Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Lay It On Down album review

The best Blues you can get this month

Cover art for Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Lay It On Down album

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Keeping two bands fed with fresh meat is enough to reduce any songwriter to a gibbering wreck, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s run with The Rides presumably explains why there hasn’t been a solo release of original material since 2011’s How I Go. It’s a mini-drought that’s ended in style by Lay It On Down, an eighth album where the Stratocaster rampages of old are tempered by thoughtful songcraft.

Shepherd trawled Nashville for his co-writers, and they’ve pushed him. Baby Got Gone and Down For Love are roadhouse-shaking power blues. Nothing But The Night has a smoky riff that isn’t too far from the Stones’ Miss You. Diamonds & Gold is fantastic too, with a horn section, wah solo and sneered vocal. Respect to The Rides, but Shepherd shouldn’t forget the main event. More soon, please.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.