Kenny Wayne Shepherd takes a detour from the blues to follow a scenic rock'n'roll route through "The Place You're In," his first studio album in five years.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd takes a detour from the blues to follow a scenic rock'n'roll route through "The Place You're In," his first studio album in five years. In fact, on the instrumental "Little Bit More," he skids right into metal. First cut "Alive" sets a moodier tone than what the album actually contains: lots of sensual, good-time swagger ("Be Mine," "Ain't Selling Out"). Shepherd isn't afraid to throw a cautionary tale into the fun, like the Southern-fried "Spanked" (featuring Kid Rock, whose love of music from that region makes him a good match). Vocally, the project is Shepherd's first time as lead singer, and he possesses enough growl and groan to pass muster. But longtime frontman Noah Hunt still makes an appearance on "Believe" and "Burdens." The latter contains cool moments that read like Stevie Ray Vaughan meets "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."—CLT