Kenny Wayne Shepherd launches festival tour with Buddy Guy and Kingfish

Blues rock great and five-time GRAMMY® nominee Kenny Wayne Shepherd, now in the midst of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s ongoing Trouble Is… 25th Anniversary Tour, has announced the talent line up and dates of the inaugural run of his Backroads Blues Festival Tour for which he serves as both curator and featured performer. He’ll be joined for the tour’s six dates by blues legend Buddy Guy and young blues sensation, and recent Grammy® winner Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. The tour, envisioned as a yearly sojourn, is slated to stop in Providence RI, Bethel NY, Lewiston NY, Springfield MA, Roanoke VA and Portsmouth VA on August 13, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21, respectively.

Taking a few moments off from the Trouble Is.. 25th Anniversary Tour that celebrates the silver anniversary of the release of his RIAA certified Platinum selling breakthrough album, Shepherd discussed his vision for the Backroads Blues Festival. “These days nobody mounts a traditional touring blues festival. I conceptualized one that will give people a chance to see the best of the best all in one place. We are extremely excited that Buddy Guy will be with us for each show. He is, after all, the living king of the blues these days. Also worthy of great respect is Christone “Kingfish” Ingram who is revitalizing the blues in a potent and powerful way.”

He continued, “We’re featuring three successive generations of blues artists, underscoring the resonance of the genre.” He explained that the overall concept for Backroads Blues Festival is an extension of his award winning earlier 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads film and album project that saw him bring his band and a portable studio on the road to join forces with both notable and unheralded blues artists documenting those collaborations along the way including Etta Baker, Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Lazy Lester, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Hubert Sumlin and B.B. King, among others. That project was also certified as a Platinum seller by the RIAA. He expressed hope of producing a sequel to the 2007 release in the future.

“In the past, I really looked forward to those blues packages both as a fan and as an artist, so I decided to bring the concept back with the Backroads Blues Festival tour.” He recalled his transitioning from ticket holder to the B.B. King Blues Festival, where B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Joe Cocker and the Neville Brothers performed, to starring as featured performer on several editions of the festival. “Those were very special shows and once that ended there was a void. Our Backwoods Blues Festival Tour is firmly rooted in that same tradition.”

Buddy Guy added, “I’m excited to be part of the first annual Backroads Blues Festival and back out with Kenny Wayne and looking forward to jamming with Kenny and Kingfish.” Shepherd noted that while this year’s festival line-up consists of electric bands, “It’s possible we could do an all-acoustic show; we want to be as inclusive as possible. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram remarked, “”To be back touring again is really great and the opportunity to join Mr. Guy and Mr. Shepherd on stage will be electric. These tour dates will be lots of fun.”

It’s worth noting that in addition to the Trouble Is…25th Anniversary Tour and the launch of the Backroads Blues Festival, Kenny will be celebrating his 45th birthday with friends Samantha Fish, the Ally Venable Band and special guest, Blues Entertainer of the Year, Shemekia Copeland with whom he recorded last year’s Americana chart favorite “Hit ‘Em Back”. The two birthday shows are scheduled for June 11 (Sweetwater Pavilion/Ft. Wayne IN) and June 12 (Fraze Pavilion/Dayton OH). “We will always do what we can to support the music and use my platform to elevate the blues in any way we can.”

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Guitar + Vocals

Noah Hunt – Vocals

Chris Layton – Drums

Kevin McCormick – Bass

Joe Krown – Keys

Mark Pender – Trumpet

Joe Sublett – Sax

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band on tour 

4/6 Des Moines, IA Hoyt Sherman Place

4/7 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater

4/8 Springfield, MO Gillioz Theatre

4/9 New Buffalo, MI Four Winds Casino

4/13 Warren, OH Robins Theatre

4/14 Glenside, PA Keswick, Theater

4/15 Greensburg, PA Palace Theatre

4/16 Carmel, IN Palladium

4/26 Midland, MI Center for the Arts

4/27 Champaign, IL Virginia Theater

4/28 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre

4/29 Green Bay, WI Epic Event Center

5/1 Fargo, ND Fargo Theater

5/3 Sioux Falls, SD The District

5/5 Ft. Collins, CO Lincoln Center

5/6 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre

5/7 Pikes Peak, CO Pikes Peak Center

5/19 Norwalk, CT Wallstreet Theatre

5/20 New Brunswick, NJ State Theatre

5/22 Annapolis, MD Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

5/28 Marksville, LA Paragon Casino

6/11 Ft. Wayne, IN Sweetwater *

6/12 Kettering, OH Fraze Pavilion *

6/17 Aurora, IL Blues on the Fox

6/24 Wichita, KS Hartman Arena (with ZZ Top)

7/9 Nescopeck, PA Briggs Farm Blues Fest

7/15 Houston, TX House of Blues

7/16 Austin, TX ACL Live at Moody Theatre

7/30 Baton Rouge, LA River Center

8/13 Providence, RI Bold Point Park (Backroads Blues Festival with Buddy Guy & Kingfish)

8/14 Bethel, NY Bethel Amphitheatre (Backroads Blues Festival with Buddy Guy & Kingfish)

8/16 Lewiston, NY Artpark (Backroads Blues Festival with Buddy Guy & Kingfish)

8/18 Springfield, MA Symphony Hall (Backroads Blues Festival with Buddy Guy & Kingfish)

8/19 Wantagh, NY Jones Beach

8/20 Roanoke, VA Elmwood Park (Backroads Blues Festival with Buddy Guy & Kingfish)

8/21 Portsmouth, VA Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion (Backroads Blues Festival with Buddy Guy & Kingfish)

8/22 Ocean City, NJ Ocean City Music Pier

9/17 Biloxi, MS IP Casino & Resort

9/29 San Diego, CA Humphreys by the Bay

9/30 Saratoga, CA Mountain Winery

10/2 Reno, NV Battle Axe & Tracks Festival

*KWS birthday celebration with Samantha Fish, the Ally Venable Band and special guest Shemekia Copeland

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