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Kenny Wayne Shepherd

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Biography

Signed to a major-label record deal by impresario Irving Azoff at 13, blues-rock guitarist and songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd exploded on the scene in the mid-'90s. His debut album, Ledbetter Heights, garnered massive radio airplay and media attention on its way to topping the blues charts and being certified platinum. This was a curiosity in that FM rock radio was not a reliable home for blues and blues-rock music, with the exceptions being Stevie Ray Vaughan in the mid-'80s and Eric Clapton and Johnny Winter in the early '70s. Since then, his aggressive, clean, and meaty rocking country-blues style has seen all but one of his albums top the blues charts and seven of his singles enter the Top 10. Three of his albums have been certified platinum and another gold. Shepherd's signature song, 1998's scorching "Blue on Black," topped the rock charts as a single. 2014's Goin' Home not only hit number one at blues, but landed inside the Top 100 on the U.S. album charts. He has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, has received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards, and two Orville H. Gibson Awards. Shepherd was born June 12, 1977, in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Shreveport native began playing at age seven, figuring out Muddy Waters' licks from his father's record collection (he has never taken a formal lesson). At age 13, he was invited on-stage by New Orleans bluesman Bryan Lee and held his own for several hours; thus proving himself, he decided on music as a career. He formed his own band, which featured lead vocalist Corey Sterling, gaining early exposure through club dates and, later, radio conventions. 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. Ledbetter Heights, his first album, was released two years later in 1995 and was an immediate hit, selling over 500,000 copies by early 1996. Most blues records never achieve that level of commercial success, much less ones released by artists who are still in their teens. Although Shepherd -- who has been influenced by (and has sometimes played with) guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Slash, Robert Cray, and Duane Allman -- is definitely a performer who thrives in front of an audience, Ledbetter Heights was impressive for its range of styles: acoustic blues, rockin' blues, Texas blues, Louisiana blues. The only style that he doesn't tackle is Chicago blues, owing to Shepherd's home base being smack dab in the middle of the Texas triangle. Released in 1998, Trouble Is... 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 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. That November, Shepherd joined Jimmy Fallon's house band on TV for an evening, and performed with the same Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix had played at Woodstock. Although Shepherd had stayed busy in the intervening years, 2011's How I Go was his first studio album proper in seven years. In an attempt to revive the success of 1998's Trouble Is..., he once again recruited Noah Hunt on vocals, as well as former Talking Heads keyboard player and guitarist Jerry Harrison, who had produced the sessions for that platinum-selling album. Shepherd followed How I Go with 2014's Goin' Home, a tribute to his musical heroes that featured contributions from artists such as Ringo Starr and Keb' Mo'. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band returned in 2017 with Lay It on Down, a record cut in Shreveport, Louisiana's Echophone Studios and his eighth to top the blues charts. In late 2018, Shepherd entered a Los Angeles studio with his band, vocalist Noah Hunt, drummer Chris Layton (ex-Johnny Winter And, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble), bassist Kevin McCormick and keyboardists Jimmy McGorman and Joe Krown. A pre-released single, "Woman Like You," was issued at the end of March 2019, followed by the full-length The Traveler at the end of May, his debut for Provogue. Shepherd made his debut at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival later in the summer. ~ Steve Huey & Richard Skelly
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Blue on Black
  3.   Somehow, Somewhere, Someway
  4.   Slow Ride
  5.   Everything Is Broken
  6.   Deja Voodoo
  7.   Born With a Broken Heart
  8.   (Let Me Up) I've Had Enough
  9.   Aberdeen
  10.   Trouble Is...
  11.   Oh, Pretty Woman
  12.   Chase the Rainbow
  13.   Shotgun Blues
  14.   Where Was I?
  15.   (Long) Gone
  16.   In 2 Deep
  17.   Still a Fool
  18.   What's Goin' Down
  19.   Everybody Gets the Blues
  20.   Ledbetter Heights
  21.   I'm a King Bee
  22.   I Don't Live Today
  23.   Electric Lullaby
  24.   A Little Bit More
  25.   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  26.   Tina Marie
  27.   Was
  28.   Lay It on Down
  29.   Wild Love
  30.   Long Time Running
  31.   Hard Lesson Learned
  32.   Oh Well
  33.   We All Alright by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  34.   Nothing But the Night
  35.   Midnight Rider
  36.   Spank
  37.   I'm Leaving You (Commit a Crime)
  38.   Better With Time
  39.   Woman Like You
  40.   Louisiana Rain
  41.   Born Under a Bad Sign
  42.   Show Me the Way Back Home by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  43.   Come On Over
  44.   Never Lookin' Back by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  45.   The Thrill Is Gone
  46.   Alive
  47.   Every Time It Rains
  48.   Last Goodbye
  49.   True Lies
  50.   Take It on Home
  51.   Gravity
  52.   Tailwind
  53.   I Want You
  54.   Ride of Your Life
  55.   Diamonds & Gold
  56.   Yer Blues
  57.   The Wire by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  58.   Round and Round by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  59.   Heat of the Sun
  60.   Dark Side of Love by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  61.   Gollar Got the Blues
  62.   Prison Blues
  63.   Chapel Hill Boogie
  64.   Red Rooster
  65.   Burdens
  66.   Get It Together
  67.   The Place You're In
  68.   Be Mine
  69.   Losing Kind
  70.   You Should Know Better
  71.   Them Changes
  72.   I Found Love (When I Found You)
  73.   Honky Tonk
  74.   Tears Came Rollin' Down by Perry Townsend
  75.   Believe
  76.   While We Cry
  77.   Mr. Soul
  78.   How Low Can You Go
  79.   Down for Love
  80.   She's $$$
  81.   Baby Got Gone
  82.   Who's Gonna Catch You Now
  83.   Strut
  84.   Cryin' Shame by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  85.   Cold
  86.   Butterfly by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  87.   Backwater Blues
  88.   Baby the Rain Must Fall by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
  89.   Sick and Tired
  90.   Rocking Daddy
  91.   How Many More Years
  92.   Feed Me
  93.   Eye to Eye
  94.   Dance for Me Girl
  95.   Baby, Don't Say That No More
  96.   Sittin' on Top of the World
  97.   Born in Louisiana
  98.   Potato Patch
  99.   U-Haul
  100.   Knoxville Rag
  101.   Big Daddy Boogie
  102.   Tears Come Rollin' Down
  103.   Spoonful
  104.   Grindin' Man
  105.   Let Go
  106.   Never Mind
  107.   Riverside
  108.   One Foot on the Path
  109.   Shame, Shame, Shame
  110.   Nothing to Do With Love
  111.   King's Highway
  112.   Hey, What Do You Say
  113.   Everything's Gonna Be Alright
  114.   Ain't Selling Out
  115.   Turn to Stone
  116.   Anywhere the Wind Blows
  117.   Sell My Monkey
  118.   Live On
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