Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd stops by the Fraze on Tuesday
Aug 27 – Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, a father of six aged 3 to 13, was shopping with his youngest when he took a break to answer a few questions on the phone. The 44-year-old Shreveport, Louisiana native, performing at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tuesday, August 31, discussed life in quarantine, new music and returning to the road for a limited number of concerts .
Q: How have the closures impacted your plans for 2020 and beyond?
A: We had booked all of 2020 and most of 2021 when the pandemic hit and the lockdowns hit. Everyone has been in this perpetual cycle of having to reschedule shows and reschedule shows. After continuing to do this and getting closer to the end of last year, we took a wait-and-see approach because it wasn’t really clear how this year was going to play out. For some people, it’s still unclear how the rest of this year will unfold.
Q: How did you manage during the unprecedented break in the road?
A: It’s definitely the most common time I spend at home since my wife and I started having kids and it’s been pretty amazing. We made a conscious effort that we were going to make lifelong memories for our children. We have done a lot of things over the past year and a half that I think our kids will remember all their lives and so will we. It’s awesome. We made the most of the situation and had a great time together. We have done a lot of things that we could not have done otherwise. It wasn’t extravagant stuff. It’s like taking them camping, hiking, and finding waterfalls in the woods and other things that anyone could have done given the circumstances.
Q: When did you resume the live?
A: We took things slowly. We did three shows in June, one in July and three in August. It’s a bit sporadic and it’s not normal for us. We ended up being a bit more careful and decided to postpone most of the tour dates we had on the books until next year. We’ll have about 25 shows by the end of this year, if they all take place. We usually do around 120 shows a year or more, so that’s a huge drop.
Q: What was it like coming back with the band and playing for people again?
A: It was awesome. It’s the thing we live for. Everyone was salivating and waiting and were ready to take the opportunity to come back and do what we think we are supposed to do which is entertain people, play music for them and bring joy to the world. their life through music. We were fired. We just got up and started doing what we’re doing, man. We followed our instincts and had a really good time doing these shows.
Q: What’s the plan for the studio album you completed before the March 2020 closings?
A: We have almost two albums of material and it’s still there. I just wait and calculate. Some people released albums but we chose to wait. The whole point for us to release an album is to be able to tour behind it and support it and bring new music to the audience. I’m patiently optimistic that we’ll be able to release this album next year, but until we know it’s going to happen and they aren’t going to tear it all away from us again, I’ll wait.
Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or email [email protected]
HOW TO GET THERE
Who: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band with special guest Larkin Poe and Shemekia Copeland
Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 31
Cost: $ 30 to $ 55 in advance, $ 35 to $ 60 on the day of the show
More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com
Artist information: www.kennywayneshepherd.net