Kenny Wayne Shepherd
September 8, 2017
Photos and review courtesy of Frankie James of Sun Stroke Photography
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, there’s never enough to say about this guy. The Crest Theater in Sacramento played host to one of the most influential names in the Blues, Hot shot guitar master Kenny Wayne Shepherd as headliner. It was an evening full of true Blues, both heartfelt, sad, loud and in your face. Kenny, who is a great blues and rock guitar player, has built a solid reputation as a live act. All his studio records are off the chart amazing yet seeing him on stage just brings the entire situation up to another level. With Noah Hunt on vocals, like a young Paul Rodgers, bringing that soul to the band, together creates a dynamic unparalleled to stage performing. Shepherd and Hunt have been playing together for a very long time and know how to feed off each other’s energy.
It does not hurt that Rodgers former band mate in The Firm, Tony Franklin, is Kenny’s current bass player and that Stevie Ray Vaughan’s drummer, Chris Layton, is Kenny’s drummer. All together a group that simply knows how to get the crowd moving with mega experience. Despite all the famous faces on stage, and Hunt’s stage presence and vocal skills, the crowd’s eyes seem to gravitate towards Kenny Wayne. The blond-haired guitar slinger puts a lot of energy into his performance, whether it be a soft song like “While We Cry,” a blues classic ala “King Bee” or a rocker like “Everything is Broken.”
The set list (Below) wasn’t any surprise, as Shepherd went back to his debut album four times performing the amazing “Deja Voodoo’, “Born with a Broken Heart” and the main set ending guitar masterpiece “Voodoo Child.”
Shepherd is on the road promoting his latest Concord Records release, Lay It On Down and kicked off the show with the best song on the album, “Never Lookin’ Back.” In addition to “Blue On Black” and “Baby Got Done” the encore also included the blues staple “I’m a King Bee”
Shepherd came to prominence at a young age, seventeen, playing music that was decades older then he was. It is inspiring to see that Kenny was able to avoid just being a musical gimmick. He has earned his success and he continues to be passionate about the blues. His work in the genre has sparked new interest from fans of all ages.
His performance in Sacramento proved that Shepherd deserves all the same respect and accolades of blues-men, too many to mention. This guy and his band are the real deal and if you see this tour coming by a stage near you, snap up a few tickets and feel the blues!!!
Never Lookin’ Back
Ride of Your Life
The House Is Rocking (Stevie Ray Vaughan cover)
Hard Lesson Learned
Baby Got Gone
Down for Love
Heat of the Sun
Born With a Broken Heart
Diamonds and Gold
Nothing but the Night
B.B. King Medley
Blue on Black
I’m a King Bee (Slim Harpo cover)
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)