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Kenny Wayne Shepherd's audacious reboot to heavy-metal blues

Shepherd updates his classic album 'Trouble Is' with a harder sound 25 years later.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

What an audacious move by Louisiana blues-rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd to re-record — in a top-to-bottom reinterpretation — his seminal Trouble Is album of 1997. 

He had to have looked back at where he was at 25 years ago — a mere 18 years old — in a studio with the iconic Stevie Ray Vaughan Double Trouble lineup of drummer Chris Layton, bassist Tommy Shannon and keyboardist Reese Wynans, to lay down the album that struck the match reigniting hard rock blues. 

Maybe he thought there were things he could’ve improved upon? Trouble Is…25 (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group) is harder, rockier and way more intense than the original. (The two-disc package includes a DVD doc and a concert.) A new Dylan cover (“Ballad Of A Thin Man”) and a Hendrix jam (“I Don’t Live Today”) sound great. Noah Hunt, then and now, is on vocals. KWS retrieved everybody on the original album but bassist Shannon who has retired (replaced by Kevin McCormick). 

Heavy Metal Blues, anyone?


Review by Mike Greenblatt