The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band brings their blues-infused rock to end the 33rd annual A Taste of Colorado with a bang as a headliner on the Main Stage, Monday, Sept. 5, at 5 p.m., presented by 103.5 The Fox. The four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment festival will take place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 through Sept. 5, in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park.
Shepherd has established himself as an immensely popular recording artist, a consistently in-demand live act, and an influential force in a worldwide resurgence of interest in the blues. The Louisiana-born axeman and songsmith has sold millions of albums while throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens.
His first album, “Ledbetter Heights” included radio hits “Deja Voodoo,” “Born with a Broken Heart,” and “Shame, Shame, Shame.” The album went Platinum, along with his 1998 sophomore album “Trouble Is,” featuring radio hits “Blue on Black,” “True Lies,” and “Somehow, Somewhere, Someway.” The iconic radio hits, “In 2 Deep,” “Shotgun Blues,” and “Last Goodbye,” were from his 1999 album “Live On.” He continued his success with the 2004 rock record “The Place You’re In,” followed by 2007’s “10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads,” for which Shepherd and his band traveled throughout the American South recording with greats such as B.B. King, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards on their home turf.
Shepherd released his first live album in 2010, “Live! In Chicago,” recorded at Chicago’s House of Blues during the all-star Legends tour and featuring guest appearances by Hubert Sumlin and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. The live disc debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Blues charts.
In 2013, Shepherd further expanded his musical horizons by teaming with veteran rockers Stephen Stills and Barry Goldberg to form THE RIDES who recorded “Can’t Get Enough.” That was followed in 2014 by “Goin’ Home,” which featured guitar icons Joe Walsh, Warren Hayes, Keb’ Mo’, 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.”
Shepherd and his band have toured the world extensively blazing a fresh trail for the historical American art form in the 21st century.