Music » Livewire

The Kinsey Report

Friday, December 19, at Wilbert's.


Whatever Donald Kinsey didn't learn about soul by way of Mississippi, Memphis, or Gary, Indiana, he picked up in Jamaica. The leader and lead guitarist of the Kinsey Report boasts a prime pedigree and connections to legends from both the blues and reggae worlds. Along with brothers Kenneth on bass and Ralph on drums, he's fashioned a potent confluence of roots genres. Lots of musicians have rocked the blues, but the Kinseys' background provides them with an above-average arsenal of options.

From absorbing the music in their pastor grandfather's church in their native Gary to hitting the road with their Delta slide-playing father, Lester "Big Daddy" Kinsey, the brothers were seasoned soul veterans by their teens. Donald later played rhythm on two of Albert King's albums for the Stax label, formed the mid-'70s metal band White Lightning, and hooked up with both Bob Marley and Peter Tosh for recording and touring, appearing on the former's Rastaman Vibration and Babylon by Bus and the latter's Legalize It. The reggae influence on the Kinseys' own music is not always as out-front as the rock, R&B, or blues, but it's detectable in the social commentary in a number of their tunes. Long absent from the recording scene, they released their most recent album, Smoke and Steel, in 1998. Their powerhouse sound is available live, though.

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