Blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd to take the stage at the Cambridge Junction
The Louisiana-born musical dynamo, something of a child prodigy, will be doing his thing at the J1 next Monday (November 11).
Following the release of their new album, The Traveler (which came out in May), the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band are returning to the UK for a headline tour.
One of the biggest names in modern blues, the Grammy-nominated guitarist, who is married to Mel Gibson’s daughter, Hannah, has sold millions of albums worldwide and supported the likes of the Rolling Stones, Eagles, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, BB King, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Speaking to the Cambridge Independent from Copenhagen – on the first night of his European tour – he said: “We were just in Brazil. We did a couple of shows there and they were massive – and that was great.
"Then we went home for a moment and then out here to Copenhagen.”
On the reaction to the new album, Kenny, 42, whose best-known song, Blue on Black, was recently redone with help from Five Finger Death Punch, Brantley Gilbert, and legendary Queen guitarist Brian May, said:
“It’s been really good; I mean instantly you can tell a lot of people already have the record, like they’re singing along with the songs.
“And for those that maybe don’t have the record, or are hearing the songs for the first time, by the end of each song you can tell by the reaction that you’re connecting with them and they’re connecting with the music.
"We’re doing about half of the album in the show right now.”
Over the years, inevitable comparisons to the great Stevie Ray Vaughan have come Kenny’s way.
“It was because of him that I initially was really motivated to learn how to play guitar,” recalled the musician.
“I met him when I was seven years old and I got to watch him play from the side of the stage – and it just changed my life.
"So it would be a disservice to him to not acknowledge that and to try and pretend like that didn’t happen.”
That said, Kenny immediately sought to establish his own identity.
“Even from the beginning, I always tried to write songs that I felt represented who I am as an artist,” he explained.
“The first single, Déjà Voodoo , I don’t think that’s a song that you would have ever heard Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble doing...”
This writer first saw Kenny in 1996, opening for the Eagles at Wembley Stadium.
“That was my first time touring Europe and the UK, and that was the first venue in the UK that I ever played.
"Unfortunately, there was really nowhere to go but down after that! But it was a great experience.”
Tickets: £30 adv
More by this authorAdrian Peel