Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12: June 12: Blues guitarist, Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 36-years-old.

(Photo courtesy of Kenny Wayne Shepherd) 

Born Kenny Wayne Brobst, on June 12, 1977 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Blues guitarist, Kenny Wayne Shepherd  has released several studio albums and experienced a rare level of commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician.

Growing up, Shepherd's father, Ken Shepherd, was a local radio personality and some-time concert promoter, and had a vast collection of music.Kenny is "completely self taught," and does not read music. He got his first "guitar" at the age of three or four, when his grandmother purchased a series of several plastic guitars for him with S&H Green Stamps. His self-taught method employed a process of learning one note at a time, playing and rewinding cassette tapes, and learning Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Albert Lee licks from his father's vast music collection.

At the age of 13, Shepherd was invited on stage by the New Orleans bluesman Bryan Lee. Demo tapes were made and a two-camera video was shot at Shepherd's first performance at the Red River Revel Arts Festival in Shreveport. It was this video performance that impressed Giant Records chief Irving Azoff enough to sign Shepherd to a multiple album record deal.

From 1995 on, Shepherd took seven singles into the Top 10, and holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard Blues Charts with Trouble Is.... In 1996, Shepherd began a longtime collaboration with vocalist Noah Hunt, who provided the vocals for Shepherd's signature song, "Blue on Black.”

Shepherd has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and has received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards and two Orville H. Gibson Awards. In September 2008, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. released the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Series Stratocaster, designed exclusively by Shepherd.

In 2007, he released a critically acclaimed and two time Grammy nominated DVD–CD project, 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads. This documents Shepherd as he travels the country to jam with and interview the last of the authentic blues musicians. As they tour the backroads, Shepherd, with members of the Double Trouble Band, play with a host of blues greats including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Bryan Lee, Buddy Flett (with whom he jams at Lead Belly's grave), B. B. King, blues harp master Jerry "Boogie" McCain, Cootie Stark, Neal Pattman, John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, Henry Townsend with Honeyboy Edwards, and a concert session with the surviving members of Muddy Waters' and Howlin' Wolf's bands, including luminaries such as Hubert Sumlin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Pinetop Perkins.

In 2010 Shepherd was nominated for a Grammy for Live In Chicago which featured performances with Hubert Sumlin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Buddy Flett and Bryan Lee.

In 2011, Shepherd released his seventh CD entitled How I Go on Roadrunner Records.

Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Barry Goldberg formed a new trio called the Rides and their album Can’t Get Enough is set for an August 2013 release.
For more about Kenny Wayne Shepherd, visit his Website:


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