BLUES GUITAR WIZARD KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD TO PLAY CHIP
The Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground announced the completion of its headline concert schedule today with the addition of blues-rock guitar wizard Kenny Wayne Shepherd, who will play Saturday, Aug. 4 during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The Louisiana native began playing at age seven, figuring out Muddy Waters licks from his father’s record collection. He’s never taken a lesson. By age 13, he was invited on stage by Brian Lee, a New Orleans bluesman. He later formed his own band, featuring vocalist Corey Sterling and gaining exposure through club dates and radio conventions.
Shepherd’s father, who is also his manager, helped his up-and-coming son to make a major record deal with Irving Azoff’s Giant Records.
His first album, “Ledbetter Heights” was relased in 1995 and sold a half millon by 1996, far more commercial success than most blues records. It was a huge accomplishment for a teen-ager.
Shepherd’s 1998 hit, “Trouble Is” earned a Grammy nomination. The albums Live On and The Place You’re In followed. The Place You’re In, on Reprise Records was the first of Shepherd’s albums to feature the young guitarist taking most of the lead vocal duties.
"When I made my first album, I was seventeen years old and I had the voice of a seventeen-year-old," Shepherd told Rolling Stone Magazine.
"Rather than sacrifice the quality of my music for the sake of singing, I started taking over background vocals, and that's where I started gaining confidence."
According to Rolling Stone, Shepherd's growing confidence as a singer doesn't mean he's abandon his primary role as the guitarist. "I still consider myself to be a much better guitar player than I am a singer," he says. "But now that I've stepped up to the plate, [my singing] is something that will evolve over time and will get better and better."
The other factor informing Shepherd's decision to sing, according to Rolling Stone, was artistically rooted. "I've written all my material over the years and nobody can -- unless they wrote the song themselves -- relate as personally to the song," he says. "One day, I just had this vision: I just saw myself up there doing it."
“This young man is among the most mature guitar virtuosos to take the stage at the Buffalo Chip. I’ve rarely seen this much energy and talent,” said Rod Woodruff, campground owner.
Shepherd joins a huge and diverse line-up of talent performing at the Chip during this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, including: Edgar Winter; Poison with Ratt; Toby Keith with the Classic Rock All Stars; Foreigner with Grand Funk Railroad; Velvet Revolver; ZZ-Top with Buckcherry; Daughtry with Blue October; and Papa Roach with Seether.