“Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s “Blue on Black” is a song based on the notion that if blue and black were mixed together, they would blend into one color, with black being dominant. Due to the generally negative terminology used throughout, many people have interpreted this song as being about a dysfunctional relationship, abuse or even death.
However, Shepherd himself said the song was intended for listeners to derive their own meaning from the lyrics based on their individual perspectives. But as aforementioned, it’s hard not to conclude that “Blue on Black” has an overall pessimistic tone. And the philosophy being put forth, as alluded to earlier, is one stating that if you mix two things together, like “tears” and “a river”, it ultimately doesn’t mean much as the dominant force will overpower the weaker.
“Blue on Black”
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd worked with songwriter Mark Selby and his wife Tia Sillers to pen “Blue on Black”.
- The production of this hit tune was overseen by record producer Jerry Harrison.
- “Blue on Black” appears as the third track on Shepherd’s 1997 album named Trouble is…. Furthermore, this tune is featured on several of Shepherd’s compilation albums. They include, Double Shot of Blues (in 2001), Powered by Fender: The Players (in 2003), and Loaded With Hits (in 2000).
- “Blue on Black” won the Rock Track of the Year at the 1998 Billboard Music Awards.
- The American heavy metal band, Five Finger Death Punch, recorded a cover of this track on their 2018 album titled And Justice for None.
How did “Blue on Black” perform on the charts?
On the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, this song peaked at the 78th position. On the Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, it performed much better by reaching number 1.