After multiple delays over the past two years due to COVID, Kenny Wayne Shepherd was finally able to perform his 25 anniversary tour. Because of the delay he named the tour after his 1997 release Trouble Is rather than his 1995 debut album Ledbetter Heights.
There was no opening act and it was a night totally dominated by Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The set began a few minutes after 8:00 PM with ‘Trouble Is’, the title song from Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s second album, and was followed by ‘Somehow, Somewhere, Someway’, also from the same album. In fact, nine of the 17 songs performed at the show were from the Trouble Is album, but then that was the title of the tour.
Bob Dylan’s ‘Everything Is Broken’ was a crowd pleaser after which Kenny talked to the audience and told them how much he appreciated their support.
Kenny explained that he grew up in the era of the power ballad and he said that ‘I Found Love When I Found You’ was his contribution. Over the years many people have contacted him to say how important the song was to them. Some even used it for their weddings. Noah sang lead and played an acoustic guitar while Kenny hit a short instrumental while Chris Layton kept a slow rhythmic beat.
Noah Hunt sang lead on ‘Kings Highway’ as he caressed the mic stand and took centre stage with Kenny joining him jamming on his guitar to the metronomic beat of Chris Layton’s drums. Hunt stayed centre stage as they segued into ‘True Lies’ whose lyrics he spat out while Shepherd accompanied him with the rest of the band. Once again the guitar came up front and centre as its Shaman conjured up sounds bordering on spiritual emanations and by the end of the song with Hunt performing military manoeuvres with the mic stand.
They then dove into Shepherd’s #1 hit ‘Blue on Black’ from Trouble Is. Noah sang lead as Kenny began playing an acoustic guitar on a stand while wearing his electric axe. After a minute Kenny began playing his electric guitar with electronic distortion as Kevin McCormick’s bass emanated a throbbing beat. Shepherd burst into an extended solo as the audience went nuts. Kenny then took a step forward and mesmerised the crowd even more with his guitar pyrotechnics for a few minutes until Noah came in with the next verse. After he finished the verse he walked off stage as Kenny came front and centre and wasn’t shy to stay at centre stage, coming right up to the edge and playing with soulful intent. His eyes sometimes closed; gaze drifted down, entirely caught up in the spirit of his work. It was the spirit that first kindled his fame, and the drive that has carried him through more than a quarter of a century, that made him so captivating, brandishing his axe while he played posing in a half dozen classic stances. After five minutes of solo jamming on guitar, Layton and McCormick joined in on drums and bass to help bring the song to its conclusion.
The encore was just as special with songs such as ‘Woman Like You’, ‘I Want You’ then the fantastic ‘Diamonds and Gold’ had both Noah and Kenny singing lead individually and in harmony with Kenny doing a couple of short solos before he went into a full long one. They sang the refrain ‘Diamonds and Gold’ repeatedly as Kevin McCormick took over with a solo on his bass guitar. Layton played in tandem with his metronomic backbeat as the band performed an extended jam that segued into Joe Krown taking over on the organ, then Kenny began an extended solo that brought the house down for the second time this evening. ‘Heat Of The Sun’ burned up the stage as Kenny’s emotion once more flowed through his body and through the amps.
Nobody wanted to leave as everyone was spent after two hours of blues, rock, funk, Americana and everything in between as this gig was outstanding with massive amounts of drive and energy from all those on stage, this kind of ability can’t be taught, it comes gifted and KWS has that gift in spades.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s ‘Trouble Is…’ album anniversary world tour is a celebration of the album’s 25th anniversary. The UK leg of the tour will feature six shows in different cities, kicking off at Parr Hall in Warrington on April 18th and wrapping up at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London on April 23rd.
Fans can expect to hear the entire ‘Trouble Is…’ album played live in its entirety, as well as some of Shepherd’s other popular hits. The band is known for its high-energy performances and electrifying stage presence, so fans are in for a treat.
Tour Dates and Locations
The following are the dates and locations for Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s UK tour:
April 18th – Parr Hall, Warrington
April 19th – Queens Hall, Edinburgh
April 20th – Tyne Theatre, Newcastle
April 21st – Picturedrome, Holmfirth
April 22nd – De La War Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
April 23rd – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
Tickets are available HERE