Born to play blues guitar

KENNY Wayne Shepherd was born to play the guitar.

Music has always surrounded him; his father was a jock at a number of radio stations and would play the latest songs to a young Shepherd.

But it was the guitar that spoke to him.

"There was just something about it, I was drawn to it," he said.

"The music really touched me and the instrument resonated with me.

"It was a perfect fit and it has been with me ever since and rarely leaves my side."

He was three when he was given his first guitar and was playing proficiently by seven.

He has since released seven albums and continues to grow as a musician.

It was seven years between his last album The Place You're In and his latest recoding How I Go, released mid last year.

But Shepherd was not resting on his laurels.

For Shepherd, the past years have been filled with live projects, documentaries, marriage and fatherhood, as well as working on new music.

For How I Go, Shepherd said he felt at the height of his creativity and was involved in all aspects of the album's production.

"I really submerged myself in the creative process; my fingerprints are all over the record.

"It's the first album I've had a producing credit."

Noah Hunt largely sings all the vocals but Shepherd expanded his vocal range and sings lead on a couple of songs, as well as the backing vocals.

"I would like to get better in that area ... well, I like to better all aspects of my music.

"Guitar is my passion but it's fun to try your hand at other aspects."

Since becoming a father, Shepherd said it gave him a new sense of inspiration.

"It's probably the most profound thing that has ever happened to me. It has given me a renewed sense of inspiration.

"They inspired several songs on the album.

"This record was important to me in the sense it wasn't just for me but for the kids.

"Records are forever and are my musical legacy.

"I want to make something they are proud of."

Like when he was a child, Shepherd's two young children's lives are filled with music.

As to whether they will follow in his footsteps, Shepherd is happy either way.

"It's in their blood, there are lots of instruments lying around the house but at the moment their hands are too small.

"There are no expectations of them. Whatever they choose, whether they choose music or not, I'll support them all the way."

As well as shows in Australia, Shepherd will tour Europe this year and is excited about a number of projects he has coming.

"It will be something a bit out of the box, I haven't totally decided yet."

Bluesfest will run from Thursday, April 5, to Monday, April 9.

Tickets start at $139 for a day pass.

For more information and tickets visit bluesfest.com.au.

Topics:  bluesfest, kenny wayne shepherd



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