The latest from Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an homage to players and songs that influenced him while he was coming up. For the most part, it’s a splendid collection with some of the blistering guitar work you expect.
“Palace Of The King” is soul heaven. Shepherd’s playing channels Jimi Hendrix complete with blistering sharp-nine chords throughout. His version of the Muddy Water’s classic “I Love The Life I Live” has the perfect laid-back feel that is cut only by a down-and-dirty Shepherd solo.
There are a number of friends who appear on the record, including Robert Randolph, Joe Walsh, and Ringo Starr, among others. The slinky blues of “Breaking Up Someone’s Home” gets a lift from the guitar and voice of guest Warren Haynes.
The main attraction remains Shepherd’s guitar work. His energy and chops help make the droning boogie of “Still A Fool” a highpoint of the record.
While he honors his heroes, one song seems misplaced. Given folks penchant for saying he started his career as a Stevie Ray Vaughan clone, why do a note-for-note cover of “The House Is Rockin’”?
This article originally appeared in VG‘s August ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.
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