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So, having done the Glitterati, it's time once again to whip up an album that the majority of you will have no idea about - Kenny Wayne Shepherd
The album "Trouble Is " is the second studio album, released in 1997, by a young, up-and-coming blues guitarist at the time, especially following the hype of his debut album "Ledbetter Heights", and this outing showed his potential.
Opening with tracks "Slow Ride" and "True Lies", they both show his incredible capabilities with an electric guitar - solos and riffs that many greats of the genre would have been thoroughly impressed and proud of. Having been so long since I last listened to the album, it stands out more now seeing as I feel I appreciate the genre more. It's complexity and "catchy-ness" are second to none when it comes to guitar music.
Track 3 is "Blue On Black", a track that first drew my attention to KWS. It's slightly different to the previous songs as it's slightly more "relaxed" - the electric guitar isn't attempting to kick out a lick or a solo left, right and centre. Instead it's more contained, shows structural competence and is an all-round cracker of a tracker - one for people to download if they know nothing and want to know more about him.
Then he comes out with a couple of covers, and not just covers by nobodies that he can bring to people's attention for the very first time, but instead "Everything Is Broken" by Bob Dylan and "I Don't Live Today" by Jimi Hendrix - hardly lightweights in musical terms now are they?! The former of these two tracks is pulled off superbly, and perhaps if I just whisper it, is my preferred choice over the original. The latter is still a worthy attempt, and rather uncannily, KWS's vocals are a tad too close to Hendrix's own not to be noticed - not that it's a bad thing!
The consistence of the rest of the album, thankfully, doesn't wane too much. Sure, as you'd expect seeing as this album hasn't made it 'mainstream', there is the odd weak link. Tracks like "Somehow, Somewhere, Someway" and "King's Highway" are top tunes, but for me at least, tracks such as "I Found Love (When I Found You)" don't do it for me. This maybe because of the use of pianos and slow guitaring it just seems a bit too clichéd and generally 'cheesy' for my liking.
But where can you expect to find a copy of the album these days?! The Internet of course! Having had a quick look, it looks like you can get it off Amazon for anywhere around £3.50 for the Warner Bros version, or around £14 for the original Giant Records version - the difference of which I'm not entirely sure!
Nowadays, I honestly don't know what Mr KWS and his band are up to...the last I heard was that they are still trawling across the US of A performing...it's a shame he's not really burst onto the scene however, as listening to this album, it's clear how much potential he has...whether it'll ever get fulfilled is a different matter though.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Slow Ride
2 True Lies
3 Blue On Black
4 Everything Is Broken
5 I Don't Live Today
6 Long Gone
7 Somehow Somewhere Someway
8 I Found Love (When I Found You)
9 King's Highway
10 Nothing To Do With Love
11 Chase The Rainbow
12 Trouble Is