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Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Rocks the Blues at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall

| Vicky Sullivan |

This was my first time at a Kenny Wayne Shepherd show. Yes, I did my homework before the show.  Kenny recorded his first album in 1995. All his studio albums have been #1 on the blues charts. He has opened for such rockers as Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and Van Halen. He has played with the best of the best blues players including Buddy Guy and B.B. King. 

He has been touring with his 1997 hit album, “Trouble Is..” which he has rerecorded and remastered named “Trouble Is…25”. He is playing the album in its entirety. Ruth Eckerd Hall was ready with a full house all the way to the rafters. Blues fans and rockers coming together for some great music.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Opening the show was blues rocker songwriter guitarist Samnatha Fish! Fish has won a list of Blues awards, recorded a duet with Devon Allman and several of her albums have been produced by well-known blues guitarist Mike Zito.  Her latest release is titled “Faster”.  She opened her set with “Bulletproof” playing a cigar box guitar! She played several tunes from “Faster”. Her 8-song set included an acoustic cover of Gladys Knight’s, “if I Were Your Woman”. She had the crowd on their feet. Don’t miss Samantha Fish if she comes your way, she is a force!

Kenny kicked it off with “Trouble Is…” The band sounds tight, and Noah Hunt is on vocals. Kenny covers Bob Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken”. Kenny took to the microphone to welcome the audience and explain they were playing “Trouble Is..” in its entirety but not in the album’s track order. Next, he talks about the song, I Found Love (When I Found You) and how so many people have played it at their wedding. He is touched that the song is so meaningful in people’s lives. He asks if anyone in the crowd used it at their wedding and several couples yell out and raise their hands.  Noah moves to the mic with an acoustic guitar beautifully done with Kenny on electric.  

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny breaks out a Jimi Hendrix replica Monterey Fender Stratocaster. Hendrix played this guitar at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and then set it on fire! Kenny rocks a cover of Hendrix, “I Don’t Live Today.”  Being a Hendrix fan, I was amazed by Kenny’s performance taking it down to his knees. He paid total homage to Jimi. For his hit, “Blue on Black” Kenny and Noah started off on acoustic guitars, Kenny played matching blue & black acoustic and electric guitars.  He gives credit to Five Finger Death Punch for covering the tune with his involvement as well as Brantley Gilbert and Queen’s Brian May.  They close out the Trouble album with “Slow Ride.” 

The band returns to the stage for a 5-song encore with the rocker “Woman Like You”.  Samantha Fish joins the encore for the last show of this leg of the tour.  Kenny closes with a B.B. King cover, “You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now.”  I gotta say that after seeing my first Kenny Wayne Shepherd show, I have become a fan and will be catching him next time he comes to town. I love a great, exciting guitarist! Check out Kenny’s website at Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Samantha Fish at Samantha Fish.

Vicky Sullivan Photos

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