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Kenny Wayne Shepherd Talks New Album

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band“This is a homecoming in more ways than one,” Kenny Wayne Shepherd says of Goin’ Home, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s newest album, and their 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.”

The five-time GRAMMY® nominee delivers one of his most personal projects to date with Goin’ Home. It’s his eight album and his first to be recorded in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana.

The album came together when Shepherd decided to take advantage of an 11-day gap in his touring schedule. “Everybody was originally gonna fly home and have a break,” he recalls, “but I saw it as an opportunity to make some music. I had been looking for songs and preparing to make a record like this, so I asked the guys in the band for some more song suggestions and we rerouted the tour bus down to Louisiana.”

The process of choosing material for the project 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.”

“Being in Shreveport really brought me back, and being surrounded by my family and the music that I cut my teeth on brought up a lot of vivid memories.”

“We did it the way records used to be recorded,” Shepherd explains. “Everything, including the vocals, was basically cut live in the studio with everybody in the same room, with the instruments all bleeding together onto two-inch tape. I wanted to record these songs in the same spirit in which they were originally recorded, so the 11-day time frame was self-imposed. That put pressure on everybody to get it right the first time, and I had the utmost confidence in everyone’s abilities and knowledge.”

Also lending a hand on the project are several talented friends who shared Shepherd’s enthusiasm for Goin’ Home‘s back-to-basics concept. Those include fellow guitar icons Joe Walsh, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’ and Robert Randolph, longtime friend Ringo Starr, Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson, the Rebirth Brass Band and co-producer Blade’s father, Pastor Brady Blade Sr., who lends a bracing dose of preaching to Shepherd’s version of Bo Diddley’s “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover.”

“Everybody who performed on the record shared my passion, appreciation and respect for this music, but they’re also all good friends of mine,” Shepherd notes. “It was all pretty casual; I’d just run into people and ask if they wanted to be a part of it, and every one of them contributed something significant to the record.

“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 is available now on iTunes and Amazon.

Catch the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band on tour across the US through September 13th.

7/19/2014    Houston, TX    House Of Blues
7/20/2014    Dallas, TX    House Of Blues
7/22/2014    San Antonio, TX    The Aztec Theater
7/24/2014    Scottsdale, AZ    Talking Stick Resort & Casino
7/25/2014    Coarsegold, CA    Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino
7/26/2014    Napa, CA    Uptown Theatre
7/28/2014    Stockton, CA    Bob Hope Theatre
7/30/2014    Saratoga, CA    The Mountain Winery
7/31/2014    San Diego, CA    Humphreys
8/1/2014    Las Vegas, NV    Palms Casino Resort-The Pear
8/2/2014    Los Angeles, CA    The Greek Theatre
8/3/2014    Tucson, AZ    Rialto Theatre
8/5/2014    Arvada, CO    Arvada Center Amphitheater
8/6/2014    Hulett, WY    Rockin The Road Concert Series
8/8/2014    Sioux City, IA    Hard Rock Casino
8/9/2014    N. Kansas City, MO    Harrah’s North Cansas City Casino
8/12/2014    Columbia, MO    The Blue Note
8/14/2014    Chicago, IL    House of Blues
8/15/2014    Watersmeet, MI    Lac Vieus Desert Resort & Casino
8/16/2014    Bayfield, WI    Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua
8/30/2014    Hampton Beach, NH    Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
8/31/2014    Newport, RI    Newport Yachting Center
9/3/2014    Albany, NY    The Hart Theatre at the Egg
9/4/2014    Verona, NY    Turning Stone Resort Casino
9/5/2014    Munhall, PA    Carnegie Music hall of Homeste
9/6/2014    Morristown, NJ    Mayo Performing Arts Center
9/7/2014    Peekskill, NY    Paramount Hudson Valley
9/11/2014    Durham, NC    The Carolina Theatre
9/12/2014    Charlotte, NC    The Fillmore Charlotte
9/13/2014    N.Murtle Beach, SC    House of Blues

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