The Cheese and Grain, Frome was packed for this, the first visit of these two bands coming to the end of an exhaustive tour.
Very rare for this ‘senior’ reviewer, it was all standing, but that mattered not one jot when Danielle Nicole and her band took to the stage. I, personally, have followed this young lady’s career from her early days with Trampled Under Foot, the band formed in her native Kansas, Missouri. Now disbanded (unfortunately), she leads this power trio, with her on bass, Brandon Miller on guitar and Al on drums. With a set taken mainly from her recent ‘Cry No More‘ album, the knowledgeable audience warmed to her in no time. The chemistry between herself and Brandon is superb, his guitar work right up there with more famous luminaries. The only time she went back was for the title track from Wolf Den, illustrating not only her skills as a songwriter but Brandon’s expertise on the talkbox, great stuff! Watch out for them supporting the UK supporting Walter Trout next May!
After a quick turnaround, Kenny Wayne Shepherd took to the stage, complete with ‘flavour of the month’ brass section. Without any messing about, we were treated to ‘Woman Like You’, audience participation demanded straight from the off, Noah Hunt and trumpeter leading the way. This segued into Neil Young’s ‘Mr Soul’, which in turn morphed into ‘I Want You’.
Anyone who has seen the band before will know what a presence Kenny Wayne has on stage, with his headlong soloing, but this time the spoils are shared by the aforementioned brass section of sax and trumpet along with veteran keyboardist Riley Osborne. Talking of veterans, I think I saw Chris Layton still on drums, but for some reason, he was lost in the background visually!
Kenny Wayne is taking a more active part on the vocals side recently, noticeably on the slow blues of ‘How I Go’, before a guitar change for ‘Diamonds & Gold’ from the Lay It Down album. Predominately, though the setlist for this tour is to promote his recent The Traveler album, but having said that, we were treated to a classic take on one of Kenny’s favourites, Elmore James’s ‘Talk To Me’, again great brass work along with guitar to die for. Joe Walsh’s ‘Turn To Stone’ preceded the Mark Selby composition, ‘Blue On Black, from way back, then we were into the standard encores of ‘King Bee’ and ‘Voodoo Child’, a la SRV.
In what seemed no time at all, there he was, gone.
A most enjoyable night as ever, but my impression was that the massive tour he’s on could be taking it out on Kenny Wayne physically, not much audience acknowledgement, but we got what we came for in bucketloads.
Also, a reminder, if needed, check out the Danielle Nicole Band !!