Dirt on My Diamonds Vol. 1 has been a long time in the making. In a 2021 interview, Kenny Wayne Shepherd told Blues Rock Review that when the pandemic hit the band had just wrapped up almost two albums worth of material. When the pandemic came, Kenny pivoted by releasing Straight To You Live and followed that by celebrating the 25th anniversary of Trouble Is.
Dirt on My Diamonds Vol. 1 was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama at FAME Studios. This is the third time that Shepherd has enlisted the services of Marshall Altman to help produce. About the record, Shepherd said, “Every record I make is a moment in time. And this is a really special moment.”
The album kicks off with the big band horn sound of the title track. Kenny handles lead vocals on the song and his singing has never sounded better. The groovy “Sweet and Low” follows which was released as a single. Shepherd wrote the song with Phillip White, who came up with the title after drinking a cup of coffee and seeing Sweet ‘N Low packages. Once again, Kenny takes the reign on lead vocals and belts in the chorus, “Ain’t nothing any sweeter than loving you.” (referring to a woman, not coffee).
“Best of Times” is another single featuring wah-wah drenched guitar. Noah Hunt sings the verses while Kenny jumps in to sing the raucously energetic chorus. The album mellows down on the pop-infused “You Can’t Love Me” complimented by Kenny’s beautiful Stratocaster licks.
Noah assumes lead vocals for “Man on a Mission” as well as a rocking rendition of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.” “Bad Intentions” features a crunchy riff that lives up to the song title with Kenny back on vocals. Dirt on My Diamonds Vol. 1 closes with its longest track, “Easy My Mind,” a slow blues perfectly suited for Noah’s voice with Kenny stretching his wings on guitar.
Dirt on My Diamonds Vol. 1 is punchy, fun blues rock. Shepherd intentionally did not want to make the album dark saying, “There’s not a lot of incredibly heart-wrenching or difficult subject matter…My goal is always to make music that makes people feel good, regardless of what it’s about.” Mission accomplished. Dirt on My Diamonds Vol. 1 is stellar from start to finish and maintains Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s place among the top blues rock acts in the world. Now we just wait for Vol. 2.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Dirt on My Diamonds
– Sweet & Low
– Best of Times
– You Can’t Love Me
The Big Hit
– Best of Times
Buy the album: Amazon