Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Origin: Shreveport, Louisiana
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Kenny Wayne Shepherd (born Kenny Wayne Brobst, 1977) and his group exploded on the scene in the mid-’90s and garnered huge amounts of radio airplay on commercial radio, which historically has not been a solid home for blues and blues-rock music, with the exception of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the mid-’80s.
Shepherd is a Louisiana-born guitarist, singer, songwriter and began playing at age seven, figuring out Muddy Waters licks from his father’s record collection (he has never taken a formal lesson). He has released several studio albums and experienced significant commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician.
Shepherd’s father/manager used his own contacts and pizzazz in the record business to help land his son a major-label record deal with Irving Azoff’s Giant Records. It paid off big time when his first album, Ledbetter Heights was released two years later in 1995 and was an immediate hit, selling over 500,000 copies by early 1996.
Trouble Is… released in 1997, earned a Grammy nomination and Live On followed a year later. In 2004 The Place You’re In was released on Reprise Records, and was the first album to feature Shepherd doing the majority of the lead vocals (singer Noah Hunt handled the lead vocals on the previous two albums). Shepherd’s next project saw him traveling in the American South with a documentary film crew and a portable recording studio as he backed up several veteran blues players on their home turf. The resulting album and film, 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads, appeared in 2007 before Live! In Chicago followed in 2010.
In 2013, Shepherd, along with Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills & Nash) and Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag), formed The Rides. The band has released two albums by this date.
Kenny has been kept busy touring and making many live performance appearances. This year he’s ready to drop a new disc, Lay It On Down, featured in the video below. The album release coincides with a major European Tour in July and a U.S. tour beginning in August.
Hear the track “Nothing But The Night” from it as an advance feature on your station for the best of 50 years of rock, blues and more, K-ZAP 93.3 FM and streaming online. Get our free app! K-ZAP.org/apps/
Shepherd married actor Mel Gibson’s daughter, Hannah, in 2006. The couple has five children, three daughters and two sons.
Artist Web Site
Ledbetter Heights (1995)
Trouble Is… (1997)
Live On (1999)
The Place You’re In (2004)
10 Days Out: Blues from the Backwoods (2007)
How I Go (2011)
Goin’ Home (2014)
Lay It On Down (2017)