Five-time Grammy nominee and critically acclaimed guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd will perform at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines on Sept. 19 in support of his ninth album, “Lay It On Down.” Shepherd’s newest platter was released Aug. 4 and rocketed to No. 1 on Nielsen SoundScan’s Top Blues chart, No. 1 on both the Current Rock Albums chart and Internet Albums chart, No. 5 on the Top Current Albums chart and No. 34 on the Top 200.
Shepherd’s band on “Lay It On Down” features long-time band members Noah Hunt and Chris Layton, along with bassist Kevin McCormick from Shepherd’s supergroup side project, The Ride, and keyboardist Jimmy McGorman.
“I’m proud of the album we have delivered to the fans, and I think they’ll be excited by what they hear,” said Shepherd. “The band we’ve assembled did a fantastic job bringing these songs to life and conveying the musical message to the listener. Now we are looking forward to bringing this new music to the live show to watch it develop even more.”
Shepherd wrote all of the songs on “Lay It On Down” with a variety of co-writers, including longtime collaborators Mark Selby and Tia Sillers, and noted tunesmiths Dylan Altman, Brian Maher, Danny Myrick and Keith Stegall.
“For about two years, I’d make trips to Nashville every chance I got to write songs with different people,” Shepherd explains. “When you’re writing with someone else, it’s inevitable that they bring something different to the table, something that I might not have thought of myself. So in an effort to grow as an artist and as a musician, I wanted to write with some different people and see what would come of that. It was kind of a roll of the dice, but it worked out really well, and we got a good mixture of songs from these different collaborations.”
“Lay It On Down” is the second consecutive album that Shepherd has recorded in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. There, he, his band and co-producer Marshall Altman, along with various guest players providing horns and pedal steel guitar, cut the tracks with an eye towards looseness and spontaneity.
“There were no rehearsals or anything, we just went into the studio and set up and ran the songs down,” says Shepherd. “We all played together in the same room, recorded to two-inch tape and did as few overdubs as possible, just trying to keep it as organic as we could. The stuff that we do is very instinct-oriented and feel-oriented, and it’s about capturing moments that happen between people, and you can only get that by actually playing together and letting the creative process flow.”
“Lay It On Down” finds Shepherd two decades into a recording career that began when he was 16. Shepherd has sold millions of albums worldwide and, in addition to his five Grammy nominations, he has won two Billboard Music Awards, a pair of Orville H. Gibson awards, the Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive award and two Blues Music awards. He’s had six No. 1 blues albums and a string of No. 1 mainstream rock singles, and his acclaimed documentary project, “10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads,” was the top-selling blues album of 2007. Shepherd’s last release, 2014’s “Goin’ Home,” debuted at No. 25 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and spent several weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues chart.
For ticket information, visit www.hoytsherman.org.
September 15 – Cottonwood, AZ
September 16 – Las Vegas, NV
September 18 – Kansas City, MO
September 19 – Des Moines, IA
September 21 – Wichita, KS
September 22 – Springfield, MO
September 23 – Louisville, KY
September 24 – Munhall, PA
September 26 – Durham, NC
September 28 – Atlanta, GA
September 29 – New Orleans, LA
October 14 – Merrillville, IN