Denny Laine plays Thursday at the Kate in Old Saybrook

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Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Denny Laine is justifiably proud of a career in which he co-founded the Moody Blues and served as a true creative partner to Paul McCartney in Wings. Hell, why not?

True, he left the Moodys after penning their first hit, "Go Now," making way for replacement Justin Hayward to write several of the greatest songs in history. And with Wings, while he was a big part of the "Band on the Run" album and co-wrote "Mull of Kintyre," it was always going to be Macca's show.

What's probably forgotten in all this is the fact that Laine's a damned good songwriter with several solo albums to his credit. In particular, his mid-'90s albums "Reborn" and "Blue Nights" are crammed with overlooked gems of lush pop. Songs such as "Night Walker," "Misty Mountain," "Hard Labor" and "Say You Don't Mind" easily fit into the niche established by ELO, the Alan Parsons Project or Badfinger.

Not sure how much voice Laine, 74, has left by now, but he's a true and underrated gem from rock history and performs Thursday with his Moody Wing Band at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

Denny Laine, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook; $50, $55; (860) 510-0453. 

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