Review Summary: This album is an excellent mixture of Blues and Alternative Rock sound. It features good vocals and amazing guitar. Shepherd is HIGHLY underrated and deserves more fans.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an extremely underrated blues artist. His debut album, Ledbetter Heights (1995) was an immediate hit, selling over 500,000 copies by early 1996. Most blues records never achieve that level of commercial success. Not to mention, Shepherd was at the young age of 17 when it came out. Ledbetter Heights spent 20 weeks topping Billboard's blues chart, and the magazine, “Guitar World”, voted him #3, after B. B. King and Eric Clapton.
Well, he kept his reputation up with the album Trouble Is…. If you take a listen to this album, you may also recognize the track “Blue On Black”. It is the only “mainstream” rock hit on this album. Soon, other tracks began to gain popularity. The songs were “Slow Ride”, “Somehow, Somewhere, Someway” and “King’s Highway”. The album also contains two cover songs.
Now, I’m not normally a fan of cover songs. Frankly, I think that if a person doesn’t have the talent to write their own songs, then they shouldn’t be in the music industry. However, the tracks “Everything Is Broken” (Bob Dylan) and “I Don’t Live Today” (Jimi Hendrix) are great. I am a huge fan of Hendrix, and Shepherd’s “I Don’t Live Today” is one of the better cover songs I have ever heard. It’s up there with Hendrix’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”.
Trouble Is… is one of the better albums I own. I should also say that it has amazing guitar, but you will not see Shepherd on many “Top 20” lists. I have a hobby of looking at that crap from time to time. I have seen him mostly around number 65 or so. Sometimes he’s below people like Kurt Cobain, or Ike Turner. I get both, entertainment and a sense of sadness out of this pathetic disregard of true talent.
Why does blues not get a similar amount of popularity as Rock or Hip-Hop? Do me a favor, readers. The next time you are walking down the street, stop a stranger and talk to him/her. Get on the topic of music and bring up names like Kenny Wayne Shepherd or B.B. King. Open their eyes to the music they may be missing. Trouble Is… is one of the many albums you could suggest to him/her for listening.
Thank you for reading, and I hope this review was at least, a little fun for you to read.
Blue On Black
I Don’t Live Today
Somehow, Somewhere, Someway