Music: Kenny Wayne Shepherd THE TRAVELER / Tomoyasu Hotei GUITARHYTHM VI
Kenny Wayne Shepherd THE TRAVELER
Shepherd was a child blues guitar protégé and now it seems he’s grown up. This record is an odd thing… at once, a great blues record and an attempt to broaden his base. Songs seem SO calculated: from the “sounds like Smashmouth” anthem, some New Country warbling, an outright Pop record plea… it all seems just a little contrived and programmed. Also… there are some VERY weird covers: Joe Walsh’s “Turn to Stone” and Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul.” All of it though, comes off as a distraction from what Shepherd does best: blues. The record is okay and will undoubtedly have its fans, but… I wish the artist would have kept to what he does best. This… ain’t workin’
Tomoyasu Hotei GUITARHYTHM VI
Film fans will know Hotei for writing “Battle without Honor or Humanity” from KILL BILL. Japanese fans will know of the IMMENSE catalog this artist has; he’s one of Japan’s premiere guitarist / producers. The record exhibits a variety of styles: rock, ballads, JPop, metal… and all of it is handled well. Expertly produced; this man can do ANYTHING. All of Hotei’s records are great; it’s mind-boggling that he isn’t better known here in the US.