Kenn Lending (Danish singer, guitarist, composer and producer, born Feb. 8. 1955) is a musician with an extraordinary history. His devotion to music goes back to his early childhood, and african-american music, of any style, has attracted him since he was a baby.
He started learning guitar when he was seven, playing songs of Bob Dylan, Donovan and other folk artists of the time. But it was the “American Folk Blues Festival” in 1968, that made up his mind about his future life. On stage was Big Joe Williams, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker and Eddie Taylors Chicago Blues Band. To witness these guys play their blues, was such a shock, that this event have had huge impact on the rest of his life. Right away he made a blues band with some schoolmates, and was determent to learn to play the real blues.
Up through the seventies he was working in several reputable Danish groups. Such as the Salsa Rock group “Himmelexpressen” and the Soul and Reggae group “Survivors”. But forming his own Blues Band in 1980, fulfilled the dream, that he had, since he saw T Bone Walker live on that stage in 1968.
Already a year before Kenn Lending formed his band, he started his well known partnership with the legendary american barrelhouse piano-player and blues singer Champion Jack Dupree, who lived in Hannover, Germany since 1975. This partnership, that through the years turned into a close friendship, lasted until “The Champ” passed away in January 1992.
The Duo did over 1000 concerts together in 35 states and countries, including a seven week tour in USA and Canada in 1991. They also appear together on at least 19 different albums. Three of the albums was recorded in Champion Jack Dupree’s hometown New Orleans, for Rounder Records in 1990 and 1991, in connection with their performances on “New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival”. One of these CD’s “Forever and Ever”, received the WC Handy Award for the best traditional album in 1991.
When an old bluesman like Champion Jack Dupree, choose to work and travel with a young musician, it’s not only for the friendship and the help it is, to travel with a younger guy. It’s also because it’s time to pass the heritage to the next generation. That exactly what The Champ did to Kenn, over the years they spend together. Because of this fact, Kenn has received a lot of respect and encouragement from other Afro-American blues artist, such as BB King, Junior Wells, John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon, over the years. Many blues artists also started using Kenn for concerts and recordings. Artists like Memphis Slim, Luther Allison, Bobby Rush, Louisiana Red, Aron Burton, Lillian Boutté, Janice Harrington and many others, have frequently used Kenn Lending and his Blues Band as backing on concerts and recordings. In 1991 he also recorded with the legendary american rockband “The Band” in their studio “Big Pink” i Woodstock. Along with Champion Jack Dupree he is present their 1996 album “High On The Hog”.
Even though Kenn knows his “down home blues”, and respect the heritage he got from Jack Dupree, Kenn Lending Blues Band is known to have a very personal sound. This is evident on all their 10 album’s, from the first LP “Live” in 1981 – to “Flying High” in 2011, that celebrates their 30 years anniversary as a recording band. With all the songs by Kenn Lending, he is taking the audience on a trip “from roots to fruits with the blues”. In the music you will find elements from his lifelong love and experience with African-American music. The lyrics is highly personal statements and the high performance of the individual musicians along with a perfect sound, makes all the album’s milestones in the great career of Kenn Lending Blues Band.
Please check out the recordings of Kenn Lending – click here!