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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band: Straight To You Live Review

25 years after their first studio release, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band puts its own stamp on a year of unprecedented events by releasing their first-ever concert video Straight To You Live. Unable to complete a full tour in support of 2019’s chart-topping album The Traveler, Shepherd and company share an outstanding two-hour set from Leverkusen, Germany, reminding listeners that the crew remains one of the premier acts in blues rock.

The set leans heavily on The Traveler, and the first four songs of the concert nearly mimic the recent album’s opening slate. Bursting into “Woman Like You,” the band energetically showcases the new additions to their repertoire. Shepherd’s penchant for breathing new life into old staples is on full display during his instrumental run through Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul,” and he treats his own songs in a similar fashion, always adding new twists to his playing. 

Though his name sits atop the marquee, Shepherd avoids turning the event into a vanity project by sharing time with the other six members of the band. On songs that hew closely to traditional blues structures like “I Want You,” “Shame, Shame, Shame,” and Elmore James’s “Talk To Me Baby,” the supporting cast receives nearly as much instrumental space as Shepherd himself, and their contributions loom large throughout the show. Keyboardist Joe Krown and the brass tandem of Joe Sublett (Saxophone) and Mark Pender (Trumpet) set tones, carry riffs, and partner for call and response segments that give the incredibly full mix its heft. Scott Nelson’s bass drives the pulsing rhythm on the uptempo numbers and Chris Layton is outstanding as always.

Often mistaken as the voice of the headliner himself, Noah Hunt continues to amaze with his surreal ability to meld with Shepherd’s guitar, as he has for over two decades. Getting better with age, his performances on “Heat Of The Sun,” “Shame, Shame, Shame,” “Blue On Black,” and “King Bee” sparkle.

The album builds strength upon strength. With its many sections and changes, superb guitarwork both subtle and explosive, and extended runtime, “Heat Of the Sun” vies for best of set. Other high points for this author include “Turn To Stone,” for its huge finish, and “Voodoo Chile,” for absolute guitar bliss. However, a listener could easily fall in love with the menacing “King Bee,” or the timeless “Blue On Black.” There are no weak tracks or even off moments.

Expertly produced, the recording finds the live-in-concert sweet spot that eludes so many other attempts at capturing a performance faithfully, without sacrificing quality. Crowd noise is audible but not distracting, and the mix preserves the individual members’ contributions without sounding sterile, or cherry-picked. Admittedly, the band makes this rather easy through their nearly-perfect set. A ten year gap between official live offerings is a long wait, but the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has always chosen quality over quantity. True to form, Straight To You Live stakes its claim as a candidate for best live album of 2020. 

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Woman Like You
– I Want You
– Heat Of The Sun
– Turn To Stone
– Blue On Black
– Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

The Big Hit

– Heat Of The Sun

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

The post Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band: Straight To You Live Review appeared first on Blues Rock Review.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band release “Voodoo Child” live video

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has released a live video performance of “Voodoo Child.” The track is featured on the band’s new live release, Straight To You Live.

The post Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band release “Voodoo Child” live video appeared first on Blues Rock Review.

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Review: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ‘Straight To You Live’ DVD

Review: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ‘Straight To You Live’ DVD

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band By Martine Ehrenclou The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band release their first live DVD, ‘Straight To You Live,’ on November 27, 2020 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group. The live set is available on DVD +CD, Blu-Ray +CD, 2LP vinyl and digitally. This review is based on the DVD. And what a [Continue]

Continue reading Review: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ‘Straight To You Live’ DVD at ROCK AND BLUES MUSE.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band release “Blue On Black” live

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band has released a music video for “Blue On Black” live. The track is featured on the upcoming live release, Straight To You Live, available on November 27th. “Blue On Black” spent over 42 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Rock charts winning rock track of the year. It’s also been streamed over 25 million times.

“‘Blue on Black’ is an absolute staple of our show,” says Shepherd. “I’ve been playing that song for more than 20 years, and I still enjoy playing it. As a songwriter it’s the song that I always hoped to write. It’s a timeless song that doesn’t really seem to age. A little over a year ago a new version of it came out with the Five Finger Death Punch guys, Brian May, myself and Brantley Gilbert and it went straight to #1 on the rock charts again. As a songwriter to have a #1 hit twice with the same song is really rare, and certainly something I am very proud of.”

The new version of the song has been streamed over 80 million times.

STRAIGHT TO YOU LIVE TRACK LIST

1. Woman Like You (Live)
2. Mr. Soul (Live)
3. Long Time Running (Live)
4. I Want You (Live)
5. Diamonds & Gold (Live)
6. Talk To Me Baby (Live)
7. Heat Of The Sun (Live)
8. Down For Love (Live)
9. Shame, Shame, Shame (Live)
10. Turn To Stone (Live)
11. Blue On Black (Live)
12. I’m A King Bee (Live)
13. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (Live)

The post Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band release “Blue On Black” live appeared first on Blues Rock Review.

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