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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - 'Lay It On Down' Album Review


1. Baby Got Gone

2. Diamonds & Gold

3. Nothing But The Night

4. Lay It On down

5. She's $$$

6. Hard Lesson Learned

7. Down For Love

8. How Low Can You Go

9. Louisiana Rain

10. Ride Of Your Life

11. Lay It On down ( Acoustic )

Recently released, the eighth album from Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a most enjoyable and varied affair, from some trademark rocking guitar to country and Funk flavours, that confirms the constant maturity of this fine player who first came on to the scene with 1995's million-selling “Ledbetter Heights”.

“Lay It On Down” was recorded in January this year at Echophone Studios in Shreeveport, Louisiana, with the emphasis for Shepherd to concentrate on the songs – wanting them to stand out on their own merit – and he and the band have certainly achieved that aim!

The opening track “Baby Got Gone” is firmly in the up tempo rocking territory, with incisive guitar solo and heavy riffing; the following “Diamonds & Gold” is a funky horn-laden ride that totally shifts the musical direction – but still with some really nice wah-wah guitar. Third track in, “Nothing But The Night” has that Classic Rock radio feel – big hooks and choruses that pull the listener in!

The title cut, “Lay It On Down” has a lilting Americana feel with its lovely harmonies and acoustic guitar – and it is also reprised to end the album – and it is a far cry from what a lot of the hardcore Shepherd fans will be used to! “She's $$$” takes the pace up again and it is a mid-paced rocker with plenty of tasty guitar fills.

Elsewhere, the gorgeous country-tinged “Hard Lesson Learned” pulls on the heartstrings, and contains some beautiful pedal steel guitar; “Down For Love” is a classic Texas shuffle that recalls some of the earlier recordings; best of all is possibly the nod to his home state in the sweet “Louisiana Rain” - a song that Shepherd says is very personal and that wherever he goes in the world, that Louisiana will always be his home.

The album ends in fine style with the hard rocking “Ride Of Your Life”, before the afore-mentioned reprise of the title cut. A most enjoyable release from someone who seems – despite still being in his 40s – to have been around forever!

Review - Grahame Rhodes

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