Louisiana guitar slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd is back with a new album, “The Traveler,” available as of May 31 on Concord Records. It was recorded at Galt Line Music in Nashville.
Shepherd, who is well known since the 1990s for his Stevie Ray Vaughan licks and radio-friendly blues/rock tunes, is once again accompanied by longtime vocalist Noah Hunt and Chris Layton (of SRV and Double Trouble fame) on drums.
The first song out of the gates is “Woman Like You” – an energetic rocker with some modern edge to it. “Long Time Running” has a pretty hard riff, and Hunt is wailing away on vocals. “I Want You” has more of a traditional throwback bluesy vibe to it, with Shepherd taking the lead on vocals. The album starts off well.
A favorite is the cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” – a transcendent, but often overlooked classic from the Laurel Canyon 1960s legends. Kenny and co. do it right, bringing the horn section along for the ride. “Tailwind” offers an Americana-tinged changeup, which is welcome amidst all the rocking. If you’re into country, “Take It On Home” scratches that Marshall Tucker-like itch. This album has variety.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd has had a consistent career for 20-pus years. He’s built a strong catalog, and is always bringing it with live shows, season after season. It’s befitting that his newest effort is titled “The Traveler.” Pick it up if you’re looking for some Texas-meets-Louisiana blues-based rock.
— Jon Siembieda
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Label: Concord Records
Released: May 31, 2019