Kenny Wayne Shepherd - Lay It On Down

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The latest release from the KWS Band features the familiar cast of Noah Hunt on vocals and Chris Layton on drums, with the addition of Kevin McCormick on bass and Jimmy McGorman on keys, and straight off the bat, Lay It On Down is very much a typical KWS album. It offers scintillating guitar playing and a fairly wide variety of material, but no songs that are particularly noteworthy or spectacular. Ride of Your Life and Baby Not Gone are straight shooting rockers, the title track is a country tinged ballad, and Down For Love offers some excellent, fiery blues playing from the guitarist, but despite this, while there aren't any particularly bad tracks here, the album is also guilty of not really having anything outstanding on it either. A second glance is only going to reveal that there's nothing out of the ordinary which demands a place in the live set, nor are there any tracks which wedge themselves inside the head and play on a continual loop. Sure, the album offers a great energy, good production and some superb musicianship, but it's let down by what it offers in terms of songs. It's the kind of album that is varied and well produced enough to sound great for one play through, but falls short on subsequent listens, with not quite enough standouts and over time is unlikely to be an album returned to very often. Die-hard fans of KWS should still pick up Lay It On Down as there's enough here to satisfy them, but it's the not the marker in the sand that many fans hope for with a new album, and more casual listeners would probably just find themselves reaching for one of the better earlier discs for something more memorable.

Written by James Abel
More: 2017, Albums, Blues, Quickplay Reviews,

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