The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band will be releasing their first ever live concert video this winter. ‘Straight To You: Live‘ will be released on 27th November via Provogue. It will be released on DVD+CD, Blu-Ray+CD, 2LP red transparent vinyl and digitally.
Ahead of this they have revealed the video for ‘Blue on Black‘, talking about the song Kenny says; “Blue on Black is an absolute staple of our show. I’ve been playing that song for more than 20 years, and I still enjoy playing it. As a songwriter it’s the song that I always hoped to write. It’s a timeless song that doesn’t really seem to age. A little over a year ago a new version of it came out with the Five Finger Death Punch guys, Brian May, myself and Brantley Gilbert and it went straight to #1 on the rock charts again. As a songwriter to have a #1 hit twice with the same song is really rare, and certainly something I am very proud of.”
The calls have been coming for a long time explains Shepherd. “People have been asking us to do a live concert video forever, for decades,” he explains. “We’ve been working so much focussing on studio recordings. But I’ve been hearing the call from the fans for many years now,” and, as live music has come to a standstill, the band wanted to give the fans a taste once again of that experience and this blistering set shows them in full force.
‘The Traveler‘ was released in May last year, giving the band their 8th US Billboard Blues #1 album, when they hit the road. The ‘Traveler World Tour‘ was interrupted when the Covid-19 pandemic broke, and the world came to a standstill. This show took place at the famous Leverkusen Jazzstage for the iconic German TV show, Rockpalast on 25th November 2019.
The seven-piece band took the stage and immediately launched into their most-recent hit-single ‘Woman Like You‘, with the honey-soaked powerhouse voice of Noah Hunt blasting “I ain’t looking for a one time girl” backed by the fiery fretwork of Shepherd. It’s the first of four songs taken from the latest studio album, “‘Woman Like You‘ is the perfect opening song for the show,“ Shepherd says. “You come out swinging, it sets the mood for the entire show. It’s like, we’re there to rock, and we mean business.”
The band never let up, and it’s in a live environment that Shepherd, truly let’s rip. The five-time Grammy nominated guitarist has developed a formidable back catalogue that only someone with road-worn life experience can do and this set is besieged with classics. Shepherd prowls the stage on ‘Diamonds and Gold‘, ‘Talk To Me Baby‘ – an Elmore James cover – explodes into honkey-tonk revelry and ‘The Heat of The Sun‘ is a stunning 11-minute epic. “On that the band is really focussed, everybody is listening to one another, everybody’s working collectively on the dynamics of the song, bringing it down, building it back up, trying to transcend what’s actually happening on stage and take the music to the next level.”
Talking about not being able to play live during the Covid19 pandemic he says; “I miss it. Live concert performances are the essence of what we do best. So, not having that in our life is yeah, this has been an eye-opening experience I think for all musicians. It’s been a personal loss for every performer out there who does what we do. A lot of our lives have been spent pouring our heart and soul into that.”
The release of ‘Straight To You: Live‘ comes during a time when there is no live music and the world looks a very different place to 12 months previously, and as the seven-piece Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band bow out on a phenomenal finale of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)‘, they wave goodbye to the cheering Leverkusen crowd and it reignites that love of live music and the hope that is to come.