Tuesday 8pm: Spotlight Artist – Kenny Wayne Sheppard @KWShepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (born Kenny Wayne Brobst; June 12, 1977) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released several studio albums and experienced significant commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician.

Shepherd was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He graduated Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport. The guitarist is “completely self-taught”, and does not read music. Growing up, Shepherd’s father (Ken Shepherd) was a local radio personality and some-time concert promoter, and had a vast collection of music. Shepherd 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, which Shepherd has said he would “go through like candy”.

Shepherd stated in a 2011 interview that he began playing guitar in earnest at age seven, about six months after meeting and being “pretty mesmerized” by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Labor Day weekend in 1984, at one of his father’s promoted concerts. His self-taught method employed a process of learning one note at a time, playing and rewinding cassette tapes, using “a cheap Yamaha wanna-be Stratocaster…made out of plywood, basically”, and learning to play by following along with material from his father’s record collection.

At the age of 13, Shepherd was invited to play guitar onstage by blues musician Bryan Lee. He subsequently made demo tapes, and a 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. – Wikipedia

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