Kenny Wayne Shepherd3/2/2022
At the age when kids first learn to ride a bike, Kenny Wayne Shepherd was plucking his guitar strings. By the time he was 16, the blues singer and guitarist had already signed a record deal. And, when he was 19, his single, “Blue on Black” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Music charts.
That single, along with other top 10 hits from KWS’s album, “Trouble Is…” will be performed in its entirety at his upcoming concert tour.
KWS brings his Trouble Is… 25th Anniversary Tour to Hoyt Sherman Place on April 6.
From his home in Shreveport, Louisiana, KWS says his band will play the entire album for the concert.
“Fans know it was a huge record — a monumental achievement. This one pushed it over the top,” he explains. “It topped one million copies, and we’ve had a great run with it.”
The band will start the show with the album, finishing up with current songs from one of the 10 albums he’s recorded.
The single, “Blue on Black” won rock song of the year by Billboard Music Awards. He’s won other blues awards, earning five Grammy nominations. He’s performed with countless musicians. His greatest inspiration was his longtime friend, blues legend B.B. King.
“He was like an adopted father to me. He gave me a lot of great advice — not just in music but in life.”
He’s performed at hundreds of venues and with other musicians throughout his career, with numerous highlights.
“When you have a career for 30 years and played with greats such as Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Van Halen, it’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite experience,” he says. “The things I most fondly remember aren’t being up on stage. It’s the personal relationships born behind the scenes — that’s what is most important. Eddie Van Halen was a great friend.”
He was elated when he recently played with one of his favorite female singers, Ann Wilson with Heart, on her new solo album.
“The opportunity presented itself. I didn’t set out and put her name on a bucket list. It was fortunate it just fell into place,” he says.
When he first began recording music, one of his goals was to write timeless material. “I didn’t want it to sound trendy. Some pop music — it’s hard to age gracefully,” he explains. “Looking back, I’m happy at the timeless nature of the songs. With this genre, hopefully you get better with age.”
A new album written just before the pandemic was put on hold until the right moment and will be released soon. A documentary is being filmed around the 25th anniversary of his first show in Shreveport.
KWS says his fan base is incredible. “We appreciate the support. Without fans, nothing is possible. It’s moving and remarkable to see that support of people who listen to the music over and over.” ♦