The Kenny Wayne Shepherd band release their new album, “The Traveler” at the end of May. UK readers will probably query the spelling of the album title as we’d write “The traveller” but as is so often the case, in the US they have a different spelling, so it’s not a typo.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an extremely talented guitarist and that’s definitely clear to hear on this album, but at the same time he says “As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to lean towards the approach of less is more. I play for the song now”. This more song based approach works well although to be fair Kenny Wayne Shepherd was never one of those guitarists that packaged vocals and other instruments around a series of guitar solos and called them songs. There’s still plenty for guitar lovers to enjoy with plenty of great solos, but at other points the guitar is more in the background. In “I want you” for example the keyboards take centre stage for a good part of the song. Check it out here…
“Tailwind” is largely played on acoustic guitar which gives it a more Country feel. The electric guitar is brought out for the solo though and that really works well in the song.
On this album rather than Noah Hunt doing most of the vocals, Kenny Wayne Shepherd shares the vocal duties which he puts down to his bandmate in The Rides, Stephen Stills, pushing him to do more vocals in that band
There are a couple of covers on the album. The first is the Buffalo Springfield song “Mr Soul”, and the way Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays it, the opening really does sound like the Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. The track was chosen as it’s one he performed live with Stephen Stills and Neil Young at a benefit show. He’s done a great job of the cover.
The second cover is the final track on the album – Joe Walsh’s “Turn to stone”. Again it’s a great cover and it was recorded live in the studio.
Check out “Woman like you”
A fantastic album.
1. Woman like you
2. Long time running
3. I want you
6. We all alright
7. Take it on home
8. Mr Soul
9. Better with time
10. Turn to stone