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DVD Review: Kenny Wayne Shepherd – 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads

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The beauty of the landscape, along with the harsh heat and humidity make it easy to see why the South was the natural birthplace of the Blues. The difficult life encompassed by the wonder of nature was a stepping-stone for the ability of blues musicians to sing about their lives without creating negative music. That is what Kenny Wayne Shepherd's CD/DVD 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads is about. It documents the birthplace of the Blues with none other than the men and women who started it.

On the documentary, Kenny Wayne Shepherd says, "Blues has been around this long, I don't think it's going anywhere." But the artists who started the Blues are ageing and Kenny Wayne Shepherd wanted to capture their influence and play with them before it was too late. So he set out with a portable recording studio and a film crew on a ten-day journey through the South culminating in a concert with the Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters' bands at the Church at Blue Heaven Studios.

Along his journey he recorded in juke-joints and kitchens, in the woods and on front porches; he recorded the Blues where it was meant to be played and where it was born. He caught up with artists who are household names like B.B. King but he also met up with musicians who were satisfied just getting by and therefore never became famous, but everyone he played with helped shape the Blues and give it heart. Each track on 10 Days Out was recorded as you see it on the DVD. There are no fancy tricks or editing but real artists recording the Blues as it has always been played, and for some that was before music was written down.

Kenny Wayne ShepherdMatching the rawness of the music is the intimacy of the documentary. We're given a glimpse inside their homes and into their pasts. The beautiful shots are balanced with fuzzier ones showing the realness to the grit. Everything about 10 Days Out is real and that is what makes it so important.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd declares he is "just another soul searching for the answers." Hopefully he found them on his fifth album, taking it back to the roots with some impressive guests like B.B. King, Henry Townsend, Etta Baker, Big Daddy Pattman, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Buddy Flett, Bryan Lee, and more. Honoring the Blues, Kenny Wayne Shepherd captured some amazing tracks without crowding the talents of the original bluesmen. 10 Days Out is a piece of history, documenting the Blues in an unrepeatable way as six of the Blues veterans he visited passed away before the album's release.

Check out the trailer for the documentary and hear Kenny Wayne Shepherd play with B.B. King on "The Thrill Is Gone" and you, too, will understand why you need to buy 10 Days Out. Partial proceeds are being donated to Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization helping impoverished blues artists. More information about the artists involved and the project itself can be found at the Official Website.

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  • Vern Halen

    I watched the trailer – looks like a good DVD.

    How old is Pinetop Perkins now anyways?

  • http://carapescado.blogspot.com/ Cara de Pescado

    Pinetop Perkins is 93 now. Most of the artists involved in the project were 70+ with a handful being in their 90s.

  • Jane Hall

    there’s a special Barnes and Noble only edition that has 2 bonus cd tracks

  • http://www.butterflyfiction.com/journal/ Connie Phillips

    Congrats! This article has been forwarded to the Advance.net websites.

  • TROSE

    I can not disagree more with the RS Review. I feel that a different reviewer should give this CD/DVD combo a second look. This is for the Blues enthusiast and not the show-boating KWS we have seen in the past. Kenny lets the Blues greats enjoy “their moment”. As it should be. The RS reviewer could not possibly have and heart felt appreciation for the history of the blues or have watched the DVD. Remember when SRV was told BB King was opening for “him”. He told his management this is to NEVER happen again! KWS wanted to make this CD/DVD to capture some of the blues greats that were getting on in age to preserve some of there talent and stories for all time. In fact three of the people that were featured on these recordings past away even before it’s release. This is probably one of the top 5 CD’s I have ever purchased and I own thousands. Granted it is probably not for people looking for a new pop album or a top charting hit. The live lessons learned on the DVD alone are worth the price for admission. As Cootie Stark sings “I searched and I searched and I searched and I searched but I ain’t never found no U-Haul behind no Hearse” RS just got this one wrong. This is a must buy for any Blues enthusiast period.

  • http://carapescado.blogspot.com/ Cara de Pescado

    Trose-

    Perhaps you didn’t read the article very thoroughly if you felt it was somehow not about KWS wanting to go back to the basics and capture the influence of the great Bluesmen of the past. And in fact that six of those featured on the documentary have since passed away.

    I actually only watched the DVD for this review and hadn’t yet heard the CD portion.

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    Trose, why are you complaining here about the Rolling Stone review? rather a waste of time.

  • shane blevins

    Im tring to find the dvd i have the cd but i want to see this bad, i met pine top and anson funderberg while playing a show with them i kept feeding him shots of his favorite drink and then i guided him on stage by my arm hence he is mostly blind, when he sat down, well he stood up first singing and playn harp he tore the roof off,then his piano skills were amazing, not for his age, im talking legdendary, i had the fortune to sat with him and his fedora and talk about his past and stuff, but he was tired from the trip but, that is somethin il always remember, aw yea, i played ansons 59 strat with them on a jam at the end of the night, i was in heaven, that guitar was so sweet and neck was fat like the srv series, any way we played san-ho-zay and we had a blast…