Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band // Live Review // The O2 Shepherds Bush Empire // London

... Perfoming at Venue

A plethora of chart-topping, Grammy-nominated blues laden hits, 10 studio albums under his wings and the frustratingly brilliant mind of a self-taught mastery of guitar. Kenny Wayne Shepherd has entered the building. On a beautifully chilly April night in London, we head to Shepherds – the puns must start and stop here – Bush O2 Empire for a night of sophisticated blues love. It’s been 5 months since Shepherd released his latest record ‘Trouble Is…25’, leaving a good amount of time to fonder over the tracks with great anticipation for what the live show would bring. With the sterling set-up of Noah Hunt on vocals, Kevin McCormick on bass, Joe Krown on Keys and Chris Layton on drums, all eyes and ears were set for what was to come.


In full faith to his latest album Shepherd opens with the funk-induced title track ‘Trouble Is…’. In all its dignitary the song is done even more justice by the live show with riff roaringly solid plucks and star-gapingly good string twangs. Shoulders drop in relaxation as we dive, with ease, into Shepherd’s world. We then dip into true-form blues territory with ‘Somehow, Somewhere, Someway’. Whilst Hunt provides sterlingly husky-toned, powerhouse vocals, it’s Shepherd who steals the show, sweeping in with his accurate picking with the ease of a born performer.


‘Chase the Rainbow’, ‘Nothing to Do With Love’ and ‘King’s Highway’ from the newly released album are all on the point. Shepherd graces, gifting us with that extra live seduction. Krown takes his hold from the back, providing a key in change hook for each track. Looking around during the instrumental breaks – when Shepherd hits his pedal board before taking his 6-string friend for a walk – I catch the expressions of those around me. Lips pursed, eyes eager, heads bobbing to every note, every hit. This is the blues.


Covering Bob Dylan is no small feat. But ’Everything Is Broken’ is done live as it is on the album: with that Kenny Wayne Shepherd attitude with a little added debonair. Once again Hunt lends his vocals overwhelmingly well, before hustling upon the tambourine to give head to the main man of the night. Lifting us within those juicily well-covered tracks they take on Jimi Hendrix’s ‘I Don’t Live Today’. It’s a shuffle, off-handed beat marvel for those who know the original track but have never experienced this take. An Ode to the night’s proprietor it’s the best damn version I’ve heard of the track and a testament to Shepherd’s live composition. Slapping his pedal board, it’s that minute in spark where he lets loose into the music, stepping forwards once more, reminding us – not that we needed it – of what a great guitarist he truly is. Taking on the classics is no small feat but when done good, you just feel the energy in the room rise.


With the show being tip-on-the-tongue grand so far, Shepherd whips out the ultimate classic. “You know, we released this song 20 years ago and people still come up to me and say how much it means to me, when they’re going through a hard time, it resonates”. ‘Blue on Black’. Hunt whips out the acoustic and it builds in such an emotively endearing way with such musical bravado thrust, it’s damn well hard to ignore. A playthrough of a legendary song.


As the cheers yelp, the nostalgic encore is the only option. ‘Women Like You’, ‘I Want You’, ‘Diamonds & Gold’, ‘Heart of the Sun’ and of course, the BB King cover ‘You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now’. The fact that the undying greatness of albums such as 2011’s ‘How I Go’ (Here of the Sun’ can still resonate so much in that midpoint of an artist’s career with an audience of this size speaks volumes. Finger twining, emotive working, blues inspiring. A great show from an artist that needs no introduction. Kenny Wayne Shepherd is the artist of the blues and always has been.





Iconic blues-rocker and 5 times Grammy-nominated Kenny Wayne Shepherd will be bringing his platinum-selling ‘Trouble Is…’ album anniversary world tour to the UK in April.

The band will be playing the following shows:


18 Apr – Parr Hall, Warrington
19 Apr – Queens Hall, Edinburgh
20 Apr – Tyne Theatre, Newcastle
21 Apr – Picturedrome, Holmfirth
22 Apr – De La War Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
23 Apr – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London


The band will be playing the iconic album in full including his megahits Blue on Black and True Lies.  The songs have already had 70m+ Spotify streams between them and in 2020 Blue on Black was covered by Five Finger Death Punchand Brian May ft Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The video has already had over 122m views, you can watch it HERE

“During the ‘Trouble Is…’ anniversary tour,” says Shepherd, “everybody was commenting on how this album could be released today and still be just as relevant as it was 25 years ago. Making this album in 1997 was just a really monumental achievement. The new recording was a serious trip down memory lane for me. And I’m still so proud of these songs.”

The complete re-record of Kenny’s most successful album will be released on 2 Dec via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.

Watch the lyric video for “True Lies” and pre-order the album HERE.

Tickets Available Here

Order ‘Trouble Is…25’ Here

To celebrate the announcement of the release of ‘Trouble Is…25’, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band have revealed a run of six special UK shows for April 2023 as part of their ‘The Trouble Is… 25th Anniversary World Tour,’ where they will be playing songs from their iconic album, ‘Trouble Is…’ They will play Parr Hall in Warrington, Queens Hall in EdinburghTyne Theatre in Newcastle, the De La War Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea and Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. Tickets are available from here.

 ‘Trouble Is…25,’ a top-to-bottom reinterpretation of his seminal album ‘Trouble Is…,’ which struck the match that reignited modern blues upon its release 25 years ago. Slated for release on 2 Dec via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group, the album (which includes a bonus track of an unreleased version of Ballad of a Thin Man) will be accompanied by a live DVD filmed at The Strand Theatre in Shepherd’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, shot at the launch of his year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of ‘Trouble Is…,’ which found the band performing the album, in its entirety, across the US. Shepherd has released a lyric video for “True Lies,” which he describes as “the classic infidelity song.” Watch the video here.

“One of the coolest things about re-recording ‘Trouble Is…’ has been finding out – or verifying – how timeless this album really is,” says Shepherd, who is also leading a triumphant anniversary tour performing the album in full. “I’m so proud of what we accomplished, and also the fact I was just 18 years old when I did it. I mean, I had an experience with this album that most musicians can only dream about. ‘Trouble Is…’ sold millions of copies. There’s validation in all of that for me.”

Having pricked up ears with 1995’s sparky debut ‘Ledbetter Heights,’ ‘Trouble Is…’ hurled Shepherd headlong into contention. These were songs and performances that shouldn’t have been feasible for a teenager barely out of the classroom. Yet, the bandleader was already standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a veteran studio band that included the iconic Double Trouble lineup (drummer Chris Layton, bassist Tommy Shannon and keys man Reese Wynans).

And while he had yet to find his own singing voice (then, as now, Noah Hunt handles powerhouse lead vocals on ‘Trouble Is…), Shepherd’s precocious guitar work was in a different class to the fading grunge scene. One moment white-hot on originals like Slow Ride or the title instrumental, the next rivalling Jimi Hendrix himself on a wiry cover of “I Don’t Live Today.”

“I didn’t want ‘Trouble Is…25’  to be a surgical process. I don’t like to overthink things. I just wanted to go in and capture the vibe. There were a couple of ways we could have approached this new recording. We could have done a one-hundred-per-cent faithful reproduction. But we chose a complete reinterpretation,” he adds.

“During the ‘Trouble Is…’ anniversary tour,” says Shepherd, “everybody was commenting on how this album could be released today and still be just as relevant as it was 25 years ago. Making this album in 1997 was just a really monumental achievement. The new recording was a serious trip down memory lane for me. And I’m still so proud of these songs.”