Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Boarding House Park
40 French Street
Lowell, MA Venue Information
Buy Tickets Friday July 19, 2013 7:30 PM
$27 in advance / $35 day of concert
No ticket fees!





Utter the phrase "young blues guitarist" within earshot of anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the modern musical vanguard and the first name they are most likely to respond with will be Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Still barely in his 30s, the Louisiana born axeman and songsmith has been selling millions of albums, throwing singles like "Blue on Black" 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 Vaughan at 7, shared the stage with New Orleans legend Bryan Lee at 13. As an adult, he continues to create genre-defining blues-infused rock n' roll.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd's "How I Go" not only serves as a strong reminder of the chops that caused Guitar World to place him right behind B.B. King and Eric Clapton on their list of blues guitarists, but it's the strongest indication yet of his gifted songwriting talent. The album pairs Kenny's deeply soulful and impassioned takes on classic material like Bessie Smith's "Backwater Blues," Albert King's "Oh, Pretty Woman" and The Beatles "Yer Blues" alongside the strongest writing and co-writing of his career thus far.

Let's not forget that Kenny co-wrote "Blue on Black" very early on. The song was #1 on the Rock Charts for 17 consecutive weeks. All of the accolades heaped upon his playing are well deserved and well earned. But there is so much more to offer.

"At this point, most people who know about me know I can play guitar," Shepherd says. "As far as my approach to guitar on this record, it's not about showing people how much I can play. It's about really choosing the right notes and playing them at the right times so that every note penetrates people, and they feel it inside and it's not just some fleeting thing that just goes right by them."

"I wanted to be conservative, and selective, and tasteful in the solos that I did," he adds. "I wanted to concentrate on the song as a whole: the vocals, the arrangements, so every instrument that is being played contributes to the song and takes it to a better place."

Where Ledbetter Heights (1995) was a little more bluesy; Trouble Is... (1997) offered more blues based rock; Live On (1999) took a turn to more blues based rock; The Place You're In (2004) went straight ahead rock and the 10 Days Out (2007) documentary exemplified the best of straight blues, Kenny says this one "falls right down the middle between blues and rock."

"Never Lookin' Back" is a rocking song that sets the tone for the album, with lyrics about moving on and rolling with life's punches. The song "Cryin' Shame" has that straight Texas shuffle longtime fans love to hear from Kenny and his band. "Show Me The Way Back Home" is a powerful blues ballad for the ages. "We hit a really great balance," he says of the album, which he co-produced.

"Who's Gonna Catch You Now?" is a very personal song. "I've become a father over the past couple of years. It's about a parent accepting what it's like to be a parent and having to accept a certain degree of powerlessness. It's just learning about acceptance. If you're a parent, it will pull on your heart strings for sure."

The hard-rocking, blues-based, guitar-driven album sounds young, it sounds fresh. Yet it has that distinctive energy and vibe drawn from the deep heritage of the genre. 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.

"My approach from day one was that I was not going to record anything that I couldn't completely wrap my mind around and that I wasn't prepared to play for the rest of my career. As a result of that approach and not letting anybody talk me into doing anything that I didn't want to do, and nobody forcing me to record anything I didn't want to, I've got a body of work that I'm proud of. I still enjoy playing all of the songs off my first album. They are as much fun to play today as they were in 1995 when that album came out. I'm not one of those guys who doesn't want to listen to his own music. I don't go around listening to it all the time, but, my thing is, if I'm making music that I don't want to listen to, then why am I making music? I enjoy what I do. I have a lot of stuff that I'm proud of. Every album that we've done I've tried to do different things. I've never wanted to be an artist where people could predict what was next."

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," he 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."

2010's Live in Chicago! captured epic performances from Kenny and an assemblage of living legends in the blues world. Kenny's incredible presence and perpetually giving performances, designed to get every person in the room on their feet and to leave them smiling, are all of the evidence one needs to determine that he'll continue to do this for decades to come - just like his heroes.

"I've got a lot of a career left ahead of me and a lot of records left to make," he says. "I'm hoping to be playing music when I'm in my 80's like B.B. King. I've got a lot more songs left in me to write and record. My fans want to hear new music, they want to hear new albums, and then when they hear a new record they want to come out and hear us play that stuff live."

