When Kenny Wayne first heard Fats Domino on the radio in the early 1960s, he knew he was listening to someone special.
The Kelowna-based pianist has long seen the New Orleans rock ‘n’ roll pioneer as a musical mentor. He pays tribute to Domino, who died last year, on his new album, Inspired by the Blues, with the song Mr. Blueberry Hill.
“My parents are from Louisiana … so it’s always been kind of embedded in me as far as that New Orleans style,” Wayne said.
On Dec. 6 he’ll be representing Domino’s repertoire at the Original Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Rock ‘n’ Soul Christmas show at the Port Theatre. The show includes singers Garry Moore, Mike Henry and Samira as Little Richard, James Brown and Tina Turner, respectively.
While those singers dress the part, Wayne noted that Domino didn’t have as distinctive a look as some of his contemporaries.
“Fats was just a big guy up there playing,” he said. “He’s got those great songs and that’s what I’ll be doing.”
WHAT’S ON … Rock ‘n’ Soul Christmas comes to the Port Theatre on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. All seats $54.