TEN DAYS OUT: BLUES FROM THE BACKROADS...... From the first compelling minutes of TEN DAYS OUT: Blues From The Backroads, it’s immediately evident that bluesman Kenny Wayne Shepherd is up to something different. Shepherd embarked on a ten-day trek into the heart of America. Traveling highways and byways with a roving documentary film crew, a portable recording studio, portable house band—the esteemed Double Trouble, and producer Jerry Harrison, Shepherd visited blues veterans in their homes, backyards and local clubs, creating as intimate and intense a blues film as has been seen in many a year. The resulting film allows music lovers to join in the exploration and witness the artistic creation of both the film and the accompanying live CD.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who ably walks the line between bandleader and accompanist, is joined by a stellar lineup of collaborators. His guests include some of the most renowned blues artists like B. B. King, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Hubert Sumlin and more. Partial proceeds of this project are being donated to Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to helping impoverished blues artists.
“We could have stopped in every city in the US,” says Shepherd, the platinum-selling guitarist and vocalist, “and we’d find somebody, whether an old cat who is an original product of this music or else a kid my age or younger—but we’d have found someone who is a fan of the blues and trying to do it justice. We could lay out a world map, throw a dart, and go there to play blues—and people are gonna love it.”
With a career that began at age 16, Kenny Wayne Shepherd has a storied decade in music’s big-leagues. His first three albums mixed blues and blues-rock; his 1995 debut Ledbetter Heights has sold over a million copies, making it a platinum record. Trouble Is…was released in 1998 selling over a million copies and Grammy-nominated. Live On followed a year later, and also got the Grammy nod. (The latter two were produced by Jerry Harrison, who returned to produce TEN DAYS OUT.) On his most recent record, 2004’s The Place You’re In, Shepherd took most of the album’s lead vocals for the first time. “I cut my teeth as a blues artist,” says Kenny Wayne Shepherd. “My first three records mixed my styles, and the last one, The Place You’re In, was a pretty heavy dose of rock and roll. So this became a perfect time to present a solid dose of the blues.”
With TEN DAYS OUT, Kenny Wayne Shepherd continues his love affair with America’s homegrown music, introducing his fans to a varied lot of his blues predecessors. The goal was to get intimate recordings in intimate places, and maintain authenticity: the album has no overdubs, no high-tech fixing. “Live as it went down,” says Shepherd. “What happened is what you hear. We kept it as real as possible.”