Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an American blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released several studio albums and experienced a rare level of commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician. In 1997, Guitar World ranked Shepherd #3 after B.B.King and Eric Clapton on their list of popular blues artists
Shepherd attended Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Self-taught, he began playing at age seven, learning Muddy Waters licks from his father's record collection. At the age of thirteen, Shepherd was invited onstage by the New Orleans bluesman Bryan Lee. After proving his abilities, he decided on music as a career. Demo tapes were made and a two camera video was shot at Shepherd's first performance at the Red River Revel Arts Festival in Shreveport. It was this video performance that impressed Giant Records chief Irving Azoff enough to sign Shepherd to a multiple album record deal.
Shepherd took six singles into the top 10 and holds the record for the longest running album on the Billboard Blues Charts with Trouble Is.... He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, received two Billboard Music Awards and two Orville Gibson awards, and has sold millions of CDs.
In September 2008, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. released the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Series Stratocaster, designed exclusively by Shepherd. Most recently, he developed a unique DVD/CD project, 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads. This documents Shepherd as he travels the country to jam with and interview the last of the authentic blues musicians. As they tour the backroads, Shepherd, with members of the Double Trouble Band, play with a host of blues greats including Clarence "Gatemouth Brown" and Bryan Lee, Buddy Flett (with whom he jams at Leadbelly's grave), the great B.B. King, blues harp master Jerry "Boogie" McCain, Cootie Stark, Neil Pattman, John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, Henry Townsend with Honeyboy Edwards, and a concert session with the surviving members of Muddy Waters' and Howlin' Wolf's bands.
1995 - Ledbetter Heights
Ledbetter Heights is the debut album by American blues solo artist Kenny Wayne Shepherd. He was a mere 17 years old during its released in October 1995. The album's name refers to a neighborhood in Shepherd's home town of Shreveport, Louisiana. It also featured lead singer Corey Sterling on vocals.
Ledbetter Heights was an immediate hit, selling over 500,000 copies by early 1996. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1996 and certified Platinum by 2004. Most blues records never achieve such a level of commercial success, much less ones released by artists who are still in their teens. Ledbetter Heights also spent 20 weeks topping Billboard's blues chart. In their list of blues artists, Guitar World voted Shepherd #3 after B.B.King and Eric Clapton.
- "Born With a Broken Heart" (Shepherd/Tate) – 5:56
- "Déjà Voodoo" (Selby/Shepherd/Sillers) – 6:09
- "Aberdeen" (White) – 4:15
- "Shame, Shame, Shame" (Nadeau/Shepherd) – 6:05
- "One Foot on the Path" (Selby/Shepherd) – 3:49
- "Everybody Gets the Blues" (Michael) – 5:58
- "While We Cry" (live) (Shepherd) – 6:17
- "I'm Leaving You (Commit a Crime)" (Howlin' Wolf) – 4:16
- "(Let Me Up) I've Had Enough" (Nadeau/Selby/Shepherd) – 2:43
- "Riverside" (Bowe) – 3:46
- "What's Goin' Down" (Nadeau/Shepherd) – 5:30
- "Ledbetter Heights " (Shepherd) – 6:11