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    Friday, December 01, 2023

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd brings his blues-rock to the Garde

    Shreveport’s Kenny Wayne Shepherd was one of the brightest stars of the First Wave of post-Stevie Ray Vaughan/white-guy/blues-rock guitar heroes.

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd

    That he was 18 when his career took off is pretty cool when you consider that, if you’re going to follow in Stevie Ray’s sonic footprints, you’d better have some chops and style. Shepherd did — and does.

    Now, a quarter-century on, he brings his damned good band Sunday to New London’s Garde Arts Center.

    The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

    I interviewed Shepherd in 2000, shortly after he’d released “Live On,” his third album.

    “Sure, Stevie Ray influenced me,” Shepherd said all those years ago. “But I’d say with each album we’ve grown musically, and you can hear it.”

    That assessment has proven true over the course of several more albums including “Goin’ Home,” “Lay It All Down” and “The Traveler.” These three titles comprise his most recent recordings, and his playing and songwriting acumen have expanded to embrace more classic rock and R&B flavorings. And, yep, Shepherd still has the fine Noah Hunt on vocals and ex SRV/Double Trouble Chris Layton clinician on drums.

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, 7 p.m. Sunday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $45-$99; www.gardearts.org. (860) 444-7373.

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