Celebrated for modernizing the essence of American roots music, the five-time Grammy-nominated guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has announced a series of live performances for Winter 2024,which will follow the release of his highly anticipated new album, 'Dirt On My Diamonds, Vol. 1.’ These newly revealed dates for kick off on February 6th at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, FL and will then head west for a Texas run, beginning in Tyler at the UT Cowan Center on February 14th, before wrapping up at the famed ACL Moody Theater in Austin on February 17th. The tour will also include standout performances at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on February 24th and the iconic Beacon Theatre in New YorkCity on March 15th.
Tickets are on-sale to the general public this Friday, September 22nd at 10am local time. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: https://www.kennywayneshepherd.net/
Shepherd’s upcoming album, poised for release on November 17th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group, boasts the intoxicating lead single "Sweet & Low," encapsulating modern urban influences blended with traditional blues undertones, bringing together the quintessence of Shepherd's musical expertise. The track offers a fresh perspective on the old-fashioned courting ritual, emphasizing the irresistibly captivating groove. Shepherd recalls, “People I’ve played the album for, they consistently have the biggest reaction to that one.” Watch the official music video HERE.
Birthed from the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, ‘Dirt On My Diamonds, Vol. 1’ chronicles Shepherd's journey of musical evolution, touching on stories of loss, redemption, and memorable melodies, all crafted by an elite team of songwriters. As Shepherd himself describes it, “Every record I make is a moment in time. And this is a really special moment.”
Since the release of his debut album, 1995’s ‘Ledbetter Heights,’ this multi-platinum bandleader still sounds like the future of the blues. Approach 'Dirt On My Diamonds Volume 1' expecting autopilot twelve-bars and you’ll instead be thrown a volley of curveballs, from the modern urban edge of "Sweet & Low" to the speaker-tearing production from Shepherd and his partner-in-sound of recent years, Marshall Altman. “Working with Marshall, it’s like any productive relationship,” considers the guitarist. “We put our strengths together and push each other.”
Throughout, as the album title suggests, the grit and emotional honesty of these new songs is prized above guitar pyrotechnics (even for one of the modern scene’s most valuable players). Of the 'Dirt On My Diamonds’ guiding philosophy, “Life has imperfections, and I actually prefer it that way. The imperfections are what make it interesting.”
With material this strong, no polish was needed. As on any KWS album, songs are the currency, and the seven originals from 'Dirt On My Diamonds Volume 1' demand to be heard, lifting listeners above their circumstances at a time when life often feels bleak and bone-raw. “I didn’t want this record to be dark or dreary,” considers Shepherd. “There’s not a lot of incredibly heart-wrenching or difficult subject matter…My goal is always to make music that makes people feel good, regardless of what it’s about.”
And of course, as befitted this most playful of album sessions, Shepherd dipped into his mental jukebox for a rabble-rousing cover of Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting. “I always keep a catalogue in the back of my mind of songs I think my band could bring our thing to. The timing worked out well because Elton is doing his farewell tour. Also, I love his guitar player, Davey Johnstone. He’s a friend, too, and when we recorded that song, I sent him a message saying, ‘Hey man, we’re gonna cover Saturday Night…’ – and he said, ‘Go for it!’”
Shepherd’s newly announced Winter 2024 shows follow Shepherd's extensive journey across the U.S., performing at renowned venues from the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO in September, to the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise 2024 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in late January.