Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album
Kenny Wayne Shepherd new album Lay It On Down; Bluesdoodles can sum up his eighth solo album as searingly confident modern blues. You want to read a little bit more? Happy to oblige as I listen once again with intense pleasure to Lay It On Down.
Lay It On Down, on Mascot Group Label with a release date of 21st July 2017. The album was recorded in January as Shepherd and his band entered the Echophone Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. New Year, New Project , with an ambitious mission statement: the greatest songs of Shepherd’s career. No more. No less. “The point of this album,” he says, “was that I wanted to put a heavy emphasis on the songs themselves and the writing behind them. I wanted each song to really stand on its own with the songwriting, the music, the words.” Having listened mission accomplished full of fresh vibes; strong lyrics surrounded with the brilliance of electric blues.
Throughout the album the guitar sizzles with a controlled intent. The shining Goldilocks never too hot, never too long and definitely not cold. Kenny always leaves you wondering as the voice is hooked in what guitar lick was left out for the main event the lyrics. It is that feeling of intrigue, the notes that have not been played that leaves you not wanting more but satisfied, intrigued and with melodies and lines that flash into your head as the most welcomed of earworms. Lay It Down, the music has been laid down with thought, commitment and self-belief that less is often more when it comes to electric guitar lead breaks.
Opening the narrative that connects the album’s eleven tracks is Baby Got Gone; starting off at full throttle with rock that is full of attitude we know we are embarking on a musical journey that will take us around an interesting circuit of songs recorded in Nashville out of Louisiana as rocks in the road are explored. Rock and romance in the air combine on romantic number Nothing But the Night. Diamonds & Gold is full of soulful luxuriousness, a cascade of notes on guitar, drum and horns the sound is funky, modern and energised. The title is two objects of desire signifying for many power, and wealth giving us our status and identity. Shepherd manages through the lyrics to look beyond to bigger more meaningful and fulfilling things as the guitar squeals delivering a crescendo of sound more valuable to the listener than Diamonds & Gold.
With a floating, Americana feel of the title track, Lay It On Down takes the musical road in another direction. This light and fresh number has a darker lyric trapped in a gilded cage as Shepherd sings “Who broke your will now honey who stole your dreams like money who made you think you were keeping around”. The lyrics build the story, the guitar break fills in the gap as we travel the road knowing we need to look at the inner beauty to pass the self-doubts that we often show to the world. .
The lap-steel curls with a depth of tone on Hard Lesson Learned and the electric guitar adds a salty sharpness. Then into blues shuffling glory that is the signature of Kenny Wayne shepherd for many. Followed by another vintage bluesy number we are then showered with Louisiana Rain. The acoustic guitar is gentle reflecting rain on a window, distorting the view with its shades of grey. A song sung with heartfelt personal emotions. As we are led to the final stop on the journey that is Ride Of Your Life. The music hooks back to the driving rocky feel of the opener. This is as it says a Ride Of Your Life the guitar crackles with static electric power, the flashes of sparks are iridescent with every shade of blue from baby blue to darkest indigo. The encore is an acoustic version of the title track; we revisit the bird in the gilded cage the lyrics suit the acoustic sound. Lay It On Down is an album that will grow with very outing and tracks will become live favourites..
By the eighth album an artist can become predictable, all feels like heard that before. DEFINITELY NOT with Lay It On Down, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, picking up on his other passion motor cars has given his music a complete overhaul, the guitar driven engine still has its power and integrity but added to the accelerator taking us on a journey are strong lyrics and modern Americana influence. As KWS said recently, “I feel like the band’s best days are still ahead of us. And the next album could be completely different…” He has certainly succeeded as Kenny Wayne Shepherd says Lay It On Down on New Album. While we wait for the next re-vamp we can Lay It On Down with pleasure in the company of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Lay It On Down – Mascot Label Group
TENdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Baby Got Gone
- Diamonds & Gold
- Nothing But The Night
- Lay It On Down
- She’s $$$
- Hard Lesson Learned
- Down For Love
- How Low Can You Go
- Louisiana Rain
- Ride Of Your Life
- Lay It On Down (Acoustic)