Kenny Wayne Shepherd is very cognizant of the emotional role music can play in the lives of his listeners. He's in awe of that responsibility and works hard to bring happiness to people with his considerable gifts. With that said, he's bound and determined to be remembered as a guy who just straight-up kicked a lot of butt. "I get up on stage every night to play my heart out and to try to turn people on their ear, man. I want to bring light into people's lives with my music. If I can make people feel good for an hour and a half to two hours and forget about whatever might be stressing them out, then I'm doing my job."

The band features:
NOAH HUNT - Lead Vocals
In 1998, Noah was tapped to be the lead singer for the KWSBand where his signature vocals have been an integral part of the band's success for the past fifteen years.

CHRIS LAYTON - Drums
Former drummer for Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Chris "Whipper" Layton has been a part of the KWS family since he joined Kenny in the studio to record Ledbetter Heights. Chris began touring with the KWSBand in 2006.

TONY FRANKLIN - Bass
The newest addition to the band, Franklin got his big break in 1984 as bassist in stellar supergroup the Firm, with guitar legend Jimmy Page, vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Chris Slade (AC/DC, Manfred Mann's Earth Band). After two hit albums with the Firm, Franklin subsequently performed with Blue Murder (John Sykes, Carmine Appice), David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Whitesnake, Donna Lewis, Pat Travers and many others. An in-demand session bass ace, he has appeared on more than 150 albums.

RILEY OSBOURN - B-3 & Keyboards
Riley is a much sought after studio keyboard player having recorded on over one-hundred albums in his career. Riley has toured with the likes of Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson and has been on the road and in the studio with the KWSBand since 2007.


Find more info at: kennywayneshepherd.net



Bruce Marshall Group opens the show!

The Bruce Marshall Group formed in 1991 and has been performing and recording steadily throughout the US since their inception, delighting crowds and garnering rave reviews at every stop.

Their first CD, 'Love of the Ride', was released in '92 and featured 10 new originals, including the song performed by the Toy Caldwell Band, and the ASCAP songwriter award winning "If Dreams Were Money". Their second CD, 'Sneak Preview Volume 2', was released in '97 and featured 10 new tracks with a five piece unit. 'Kalispell', was released in 2003 includes 14 songs, 11 new Bruce Marshall originals and covers by Tyrone Davis, Toy Caldwell and Chris Rhodes. The CD boasts world-class songs and amazing performances and production. Their newest release is entitled 'Misspent Youth' and came out to rave reviews in 2010. The single "Three Chords and the Truth" features duo partner James Montgomery on harp and is receiving extensive airplay. These 12 classic Bruce Marshall tracks are among his best efforts to date and showcase the band's musicianship, arranging and production. You won't find any filler on this record and the new release pushes the band to new heights.

The Bruce Marshall Group live show treats their fans to a soaring ride as they rip through a catalog of original material that truly sets this band apart. They love to mix it up, whether it's pulling off exciting jams that build with dynamics and layering, or playing the concise arrangements of their songs with discipline and taste. The sound defies categorization, slipping seamlessly around touches of Blues, R&B, Rock and Southern Boogie. The interplay between Bruce and longtime guitarist Dave Cournoyer is the heart and soul of their performances and they always deliver. The songs are mostly upbeat, but even those dealing with love lost and missed opportunities, carry an underlying sense of hope and optimism. The band continues to work tirelessly and must be experienced live to be fully appreciated.

About Bruce:
Lead Vocals, Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Dobro. Bruce writes all the songs for the group and creates melodies that stay with you after the first listen. His infectious energy on stage sets the tone for the live show and keeps his crowds always coming back for more, giving his all for every single performance. Known as a powerful and expressive vocalist who sings with emotion and conviction, whether it's an all out rave up or a sensitive ballad. He favors a melodic style of lead guitar rarely heard today and is featured on slide with his trademark steel body dobro throughout the set, which has become a crowd favorite. Influences include Duane and Greg Allman, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson.

Find more info at: brucemarshall.net





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