DVD - Kenny Wayne Shepherd: 10 Days Out
Quite a few blues and R&B lovers lost interest in Shepherd after his admittedly poor excursion into hard rock ("The Place You're In"). This road trip documentary (we're focusing on the DVD rather than the CD) is an altogether different beast, a 'return to roots' endeavour that has sincerity written all over it.
Shepherd spent just under two weeks touring with a small portable studio and a couple of back up musicians, capturing some of the great originators of the blues - sadly, in a number of cases, shortly before they were to leave the blues behind for good. For the Shades site, just seeing Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown live was worth the admission price and it was good to see his reputation for straight talking was justly earned!
The trip also unearthed some slightly less well known but equally interesting characters, including the guitarist Etta Baker, who ironically received quite a bit of UK press following her death at the back end of last year. One of the highlights of the film is watching Etta and Shepherd jam together in her kitchen - kind of an update of the 'back porch' Delta jams we've all read about but few of us have been lucky enough to see.
It's fair to say that Kenny is more than happy to let the old timers take centre stage throughout the film, and it's obvious that they still enjoy playing the music that clearly comes from their souls. Inevitable I guess that since these recordings were put on tape six of its stars have died - all the more reason to share in their spirit and talent, buy the DVD/CD package and watch them at work in the kitchens, living rooms, juke joints, and the backwoods.....we won't have them for much longer.