Kenny Wayne Shepherd Goin' Home to kick off back-to-roots LP tour


Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Photo by Mark Seliger

“This is a homecoming in more ways than one,” Kenny Wayne Shepherd says of ‘Goin Home’, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s May 19, 2014 debut on Concord Records. “I felt like I was retracing my steps and reliving all the good times that I’ve had in my life because of this music. And hopefully, that amount of happiness comes through on the album.”

Recorded in a mere 11 days, ‘Goin Home’ finds Shepherd revisiting a dozen of the vintage classics by B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Muddy Waters + more that first ignited his love of the blues and inspired him to play guitar. Lending a hand on the project are several talented friends who shared Shepherd’s enthusiasm for this back-to-basics concept: fellow guitar icons Joe Walsh, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’ and Robert Randolph, longtime friend Ringo Starr, Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson, The Rebirth Brass Band, and one of Shepherd’s musical mentors, Pastor Brady Blade Sr. ‘Goin Home’ is Shepherd’s first album to be recorded in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, where he had come of age musically but never actually recorded, raising the project’s emotional intensity.

Although Shreveport didn’t have a world-class recording studio when Shepherd was growing up, the city is now home to Blade Studios, the celebrated facility run by respected drummer/producer Brady Blade, who’s renowned for his work with Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Dave Matthews. Shepherd and his crack band–singer Noah Hunt, ex-Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton, former Firm bassist Tony Franklin and keyboardist Riley Osbourn–cut the album on two-inch tape with no studio trickery and minimal overdubbing.

The process of choosing material for ‘Goin Home’ allowed Shepherd to relive some of his earliest musical epiphanies. “I dug through tons and tons of songs and artists’ catalogues, trying to find songs that I thought would be right for this record,” he explains. “That brought back all these distinct memories of sitting in the living room in front of the record player and cassette deck as a kid and learning how to play this material.”

“I feel like I’ve matured a lot as a musician,” Shepherd concludes. “My purpose for making music is the same as it ever was, but I’ve also learned a lot over the years. Less can be more. The great blues musicians who originally moved me didn’t always have to burn up the neck of the guitar by playing a bunch of notes. They knew how to play the right note at the right time, in a way that just pierces you right to your heart. That was an important lesson, and it’s my goal to move people in that same way that my role models moved me.”

‘Goin’ Home’ – Europe
4/30 – Academy Islington – London, UK
5/01 – Cheltenham Jazz Festival – Cheltenham, UK
5/03 – Moulin Blues Festival – Ospel, NL
5/04 – Atak – Enschede, NL
5/06 – Fabrik – Hamburg, Germany
5/07 – Music Hall – Woroswede, Germany
5/08 – Kesselhaus in der Kulturbrauerei – Berlin, Germany
5/09 – Tante Ju – Dresden, Germany
5/11 – Backstage – Werkgelande – Munich, Germany
5/12 – Batschkapp – Frankfurt, Germany
5/13 – Hirsch – Nurnberg, Germany
5/14 – Kulturzentrum Tollhaus E.V. – Karlsruhe, Germany
5/15 – Die Kantine – Cologne, Germany
5/17 – Lehnbachhalle – Stuttgart, DE
5/18 – Lucerna Bar – Prague, CZ

‘Goin’ Home’ – US
5/23 – Margaritavillle Resort Casino – Bossier City, LA **Release show**
5/24 – Redfest Austin 2014 – Austin, TX
5/25 – Seneca Allegany Events Center – Salamanca, NY
6/13 – Keswick Theatre – Glenside, PA
6/14 – Sands Bethlehem Event Center – Bethlehem, PA
6/15 – Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT
6/17 – State Theatre – New Brunswick, NJ
6/19 – The Paramount – Huntington, NY
6/20 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
6/21 – B.B. King Blues Club and Grill – NY, NY
6/24 – The Kent Stage – Kent, OH
6/25 – Royal Oak Music Theatre – Royal Oak, MI
6/28 – Grand Falls Casino Resort – Larchwood, IA
6/29 – Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts – Salina, KS
7/03 – L’Auberge Casino Resort – Lake Charles, LA
7/05 – IP Casino Resort & Spa – Biloxi, MS
7/19 – House of Blues – Houston, TX
7/20 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
7/24 – Talking Stick Resort & Casino – Scottsdale, AZ
7/25 – Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino – Coarsegold, CA
7/26 – Uptown Theatre – Napa, CA
7/28 – Bob Hope Theatre – Stockton, CA
7/30 – Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA 7/31 – Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay – San Diego, CA
8/01 – Palms Casino Resort – Las Vegas, NV
8/02 – Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
8/03 – Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
8/05 – Arvada Center Outdoor Amphitheater – Arvada, CO
8/06 – Rockin The Road Concert Series – Hulett, WY