Shreveport-born Grammy-nominated guitarist KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD is a fully self-taught musician whose inspiration has always been Stevie Ray Vaughan.
From 1995 and onward, Shepherd took seven singles to the top ten, and holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard Blues Charts with his “Trouble Is…”
In 1996, Shepherd began a long-standing collaboration with vocalist Noah Hunt, who provided vocals for Shepherd’s signature song:“Blue on Black”.
Throughout a long career (he is now 41 years old, but does not seem so), Shepherd has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards, and two Orville H. Gibson Awards. He’s supported The Rolling Stones, Eagles, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, BB King, Lynyrd Skynyrd and sold millions of albums worldwide…
Now The KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND will release a brand new album titled “The Traveler” on 31st May via Provogue/Mascot Label Group
“The album title comes from the song Tailwind,” Kenny explains. “We’re all traveling together through this thing called life. These are testing times for us as a society, and it seems to me that it’s been a bit crazy in the world lately, with so much division. Without making any kind of political point, it’s like, ‘Let’s get through this together, appreciate one another and not always be trying to fight’.”
The album also features two covers. “I was asked to do an event honoring Joe Walsh,” he says, “And everybody had to choose a couple of songs to perform. We did ‘Turn To Stone’, and it came off so well we did a completely live take in the studio.”
As for the Buffalo Springfield song, ‘Mr. Soul’, Stephen had the idea of getting me, him and Neil Young onstage together at an autism benefit show. “It was in the back of my mind that ‘Mr. Soul’ would be a killer song to do, and it was just a spectacular moment. So this was my way of paying tribute to that amazing experience on record.”
The album will be accompanied by a series of European shows through the summer. Tickets available from: kennywayneshepherd.net/tour
“Woman Like You” [the song video is shared below] is a vibrant jam with boogie beats and an evaporative riff… this is hot-stuff, Southern-style rock ‘n’ roll with Kenny’s gun-belt gleaming licks and Noah’s goosebump ‘n’ cheesebagging vocals. You gotta love it!
“Long Time Running” becomes a stunning dramatastic epic… like a scrambling scurry towards your final bright-light years. While “I Want You” stomps like a militiaman on the bayou, waiting for the Pointe à la Hache ferry.
“Tailwind” is unselfish, and a self-denying paean about the voyage we (all) make along the dusty road. It’s ultra-musing, with broody organ and a sudden outpouring of bottleneck when you least expect it.
“Mr. Soul” was always about Neil Young’s personal problems, but now we all share them… so this fizzes and stews.
Joe’s 1972 song “Turn To Stone” is a fitting and memorable ending to this fine album.The guitar rises at full speed, then there’s a piano tinkle, while the guitar solo flies expressively into an ever-darkening sky, and rhythms stay bold.
This is absolutely excellent.
Words: @neilmach 2019 ©