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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Premiers a New Documentary at Belcourt Theatre in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Guitar Great - Kenny Wayne Shepherd premiered his new documentary Trouble Is...25 at the historic Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee on November 21, 2022 - with proceeds going to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Tennessee. The screening included a Q&A with Kenny. Plus, his long-time vocalist Noah Hunt joined him and the two wowed those in attendance with a three song set with both men armed with electric guitars.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville.

Before the film, KWS greeted the crowd. He spoke briefly about how that album was monumental for us (his band) and the genre. The documentary tells his story and is punctuated with concert clips from The Strand Theatre located in Shepherd's hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. That show was shot at the launch of KWS' year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of Trouble Is... - which KWS later said has been so successful that they will continue this tour into 2023 including a stop at the Ryman Auditorium here in Music City on January 27!

He further enticed fans with an outline of what to expect at the Mother Church. First, they play Trouble Is... from front to back and the second half of the show features more songs from the more recent KWS catalogue. The guitarist also talked about the re-recording of the album which has performances from original band members. Co-produced once again by Jerry Harrison (Modern Lovers, Talking Heads) some elements of the updated platter are uncannily identical - with Shepherd digging out the exact same '61 Fender Stratocaster model and backline that he used at that time.

Noah Hunt at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville.

Plus, back in the day they had recorded "Ballad Of A Thin Man" but did not include it on Trouble Is... as they did not want to have two Bob Dylan covers on the same record but on the current release Kenny thought that folks might enjoy this "lost track". The complete re-record of Kenny's most successful album is part of the documentary about the making of the original Trouble Is... and a live DVD of the aforementioned concert filmed at The Strand Theatre.

Back at the Belcourt, we were full engaged by the movie that includes a good mix of exclusive interviews and performances with original band members, as well as conversations with producer Jerry Harrison and Kenny's longtime songwriting partners. Kenny's father talked about the start of his son's career along with the ups and downs of working together in branding KWS. Between conversations full songs from The Strand concert were sliced in adding to the narrative and reminding us all what a tour de force the KWS band is.

The post premiere concert and interview was aired live on Roots Radio.

One of our favorite recollections came from Tia Sillers who was part of the trio (Tia, KWS & Mark Selby) who penned "Blue On Black". First there was a black cat sort of sitting right by her head as she was telling the tale of waiting to write with the guys who at that moment were more into their gear - her mind wandered as she was looking at Shepherd's shirt - trying to figure out if it was blue or black - coming to the conclusion that if blue was on black it would not matter because the darker color would prevail - so she started building on that concept and as you know the end result was a winning tension filled track that is still an important part of the KWS canon.

"During the Trouble Is... anniversary tour," says Shepherd, "everybody was commenting on how this album could be released today and still be just as relevant as it was 25 years ago. Making this album in 1997 was just a really monumental achievement. The new recording was a serious trip down memory lane for me. And I'm still so proud of these songs..." The re-release out December 02, 2022 (Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group,) is a must have for fans as it features the original songs with novel nuances accompanied by the concert and the film.

Related Links: For more information on KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Kenny Wayne Shepherd | Belcourt Theatre


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