Kenny Wayne Shepherd rode in as a blues rocker who drew
comparisons to Stevie Ray Vaughn. While critics dismissed
the teen protégé as being all technique who lacked
soul, he was an instant hit with blues and rock fans alike. Since
his debut, Ledbetter Heights, Shepherd has been slowly
straying further from the blues into classic album rock. Following
a five year absence, he returns in full rock mode, which actually
suits him better than the blues ever did.
Dressed in black leather with a gothic cross hanging from his
neck on the cover sets the tone for what's inside. With hard driving
rock and roll, heavy power chords, and sweltering solos, this
record rivals any of the 1970 arena rockers on their best days.
Long gone are the days of covering other people's material as
Shepherd penned every track in partnership with multi-instrumentalist/
producer/ engineer Marti Frederiksen. While the disc reincarnates
the screaming guitar pitches of such groups as Humble Pie,
Grand Funk Railroad, and Foghat, Kenny & company
update the sound with a Lenny Kravitz-like makeover. Adding
a bit of raunchiness to the disc, Kid Rock lends his star
power and his unmistakable voice on the rough and ready "Spank".
Shepherd blends acoustic with electric on "Believe",
giving the tune a 70's power ballad ambiance. Shepherd has not
only grown as a guitarist but his vocals have matured as well.
However, he still lays low on a couple of tracks. The aggressive
"Believe" and heavy handed ballad "Burdens"
feature Noah Hunt on lead vocals. With a nod to all the
guitar heroes before him, the disc ends with a high volume instrumental
- "A Little Bit More". Even though the revamped Kenny
Wayne Shepherd will most likely lose his crossover appeal with
blues fans, hardcore rock supporters will definitely revel in
his new sound.
2. Be Mine
3. Spank (with Kid Rock)
4. Let Go
5. Ain't Selling Out
6. Believe (with Noah Hunt)
7. The Place You're In
8. Hey, What Do You Say
9. Get It Together
10. Burdens (with Noah Hunt)
11. A Little Bit More
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