Kenny Wayne Shepherd @ Holmfirth Picture Dome
Anthony Firmin experiences some Deja Voodoo in Holmfirth
Kenny Wayne Shepherd is increasingly venturing to other parts of the UK again after a period of just playing shows in London. This show, in Holmfirth, Last of the Summer Wine country, is an unlikely venue for blues music but this is a sold-out crowd of people who know their blues guitar.
Support for the show was from British guitar maestro Ben Poole. The highlights of his short support set were Time Might Never Come dedicated to and written for Gary Moore, a beautifully slow blues piece which grew into a fast-paced Moore style solo won over a large portion of the crowd. And from his latest release live at the Royal Albert Hall an upbeat Starting All Over Again.
After a brief break Kenny Wayne Shepherd hit the stage at a blistering pace with a trio of hot blues rock numbers - Never Looking Back, Everything Is Broken and House Is A Rockin’ showing how tight the band are. A cover of the Elmore James classic Talk To Me Baby really got the crowd involved and singing along.
Almost 20 years ago Shepherd’s million selling debut album Ledbetter Heights was released and provided him with a hit single in Deja Voodoo. At this show this was sung by Noah Hunt who is been his singer for over 18 years; Shepherd’s solo was played with far more energy than the original.
Appreciating and understanding his blues history is important for Shepherd and he serves up a blues medley starting with Johnny Guitar Watsons Lookin Back along with a handful of BB King songs, which also gave piano player Riley Osbourn room to shine. The encore covered further ground with the Southern rock of Blue On Black and a stunning cover of Hendrix's Voodoo Chile.
A fantastic performance from one of the best blues rock guitarists around. Hopefully these regular visits to this country will continue and will see him start to get the wider recognition he deserves.
Words & Photos: Anthony Firmin