KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD /           LAURENCE JONES - The Tramshed, Cardiff 31.10.17

CHARLEY FARLEY (PHOTOS: MORAG FARLEY)

 

This was Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s first visit to Wales and the Tramshed is a great venue to welcome him to this part of the UK. There had been a great buzz on social media about previous gigs and the crowd that was there early was keen to see the show start.

 

Before the main event, we were treated to Laurence Jones and his band, who returned to Tramshed for the second time in a just a few months. Laurence has a natural stage presence and a talent well beyond his years and confidently began his set to an expectant audience. Playing tracks off of his latest album ‘The Truth’ he and his band had the crowd hooked from the very start of this opening song. As he flawlessly delivered ‘Give Me Your Time’ it felt a little more upbeat than his usual style but is nonetheless, a great track. Halting proceedings for a breather, he introduced the band to the Cardiff crowd. Bennet Holland (Keys), Greg Smith (Bass) and Phil Wilson (Drums) all welcomed and showed appreciation for the applause. Although some of the tracks on his new album have a rockier feel to them, ‘Good Morning Blues’ returns to the old school blues and it was performed with great feeling much to the delight of the audience.

 

Throughout the set, Laurence gave us blistering solos until it was time for them to finish off with a brilliant cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic ‘All Along the Watchtower’. Clearly enjoying himself, Laurence egged on Bennet as he took over the solo on the keys.  It was obvious that the four guys enjoyed the performance as much as those who were watching it. We’d be surprised if they have not made many new fans after tonight’s fabulous performance. Laurence is a very talented guitarist and has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to seeing these youngsters back in Wales in the not too distant future.

 

Set List:

 

What Would You Do?

Gone Away

Give Me Your Time

Never Good Enough

Good Morning Blues

All Along the Watchtower

 

 

The Laurence Jones Band Are:

 

Laurence Jones (Guitar/Vocals)

Greg Smith (Bass)

Bennet Holland (Keyboards)

Phil Wilson (Drums)

 

 

Check them out at:

 

Website    https://www.laurencejonesmusic.com/

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/laurencejonesmusic

Twitter    https://twitter.com/laurencemusic

YouTube   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCadwJXMHn4x0WIM83AtH2Qw

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/laurencemusic/

 

The Packed Tramshed didn’t have to wait long for The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band to take their places on stage. The powerful and emotive vocals of Noah Hunt had the crowd enchanted from the opening notes of ‘Never Looking Back’. As they pause to say “hello” to the Cardiff crowd they receive a fantastic Welsh welcome which seems thoroughly and modestly appreciated. ‘Ride of your Life’ follows, and with each track we are treated to Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s sophisticated and intricate guitar solos throughout. ‘True Lies’ and ‘House is Rockin’ demonstrate the varied range of the bands style to the delight of the capacity crowd. Pausing to catch his breath and to switch guitars, Kenny thanks the crowd for coming out to support his tour and his new Album ‘Lay it on Down’, which is a fantastic listen. Tonight’s set list is a mix of old and new music to please everyone.

 

After some upbeat blues, Kenny and the band slow things down a bit with ‘Hard Lesson Learned’ a beautiful ballad which was performed with emotion and really showed off Noah’s impressive vocal talents as he held the audience in the palm of his hand. ‘Heat of the Sun’ from the 2011 album ‘How I Go’ was to follow, and was brilliantly performed with its extended solo, enthralling the crowd and leaving them spellbound.  The huge applause demonstrating how much the audience was enjoying the show.

 

Although most of the music on the set list is Kenny’s, taking time to play ‘Talk to Me Baby’ from another of his projects, The Rides, he plays one of his all time favourite songs by Elmore James. The driving bass and drums in ‘Born with A Broken Heart’ from the 1995 ‘Ledbetter Heights’, coupled with howling guitar solos is just a perfect example of what these guys can do. The next track, ‘Diamonds and Gold’ from their latest album ‘Lay it on Down’ had the crowd singing the chorus back at the band, the swing vibe in this song just gets you swaying.  These guys are a truly phenomenal blues band, every member absolutely brilliant. They create a sound that has something for everyone, not just die-hard blues fans.

 

‘Blackwater Blues’ slows things down once again and taking the music back to its roots, paying tribute to the late great BB King, highlights the quality of these guys. Losing yourself in the steady bass and drum undertone, with both the keys and guitar solos lifting your soul you cannot fail to tap your feet, clap or even dance. Following up with ‘Shotgun Blues’ the entire crowd were clapping, singing and dancing; it looked like they didn’t want the night to end. Kenny said how much they’d enjoyed tonight, as it was their first time in Cardiff, and that they already wanted to come back. He introduced the band one by one - each member receiving the accolade they deserved. When he explained that Sylvester ‘Sam’ Bryant (Drums) was a short notice replacement for the usual Chris Clayton due to a family emergency the rapturous applause from the crowd threatened to take the roof off the Tramshed. The whole band looked humbled and honoured by the reception they received. They finished off their set with the Jimmy Hendrix classic ‘Voodoo Chile’, for the Cardiff crowd it was obvious that it had been a very special night - this Halloween it was all treat and no trick.

 

Having never experienced the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band live before we can honestly say he is up there amongst the top guitar players .  If you like the Blues or, indeed, just live music in general this is one band that you need to experience at least once. We will be seeing these again in the future as we can’t praise them enough.

 

Set List:

 

Never Lookin’ Back

Ride of Your Life

True Lies

House is Rocking

Hard Lesson Learned

Baby Got Gone

Down For Love

Heat of The Sun

Talk To Me Baby

Deja Voodoo

Born With A Broken Heart

Diamond and Gold

Nothing But The Night

Blackwater Blues

Shotgun Blues

Blue on Black

Voodoo Chile

 

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band are:

 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Guitars/Vocals)

Noah Hunt (Vocals/Guitar)

Kevin McCormick (Bass)

Joe Krown (Keyboards)

Sylvester ‘Sam” Bryant (Drums)

 

Check them out at:

 

Website   http://www.kennywayneshepherd.net/

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/kennywayneshepherd

Twitter   https://twitter.com/kwshepherd

YouTube   https://www.youtube.com/user/KennyWShepherd

Instagram   https://instagram.com/kennywayneshepherd

 

 

 

**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF MORAG FARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY / DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**

 

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