Blues Music

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Shares ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’

Photo: Kenny Wayne Shepherd by Mark Seliger, Ballad Of A Thin Man

Kenny Wayne Shepherd revisits Bob Dylan’s “Ballad Of A Thin Man” for Trouble Is…25 out December 2, 2022 via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.

The five-time-Grammy-nominated guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd will release ‘Trouble Is…25,’ a top-to-bottom reinterpretation of his seminal album ‘Trouble Is…,’ which struck the match that reignited modern blues upon its release 25 years ago. And while the tracklist is almost the same, there is one outlier that fans will notice – a stirring reinterpretation of “Ballad Of A Thin Man,” which was cut from the original release in 1997.

Shepherd recalls: “I wanted to do Bob Dylan’s ‘Everything Is Broken’ because I had just been on tour with him and he was so good to me and such an inspiration. Our producer, Jerry Harrison, had suggested another Dylan song, ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man.’ But I was concerned that might be too much of a step outside the box for the fanbase, and ‘Everything Is Broken’ was closer to an actual blues song. Jerry was fighting hard for ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’ so we butted heads, had a miniature battle over those songs. Ultimately, I prevailed and although we recorded ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man,’ it was ‘Everything Is Broken’ that went on the record. But what’s really cool is that for this new recording of ‘Trouble Is…,’ we went in and very faithfully re-recreated that version of ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’ from 1997, and included it on this boxset.”

Listen to “Ballad Of A Thin Man”

Pre-order ‘Trouble Is..25’ Here

Slated for release on December 2nd via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group, ‘Trouble Is…25’ will be accompanied by a live DVD filmed at The Strand Theatre in Shepherd’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, shot at the launch of his year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of ‘Trouble Is…,’ which found the band performing the album start to finish across the US.

Great songs are not set in stone. Since he burst from the blues clubs of Louisiana onto the global music scene with 1995’s breakthrough first album ‘Ledbetter Heights, followed by his career defining second album ‘Trouble Is…’ in 1997,  Shepherd has twisted those classic cuts into bold new shapes each night on the stage. Led by the pulse of the crowd, every last note alive in his hands, the ‘Trouble Is…’ tracks have always been on the move, never settling into museum pieces. But to give a quarter-century-old album a second birth is another matter. And in more recent times, the multi-platinum-selling artist looked up the road and saw the 25th anniversary of ‘Trouble Is…’ on the horizon, he hatched an audacious plan.

“One of the coolest things about re-recording ‘Trouble Is…’ has been finding out – or verifying – how timeless this album really is,” says Shepherd, who is also leading a triumphant anniversary tour across the United States in 2022 and 2023, performing the album in full. “I’m so proud of what we accomplished, and also the fact I was just 18 years old when I did it. I mean, I had an experience with this album that most musicians can only dream about. ‘Trouble Is…’ sold millions of copies. There’s validation in all of that for me.”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Trouble Is..25, album cover

Ballad of A Thin Man

Having pricked up ears with 1995’s sparky debut ‘Ledbetter Heights,’ ‘Trouble Is…’ hurled Shepherd headlong into contention. These were songs and performances that shouldn’t have been feasible from a teenager barely out of the classroom, yet the bandleader was already standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a veteran studio band that included the iconic Double Trouble lineup (drummer Chris Layton, bassist Tommy Shannon and keys man Reese Wynans).

Shepherd will continue to tour in support of ‘The Trouble Is…25’ this winter. For tour dates and info visit Here

Pre-order the album Here 

‘Trouble Is…25’ – Track List
1. Slow Ride
2. True Lies
3. Blue on Black
4. Everything Is Broken
5. I Don’t Live Today
6. (Long) Gone
7. Somehow, Somewhere, Someway
8. I Found Love (When I Found You)
9. King’s Highway
10. Nothing to Do with Love
11. Chase the Rainbow
12. Trouble Is…
13. Ballad Of a Thin Man

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