Lay it on Down, the first album of entirely original work from the KWS band in several years, hit the airwaves earlier this year. I was sold the moment I heard the rocking’ first single, “Baby Got Gone”. The rest of the album is just as amazing, containing a mix of sounds from the country stylings of “Hard Lesson Learned” to the almost jazz feel of “Nothing But the Night” and the more typical bluesy sound of “Down for Love”. Kenny and long time vocalist Noah Hunt split the lead vocal duties pretty evenly on this album. Their vastly different vocals, combined with the varied musical styles of the tunes provides a fantastic, ever-changing journey down a twisty back road. Never boring! I have been listening to KWS since I first heard “Blue On Black” so many years ago, and I’m never disappointed by anything he puts out.
In support of the album, KWS and his band set out on tour, making a stop in Pittsburgh, PA at the Carnegie Library Music Hall. Blues fans gathered to enjoy a wonderfully intimate performance in this old theater. KWS put on a dazzling performance, as he always does, playing many new songs among his hits and covers of blues classics. Every time I see him, I’m mesmerized by his performance. The band is spectacular in their own right, and Noah Hunt has one of the finest voices out there in my opinion. As always, the encore included a scorching rendition of “Voodoo Child” that had the crowd on it’s feet.
The opening act was the Apocalypse Blues Revue, a band co-founded by Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin and guitarist Tony Rombola. They were an unexpected treat and I’m glad I didn’t miss any of their set. Their sound was rather dark and heavy, a nice contrast to the generally more upbeat style of KWS.
KWS setlist: “Baby Got Gone”, “Lay It On Down”, “Ride of Your Life”, “Diamonds and Gold”, “Down For Love”, “Hard Lesson Learned” and “Nothing But The Night” from the new album in addition to “House is Rocking’”, “Never Lookin’ Back”, “Deja Voodoo”, “True Lies”, “Shotgun Blues”, “Blue on Black” and “You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now”.
I was only able to use a cell phone for pictures, but I'm really hoping that next time around I can shoot them professionally.