Dirt On My Diamonds Vol 1
Renowned for ushering American roots into the contemporary era, the five-time-Grammy-nominated guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has announced his latest studio album, 'Dirt On My Diamonds Volume 1', set for release on November 17th. Birthed from the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, this project chronicles Shepherd's journey of musical evolution, touching on stories of loss, redemption, and memorable melodies, all crafted by Kenny and an elite team of songwriters.
Throughout, as the album title suggests, the grit and emotional honesty of these new songs is prized above guitar pyrotechnics (even for one of the modern scene’s most valuable players). Of the 'Dirt On My Diamonds’ guiding philosophy, “Life has imperfections, and I actually prefer it that way. The imperfections are what make it interesting.”
It all started with the aforementioned session at FAME, where Shepherd and his favorite co-writers threw out the rulebook. “Nothing was off-limits,” says the bandleader of penning the songs whose vocal parts would be split down the line between himself and co-vocalist Noah Hunt. “We just wrote non-stop for three days, throwing out songs and letting the good stuff rise to the top. Sometimes with these writing sessions, especially in towns like Nashville, people will set up an appointment, like, ‘OK, we’ll get together from one til three’. But this time, we weren’t under the gun, it was just a bunch of guys having fun writing music. And of course, you feel the history down there in Muscle Shoals. You feel it in the air at a studio like FAME.”
With material this strong, no polish was needed. As on any KWS album, songs are the currency, and the seven originals from 'Dirt On My Diamonds Volume 1' demand to be heard, lifting listeners above their circumstances at a time when life often feels bleak and bone-raw. “I didn’t want this record to be dark or dreary,” considers Shepherd. “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.”