Album: The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, How I Go (Roadrunner)

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The Independent Culture

The world is never short of decent blues guitarists, but Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a bit special, combining a deep knowledge of the form with a genuine Southern upbringing in a way which brings to mind Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Like Vaughan, there's a soupçon of Hendrix in his playing – hearing the reversed-beat intro to "Come on Over", it's impossible not to think of "Are You Experienced?" – and a whole stew of Albert King's soul-powered blues, resplendent amidst the horn riffs of "Dark Side of Love" and King's own "Oh, Pretty Woman". But Shepherd brings a pop/rock sensibility to bear too, brightening up The Beatles' stodgy "Yer Blues". And while it's hard being original in an antique genre, Shepherd's oblique choice of chords on "Cold" aptly conveys the chilly tenor of emotions involved.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Never Lookin' Back; Dark Side of Love; Oh, Pretty Woman