio singles, "Who Is It?," "Superwoman" and "Whatcha Gonna Do?"

Time To Get Loose (Goodtime) arrived in 2006 and is currently out of print. The album contained notable singles in "If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" (one of Wayne's most distinguished vocals, accompanied by an Isleys-style guitar), "Party On The Weekend" and "Soul Blues."

You're The Best (Goodtime 2008), with the singles "Georgia Pine," "You're The Best" and "One For The Deejay," gained national distribution and is still available.

However, The MVP (G Street 2010), with the oft-remixed Kenne' Wayne single "Ride It Like A Cowboy," did not become available nationally. A few copies have turned up at "used" record-sellers such as Amazon. (See Daddy B. Nice's Recommended Singles in the right-hand column.)

Obscure Kenne' Wayne CD's are available for sale at Kenne' Wayne's Official Website.

Kenne' Wayne Discography:

Old Fashion Love (MTE 1996)

Love On Me (MTE 1997)

Love Down (MTE 1999)

The Licka Sticka (MTE 2001)

Who Is It? (G Street 2004)

Time To Get Loose (Goodtime 2006)

You're The Best (Goodtime 2008)

The MVP (G Street 2010)


Song's Transcendent Moment

"Hey fellas,
I think you'd better watch your ladies,
'Cause I came here to dance,
And I just might take my chance
With somebody else's lady.

When i heard the deejay call,
He said, 'Last call for alcohol.'
I already got my drink
But I can't go home
'Til I get my groove on."

So the party ain't over
'Til I get my (get my) groove on.
Said the party ain't over
'Til I get my (get my) groove on."


Tidbits

1.

October 13, 2012: YouTube offerings for Kenne' Wayne


Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Ride It Like A Cowboy" Live Onstage (featuring Leon Chavis) on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Gonna Miss Me" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Room 244" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "A & B Conversation" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Caught" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing a medley of songs Live In Montgomery, Alabama on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "What You Gonna Do" Live on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Who Is it" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "The Party Ain't Over (Until I Get My Groove On)" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Putting Our Business In The Street" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Cheating On A Good Woman's Love" on YouTube.

Kenne' Wayne singing "The Party Ain't Over" Live on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "My Angel" on YouTube.

Listen to Kenne' Wayne singing "Can I Make A Sweet Love To You" on YouTube.


If You Liked. . . You'll Love

If you liked Sam & Dave's "Soul Man," you'll love Kenne' Wayne's "The Party Ain't Over."


Honorary "B" Side

"If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot"



5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy The Party Ain't Over ('Til I Get My Groove On) by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
The Party Ain't Over ('Til I Get My Groove On)


CD: The Licka Sticka
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
The Licka Sticka


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
If The Shoe Was On The Other Foot


CD: Time To Get Loose
Label: Goodtime

Sample or Buy
Time To Get Loose


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Innocent Until Proven Guilty by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Innocent Until Proven Guilty


CD: Old Fashion Love
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
Old Fashion Love


5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 
Sample or Buy Love Down by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Love Down


CD: Love Down
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
Love Down


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy A & B Conversation     by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
A & B Conversation


CD: Love On Me
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
Love On Me


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Georgia Pine by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Georgia Pine


CD: You're The Best
Label: Goodtime

Sample or Buy
You're The Best


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Party On The Weekend by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Party On The Weekend


CD: Time To Get Loose
Label: Goodtime

Sample or Buy
Time To Get Loose


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy Ride It Like A Cowboy by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Ride It Like A Cowboy


CD: The MVP
Label: G Street

Sample or Buy
MVP


4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 
Sample or Buy You're The Best by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
You're The Best


CD: You're The Best
Label: Goodtime

Sample or Buy
You're The Best


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Gonna Miss Me by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Gonna Miss Me


CD: The Licka Sticka
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
The Licka Sticka


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Let's Dance by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Let's Dance


CD: Time To Get Loose
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
Time To Get Loose


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy My Angel  by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
My Angel


CD: The Licka Sticka
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
The Licka Sticka


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy One For The Deejay by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
One For The Deejay


CD: You're The Best
Label: Goodtime

Sample or Buy
You're The Best


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Room 244 by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Room 244


CD: The Licka Sticka
Label: MTE

Sample or Buy
The Licka Sticka


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Soul Blues by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Soul Blues


CD: Time To Get Loose
Label: Goodtime

Sample or Buy
Time To Get Loose


3 Stars 3 Stars 3 Stars 
Sample or Buy Wutang by Kenne Wayne (21st Century)
Wutang


CD: The MVP
Label: G Street

Sample or Buy
The MVP


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