10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads

10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads

4.8 5
by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
     
 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd emerged some years back as a guitar prodigy, but it soon became clear that he treated the blues -- his palette of choice -- as more than just notes. The Louisiana native has always understood the roots of the genre and grasped the importance of tending those roots, which he does on this CD/DVD package -- a field recording of sorts that teams…  See more details below

Overview

Kenny Wayne Shepherd emerged some years back as a guitar prodigy, but it soon became clear that he treated the blues -- his palette of choice -- as more than just notes. The Louisiana native has always understood the roots of the genre and grasped the importance of tending those roots, which he does on this CD/DVD package -- a field recording of sorts that teams Shepherd with a wide array of stylistic forebears. Some of the names are instantly recognizable -- like B. B. King, who duets with Shepherd on a smoking "The Thrill Is Gone" -- but it's the lesser-known artists who offer up the most riveting performances. That's certainly true of John Dee Holeman, the source of the gritty "Chapel Hill Boogie," as well as Henry Townsend, who turns the ache to 11 on "Tears Came Rollin' Down." The historical significance of the project is pointed up by the fact that six of the musicians featured here have subsequently passed away, including Etta Baker (whose "Knoxville Rag" is one of the set's most affirming cuts), Townsend, and Wild Child Butler, all of whom are represented by their last recordings and video footage. 10 Days Out is more than just an "important" collection, however. It's a palpably visceral experience, one that perfectly captures the battle between the sacred and profane that rages within the best blues music. A portion of the proceeds from 10 Days Out will benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps southern musicians gain recognition and provides for the artists' day-to-day needs.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
10 Days Out may well be Kenny Wayne Shepherd's most important and intriguing album, even though the guitarist is hardly the featured artist on any of these tracks, working instead more as a sideman and facilitator for the impressive cast of venerable blues players who get a chance to shine here. Make no mistake about it, this recording belongs to such senior citizens as Henry Townsend, Etta Baker, Pinetop Perkins, and Henry Gray, and Shepherd's presence (and the presence of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton) simply helps to focus the attention on these veteran blues players. Shepherd embarked on a ten-day journey into the American South in 2004 with a documentary film crew, a portable recording studio, and Double Trouble as a house band in an effort to catch the blues in its natural habitat of living rooms, kitchens, porches, back yards, and local watering holes, and the performances that resulted are priceless. Here is one-armed harp player Neal Pattman and blind guitarist Cootie Stark turning in a joyous, ramshackle version of "Prison Blues." A little later, Stark delivers further on a delightful song called "U-Haul," complete with a marvelous improvised rap over the tune's run-out coda. Here, too, is the then-96-year-old Henry Townsend turning in a poignant "Tears Came Rollin' Down." Etta Baker, then 93, shows that age hadn't slowed her as a guitarist at all as she delivers an elegant "Knoxville Rag." Shepherd wisely stays in the background on cut after cut, allowing these amazing musical treasures to unfold naturally and without intrusive elements. There are absolutely no hotshot guitar histrionics anywhere on this disc, which speaks to Shepherd's sincere vision for this project. He's after the preservation of blues history with 10 Days Out, and as if to underscore that aim, five of the album's participants (Neal Pattman, Cootie Stark, Gatemouth Brown, Wild Child Butler, and Etta Baker) passed away before the album and concurrent documentary film were finally completed and released in 2007. Shepherd's name may be above the title, but he knows full well whom this album belongs to, and to his immense credit, those are the voices he lets speak the loudest. This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Traditional Blues Album.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/23/2007
Label:
Reprise / Wea
UPC:
0093624929420
catalogNumber:
49294
Rank:
25251

Tracks

  1. Prison Blues
  2. Potato Patch
  3. Honky Tonk
  4. The Thrill Is Gone  - B.B. King
  5. Tina Marie  - Bryan Lee
  6. Born in Louisiana  - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
  7. Chapel Hill Boogie
  8. Tears Came Rollin' Down  - Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  9. Knoxville Rag
  10. Big Daddy Boogie  - Big Daddy Pattman
  11. U-Haul  - Cootie Stark
  12. Red Rooster  -  Howlin' Wolf Band
  13. Sittin' on Top of the World
  14. Spoonful
  15. Grindin' Man

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Album Credits

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10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding in every way! As a blues CD, it's one of the best I've heard in ages! As a bonus, it turned me on to Shreveport's Buddy Flett - check out The Bluebirds - South From Memphis. The DVD is awesome - wonderfully produced - amazing images and sound! Kudos to Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads)! Check out two cuts - one graveside and one sitting in lawnchairs... Just pure blues... As a documentary, it's truly inspirational! I can only hope to have a fraction of the talent and ability of these musicians when I reach the age of 70, 80 and (if lucky) 90+!!! As a memorial, the timing is so incredibly ironic as six of the artists featued passed away in the past year or two. What a fabulous tribute. Jerry Harrison hints at the end of the "tour" that this concept could be repeated... One can only hope that he and Kenny Wayne collaborate on another 10 Days Out. And another... and another... You must own this music and video.