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Local music store owner finds success with new partner, new band BLUESPOWER

Kenny Williams with his wife, Kimberly at their Dana Point store. Kimberly runs Kenny's Music when he is out on BLUESPOWER business.
Kenny Williams with his wife, Kimberly at their Dana Point store. Kimberly runs Kenny’s Music when he is out on BLUESPOWER business. Photo: Jacob Onofrio

By Jacob Onofrio

After his successful project Papermoon Gypsys disbanded following vocalist and daughter Lexi G’s decision to return to school earlier this year, Kenny “Big Daddy” Williams of Kenny’s Music in Dana Point is already back in action with his new band, BLUESPOWER.

As a kid growing up in a rough neighborhood in Echo Park, Williams found a strong connection with blues music and was compelled to “cry out” through the power of the guitar.

“The first concert I ever went to was Freddie King, and I actually snuck into the Palladium when I was about 12 years old,” Williams said. “He hit this one note … and as soon as he hit that, I was like ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to do that.’”

Jump ahead to the present and the spirit of the blues is still alive and well in his heart.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, your dream is still there,” Williams said.

Built from the foundation laid by Papermoon Gypsys, BLUESPOWER retains the same lineup of Williams on guitar/vocals, Rich Smith on drums and Ron Moreno on bass. Vocalist Lexi G has been replaced by Gregory Michael, a guitarist/vocalist from Ohio whom Williams considers his “musical soul mate.”

Williams met his new partner only three months ago when Michael sat in on one of his open mic jam performances at The Point restaurant in Dana Point; the duo immediately recognized they had a great deal of musical chemistry. A culmination of rock, blues, funk and R&B, BLUESPOWER represents the union of different musical backgrounds and genres between Williams and Michael, a combination Williams said works wonderfully.

“We respect each other’s opinions equally and allow each other to experiment if we need to,” Williams said, “but we don’t really have to experiment too much; it just kind of works. You can audition people all day and you might never see that. This guy’s like my brother.”

Though the group has no studio work available at the moment, Williams said the band is in the works to start recording their debut album sometime in the next couple of months. Along with their live performances, Williams attributes much of the band’s success to the addition of public relations person Doug Deutsch, who has been spreading word of the band’s background and music.

BLUESPOWER is set to play at a multitude of events up and down the southern California coast this summer, including The Dana Point Food, Wine and Music Festival on June 27, the Del Mar Fair on July 3, the Orange County Fair on August 5, and the New Blues Festival on Sept. 5.

For a sample of what BLUESPOWER is all about, check out their “Happy Hour Jam” at The Point, 34085 Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point every Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.bluespower.band.

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