Review: Kenny Wayne Shepherd's 'Straight To You: Live' Goes Beyond a Live DVD Experience
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The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band have been on an upward trend in recent years and after releasing their # 1 blues album The Traveler in early 2019 and a world tour canceled due to COVID, their live concert video Straight to You: Live will be released.

Straight to You: Live was recorded at the German Jazztage Festival and is Kenny Wayne Shepherd's first live album in over a decade. It couldn't have come at a better time. In a year when millions of people around the world miss live music This is the perfect replacement.

The energy of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is alive and shining through the screen. This hour and a half performance goes beyond a live DVD experience. It almost feels like you're in the audience.

Photo courtesy Jon Bleicher / Prospect PR

With Chris & # 39; Whipper & # 39; Layton on drums, Joe Sublett on saxophone, Mark Pender on trumpet, Noah Hunt on vocals, Joe Krown on keys and Scott Nelson on bass, this band is the crème de la crème and it becomes increasingly clear why as the video begins.

The performance offers a wide selection of songs from Shepherd's catalog, starting with "Woman like you. "The feeling on stage is initially stiff, but Noah Hunt's robust lead vocals are just as strong as they were in the 90s and carry the track through.

Second song "Mr. Soul ”, the horn section sees a spirited stage atmosphere and thus the heat increases. While Shepherd can be a little manipulated on stage, his solo reminds us of why he's so adored.

One guitar swap later and on track 4, "I Want You", Shepherd is finally behind the microphone for a lead vocal performance. Scream "Do you want me? Baby, baby, baby like before ?! "KWS impresses so much with his beautiful and powerful tone that it's a wonder he doesn't tell Noah to give it a try and slip into the role of front man once and for all.

The dynamic of the band is tight and the longing for the song can be felt strongly. Kenny shouts "Take me home baby" before starting a solo steeped in Stevie Ray Vaughan's influence. Once the keys solo ends and the sax solo breaks in, it's obvious that the blues are in abundance and the rest of this live DVD is going to be HOT.

Joe Sublett looks like a MythBusters host and plays on steroids like Junior Walker. He doesn't mess around – his solo hits the point from the moment it howls, and when Mark Pender takes over the trumpet, it becomes even more evident that these guys are the best of the best.

The rest of the concert consists of a cover by Elmore James & # 39; "Talk to Me Baby", on which the saxophone and trumpet solos take the performance to a new level again. The epitome of class and talent, the pender and sublet are the standout features of DVD, aside from Layton's bold choice of wardrobe that steals the show at many intervals.

"Talk to Me Baby" is followed by an 11-minute version of "Heat of The Sun". It is through this part of the set that things have peaked. KWS & # 39; guitar and Hunt's vocals moan together and result in a beautiful and tasteful solo that demonstrates Shepherd's ability to go one step lower and play fewer notes with the same feel. While the solo builds and his guitar cries, this is Kenny Wayne at its most emotional and sophisticated.

For the end of the set, the band goes back in time to Shepherd's 1995 debut album to play a nine-minute version of "Shame, Shame, Shame". The band then toss it back to the late 1950s and 1960s to end the show on a bang by covering Slim Harpo's "I & # 39; ma King Bee" followed by an epic rendition of Hendrix & # 39; " Voodoo Child (Slight Return) "lets KWS get a little wild and taps his inner Jimi.

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band complements each other perfectly, easily slipping into each other's pockets and putting on a hell of a show. This is the blues in its classiest and sometimes sexiest form. With a team of some of the world's greatest musicians on stage, it's easy to conclude that Straight to You: Live is exactly what the blues is all about! A live concert video that brightens the darkness of 2020, if only for 90 minutes.

Directly to you: Live – From November 27th
1. Woman Like You (Live)
2. Mr. Soul (Live)
3. Long Run (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. Contact Stein (Live)
11.Blue on Black (Live)
12. I'm a king bee (Live)
13.Voodoo Child (Easy Return) (Live)

* Feature image: Screengrab from "Straight To You: Live"


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