Ledbetter Heights

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Ledbetter Heights
Studio album by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Released September 19, 1995
Recorded 1994–1995
Genre Blues, roots rock
Length 60:55
Label Giant Records
Producer Kenny Wayne Shepherd,
David Z
Kenny Wayne Shepherd chronology
Ledbetter Heights
Trouble Is...
(1997)Trouble Is...1997
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Ledbetter Heights is the debut album by American blues solo artist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. He was a mere 18 years old during its release on September 19, 1995. The album's name refers to a neighborhood in Shepherd's home town of Shreveport, Louisiana. It also featured lead singer Corey Sterling on vocals.

Ledbetter Heights was an immediate hit, selling over 500,000 copies by early 1996. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1996 and certified Platinum by 2004. Most blues records never achieve such a level of commercial success, much less ones released by artists who are still in their teens.[2] Ledbetter Heights also spent 20 weeks topping Billboard's blues chart. In their list of blues artists, Guitar World voted Shepherd #3 after B.B.King and Eric Clapton.[3]

Album title[edit]

The Ledbetter Heights neighborhood, formerly known as "St. Paul's Bottoms" and traditionally referred to as "The Bottoms", is one of the earliest parts of Shreveport to be settled outside the original downtown district, dating back to the 19th century. For almost all of its history, it has been predominantly African-American. In the early 20th century, there was a red-light district with legal prostitution within this neighborhood, and musician Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter, after whom the neighborhood is now named, lived and performed there. The renaming of the neighborhood to Ledbetter Heights in the 1990s was part of an effort to rehabilitate the area's image, as it had become known as an economically depressed and crime-ridden area.

Shepherd named his debut album after this neighborhood as an homage to the blues tradition of his home town.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Born with a Broken Heart" (Shepherd/Tate) – 5:56
  2. "Déjà Voodoo" (Selby/Shepherd/Sillers) – 6:09
  3. "Aberdeen" (Bukka White) – 4:15
  4. "Shame, Shame, Shame" (Nadeau/Shepherd) – 6:05
  5. "One Foot on the Path" (Selby/Shepherd) – 3:49
  6. "Everybody Gets the Blues" (Angel Michael) – 5:58
  7. "While We Cry" (live) (Shepherd) – 6:17
  8. "I'm Leaving You (Commit a Crime)" (Howlin' Wolf) – 4:16
  9. "(Let Me Up) I've Had Enough" (Nadeau/Selby/Shepherd) – 2:43
  10. "Riverside" (Kevin Bowe) – 3:46
  11. "What's Goin' Down" (Nadeau/Shepherd) – 5:30
  12. "Ledbetter Heights " (Shepherd) – 6:11


Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1995 Heatseekers 1
1995 Top Blues Albums 2
1996 The Billboard 200 108

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1995 "Déjà Voodoo" Mainstream Rock Tracks 9
1996 "Aberdeen" Mainstream Rock Tracks 23
1996 "Born with a Broken Heart" Mainstream Rock Tracks 15


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Allmusic - biography page
  3. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 166. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.