BLUES ROCKERS…Jonny Lang: Signs, Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band: Lay It On Down

There used to be a surfeit of younger guys that could rock the blues. Besides Joe Bonamassa, the only two men left standing at the shootout are Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Here are the latest from the gunslingers who both made their names in their teen years and are still the fastest guns in the West.

Jonny Lang initially hit the scene as the second coming of Buddy Guy, but has since grown to become an impressive singer and songwriter in the R&B/gospel side of the blues. This album is his first one of new material in 4 years, and it consists of a collection of tight songs with concise solos and riveting vocals. He’s still swampy as he howls on voice and guitar on “Make It Move” while delivering a harrowing tale on the two stepping “Snakes.” Chicago blues sear on the title track, with some thumping drumming teaming with urgent guitar triplets on “Bitter End.” Some stark delta pickings are on “Singing Songs,
and he gets folksy on “Wisdom,” yet all throughout, his songs deliver messages of his own life and the lessons that he hopes to  pass on. Continued growth with different hues of the blues.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band of Noah Hunt/voc, Chris Layton/dr, Kevin McCormick/b and Jimmy McGorman/key deliver an album that sounds like a late night romp of the blues. The team gets Memphis gritty on pieces like “Diamonds and Gold” while boogie the blues with a B3 on “Nothing But The Night.” A dash of gospel delivers a textured “Hard Lesson Learned” while the humorous side of life is deliverd with the two stepping twang of “She’s $$$.” Moments of C&W make you feel like you’re at the local VFW on “Lay  It On Down” and “Louisiana Ride” with the Strat hitting the fan on “Ride Of Your Life.” Life in the fret lane!

Both of these gents are on tour promoting their albums. Don’t miss the fun!


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