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Six things you need to know about Kenny Wayne Shepherd

It’s a “fantastic time” to have the blues. So says the musician who helped bring the genre into the present

Back in the early to mid-90s, blues wasn’t a young man’s game. Then in 1995 a teenage guitarist from Shreveport, Louisiana named Kenny Wayne Shepherd released his debut album, Ledbetter Heights, and a serious shift in perception began. Musicians including Jonny Lang, Philip Sayce and Joe Bonamassa emerged, putting blues guitar on the radar of rock fans and younger listeners.

“People were paying attention, on a mainstream level,” Shepherd explains over coffee after our shoot in Shoreditch’s Blues Kitchen. “It was getting played on the radio, concerts of young blues players were selling out… there was suddenly a wave of interest in young people doing blues music.”

Now 39, Shepherd is returning to the UK after just a few (but popular) visits over the past decade.

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