Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedKenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed tonight. Opening the cauldron of fiery guitar curling around the blues, we have Laurence Jones Band. Tonight over six numbers Laurence and his new(ish) band demonstrated a maturity the love of rock infused with blues and so much more. Tonight his guitar cried and fought off any ghouls and demons in the room. This you have come to expect of this young British Gunslinger who has been wooing the crowds for many a year despite his youth. Tonight, at The Tramshed Laurence’s vocals came of age adding to the act as he played a mix of numbers, including two tracks from his latest album The Truth – Give Me Your Time & Never Good Enough, and they were definitely rawer rockier. The rhythm combination of Phil Wilson & Greg Smith works really well creating an imaginative and solid foundation for Laurence to soar from. The addition of Bennett Holland’s lively keys gives the band an additional range of tones and structure for the numbers. Closing with Hendrix’s version of Dylan’s Classic All Along The Watchtower. We had had a fizzing and bubbling helping of live music the band played tight and the music excited. This is modern melodic rock hardened blues this is a band that connects with the music and are enjoying playing for the audience. It was appreciated.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedShort break as the stage was rearranged and the main event started as the stage darkened the band took their place to cheers of anticipation. The lights went up as the first of many sweet guitar chords was struck from Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s Stratocaster and resounded around the Tramshed. We were off on a journey of blues guitar extravaganza with some rock, hints of country and a very large swirling dollop of Kenny Wayne Shepherd magic.

The lead breaks were scintillating Kenny certainly makes the Strat bend to his fingers demands as it weeps, curls around tones of joy and pain. Tonight the setlist was a mix of old and new with six tracks from his current acclaimed album Lay It On Down. Of the six numbers, Diamonds and Gold stood out. It was a superb and stellar highlight among the many that the band shared with us tonight. The ballad Hard Lesson Learned with Noel’s vocals also caught the ear and raised the joy of the audience. SRV’s House Is  Rockin definitely got the Tramshed bouncing and rocking with pure delight.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

As Kenny introduces the band in the absence of Chris Clayton, for this tour sees the return of Sylvester “Sam” Bryant (toured with the band in the 1990’s); bassist Kevin McCormick, Joe Krown presiding over the keys and the mighty vocals of Noah Hunt. A marvellous live version of Baby Got Gone from his latest album, they really have this number captured for the energy of a live performance, with its emotional lead break simply breathtaking. Kenny inserted into the set a number from his side project The Rides from their 2013 album Can’t Get Enough; Talk To Me Baby a superb re-shaping of this Elmore James’ blues classic.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The TramshedKenny Wayne Shepherd closed the night with some blues, slow and full of authentic Chicago Blues with a medley of BB King numbers and then Shotgun Blues. What an evening full of exploration of the power of the six-stringed Stratocaster. Tonight we saw three forms including his signature guitar and what tone KWS pulled from the black beast. The lights dimmed, silence fell on the stage as the band left. The noise though was reaching crescendo point as they stamped their feet and demanded more. The band did not resist. Back on stage with two more numbers his signature tune Black on Blue followed by the second Hendrix of the night.  Both acts ended with Hendrix, and so appropriate for tonight we were entertained by KWS, Voodoo Chile and phenomenal playing.

From the first few notes the temperature in the Tramshed definitely rose, there was that feeling of electric joy and anticipation that only live music brings. When you hear a band you love to play in a venue near to where you live, welcome to Wales KWS; come back very soon there will always be a warm welcome for the band and the music that you showcased tonight. By the end of the evening, the cauldron was boiling with energised musical magic on Halloween in Cardiff.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays a Halloween Treat at The Tramshed

New Album New style The Truth still Laurence Jones

New Album New style The Truth still Laurence Jones

New Album New style The Truth still Laurence Jones

How to get noticed in the world replete with Social Chatter?  As a Musician release a new album and change your style. Laurence Jones has done just that on The Truth. In an age where intro’s over 10 seconds are deemed too long, will fans of Laurence’s previous releases take the time to listen to the album a few times. As the truth is, it is still Laurence’s melodic vocals, his stinging guitar licks and timing. What has changed, the blues have been mellowed no rich veins of blues shuffles, riffs and hooks. The Truth is accomplished and more commercial. The album definitely has listenability appeal.

The opening track has grab appeal.  This is a different side of Laurence with the vocals strong and the guitar slinger is letting his voice be heard. The power of the chorus on What Would You Do will have audiences singing along. Echoes of Hamilton Loomis in tone and delivery.

The inner funkiness of the new Laurence glimmers on Don’t Look Back. That is what I advise listeners to do; don’t compare enjoy the album for what it has to offer. The guitar and vocals play off each other and the harmonies are sweet. Nothing on the album is overplayed. The drama builds and catches you unexpectedly. The album is not a set of ten tracks that are shaped by the guitar. The instruments are the base for the song. The slick and smooth blues licks are there, just not in your face.

The refrain throughout the album is relationships, love and how it makes you feel. The yearning to be loved is explored on Keep Me Up At Night. This is another cross-genre tracks, with radio play potential outside of the inner blues circuit. The sound of the album is mature, catchy and full of great tone with textures smoothed out and an understanding of what is pleasing on the ear.

We have a deep groove laid down by Greg Smith on Bass as Laurence asks you to Give Me Your Time, listening to The Truth is time well spent. Expect it to be different no longer guitar led blues. The replacement is subtle with the feel of blues ever present just under the dominant chorus and strong song.

The title track opens with mellow simple keys from Bennett Holland picked up by Laurence’s guitar with the sweetest refrain, with a beat of Phil Wilson’s drum heralding the vocals as Jones asks, ‘Do you ever wonder what It feels like?’ The tone is mellow, reflective the gentler side then the number builds and the old energy is once again glimpsed. Looking forward to hearing the numbers live under the heat of the lights.

The album livens up with a rocky beat on Gone Away. The instruments howl and wail once again his vocals have the strength to demand centre stage and the harmonizing of the chorus stands out then the guitar punches out the lick that curls and weaves itself around the vocals. The blues guitar is back on Can’t Go On Without You.  The timing is spot-on as it is throughout the album. Loving the way there is never a battle between guitar and voice both have their time and place to make a statement across The Truth.

The album is a crossroad moment for Laurence Jones. I am positive The Truth will win him many new fans. Recorded in Miami, produced by Gregory Elias and mixed by Juan Mario Aracil; The Truth hits the mark it is an album that will be returned to and explored with pleasure every time.

NINEpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN …

Track Listing

  1. What Would You Do
  2. Don’t You Let Me Go
  3. Hold Me Close
  4. Keep Me Up At Night
  5. Give Me Your Time
  6. The Truth
  7. Take Me
  8. Gone Away
  9. Can’t Go On Without You
  10. Never Good Enough

 

New Album New style The Truth still Laurence Jones