Entertainment Weekly - 10/15/99, pp.82-3
"...guitar whiz Kenny wants to be Stevie Ray Vaughn, frontman Noah Hunt dreams of cloning Hendrix, and the songs on this album are calculated to conjure those greats. This makes for technically proficient and occasionally dazzling performances..." - Rating: B
CMJ - 11/29/99, p.26
"...Shephard's hardest rocking effort yet..."
Melody Maker - 2/15/00, p.474 stars out of 5
- "...He's barely 20. He does straight-faced stompy 'Ah-got-the-blues!' blues like Reef were never born. Man, 1, Boy, 0, Stars, 4."
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band: Kenny Wayne Shepherd (vocals, guitar); Noah Hunt (vocals); Keith Christopher (bass); Sam Bryant (drums).
Additional personnel: Stephanie Sprail, Pat Hodges (vocals); Bryan Lee (guitar); Warren Haynes (slide guitar); James Cotton, Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Reese Wynans (keyboards); Tommy Shannon, Arion Salazar, Les Claypool (bass); Chris Layton (drums).
Recorded at Arlyn Studios, Austin, Texas; The Plant, Sausalito, California; House Of Blues, Memphis, Tennessee; Encore Studios, Burbank, California.
"Electric Lullaby" was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, the "New Kid on the Strat," carries on the tradition of the blues masters, bringing the genre to a new generation of enthusiasts. His tonal sensibility, raw leads, and hard rock edge at times seem to pick up where the legacy of Stevie Ray Vaughan left off.
"Was" hints at an approach to blues that could be a signpost for the future. The contrast of programmed drums and slide guitar is eye-raising and risky, and yet works seamlessly for the song. Kenny Wayne puts his own Hendrix-laced spin on the Buddy Miles classic, "Changes." Not taking the often-traveled path of filling an album with standards and only a few originals, most of the songs on LIVE ON are originals, co-written by Kenny Wayne. "Shotgun Blues" is an admirable attempt at capturing the spirit of Stevie Ray, with a rousing and gritty harmonica solo. The standout track is the ballad "Last Goodbye." Kenny Wayne sings of a "fist of change tossed in the water just in case." It's not the first musical reference to the proverbial wishing well that we put our hopes in, but it's powerful and emotive. Without question, the blues do live on in Kenny Wayne Shepherd.