Kenny Wayne Shepherd will release a new CD, How I Go, on August 2. The disc not only serves as a strong reminder of the chops that caused Guitar World magazine to place him right behind B.B. King and Eric Clapton on their list of best blues guitarists, but it's the strongest indication yet of his gifted songwriting talent. The first single from the record, "Never Lookin' Back," is impacting at radio stations across America this week.
Still barely in his 30s, the Louisiana born axeman and songsmith has been selling millions of albums, throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens. He met Stevie Ray Vaughn at 7, toured the U.S. with B.B. King at 16 and toured Europe with The Eagles at 17. As an adult, he continues to create genre-defining blues-infused rock n' roll.
The name "Kenny Wayne Shepherd" is absolutely synonymous with "young blues guitarist" but that phrase isn't the totality of his person. "Blues player is definitely one of the labels I've accumulated, because I'm a huge blues fan and I love to play the blues," Shepherd says. "But if you listen to my music, especially over the course of my career, everything that I do is not blues. It's the foundation of what I do, but my stuff has a lot more of an edge to it. It's a little more contemporary. And there's a certain youthfulness to what I do. I started writing and recording music when I was a teenager and that energy has been consistent throughout my career."
The hard-rocking, blues-based, guitar-driven How I Go sounds young and fresh. Yet it has that distinctive energy and vibe drawn from the deep heritage of the genre. It shows how Kenny Wayne Shepherd is growing as a songwriter, musician and producer. Which isn't to say he's not proud of his past. "I don't have any regrets, other than maybe a couple of outfits that I wore on stage," he laughs.
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band starts their extensive touring in support of How I Go on July 29 in San Diego, ending this first leg in Orlando, FL.
The full tour schedule is below:
29 San Diego, CA Humphreys
30 Las Vegas, NV Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
31 Los Angeles, CA The Greek Theatre
2 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
7 Sturgis, SD Full Throttle Saloon
12 Fort Worth, TX Billy Bobs Texas
13 Bossier City, LA Horseshoe Casino
18 Sedalia, MO Missouri State Fair
19 Arnolds Park, IA Amusement Park
20 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre
21 Rochester Hills, MI Meadowbrook Amphitheatre
25 Foxborough, MA Showcase Live
26 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
27 Ridgefield, CT Playhouse Theatre
28 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Spa & Resort Casino
30 Allentown, PA Crocodile Park
1 Salem, OR LB Bay Amphitheatre
3 Coachella, CA Spotlight 29 Casino - The Spot
6 Annapolis, MD Ramshead
8 New York, NY The Fillmore
9 Morristown, NJ MayoPAC
More dates to be announced soon.