Kenny Wayne Shepherd announces 2023 KWS Backroads Blues Festival

Dates feature Joe Bonamassa, King Solomon Hicks & Bobby Rush

Blues rock icon and five-time Grammy-nominated guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd has announced the second annual KWS Backroads Blues Festival, which will make stops across the US this spring and summer. Beginning with two performances in the Pacific Northwest featuring 25x Billboard chart-topper Joe Bonamassa, NYC-based blues star King Solomon Hicks, and the Grammy-Award-winning blues artist Bobby Rush, the tour will then make its way across the US, with additional stops and guests to be announced in the coming weeks.

A limited pre-sale is currently underway for the first two dates at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, OR on Saturday, May 27th and the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA on Sunday, May 28th. General public on sale for the Bend, OR performance begins today (Fri, Feb 3rd) at 10 am PT. General public on sale for the Woodinville, WA performance is Monday, February 6th at 10 am PT.

“I wanted to offer a traditional touring blues festival,” Shepherd shares. “One that will give people a chance to see the best of the best all in one place.” The announcement follows a hugely successful inaugural run of the Backroads Blues Festival in 2022, which featured Buddy Guy and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. “I’m really happy Joe and I were able to work out our schedules to do these shows together,” Shepherd continued. “And King Solomon Hicks is such a great talent, I’m thrilled he’s able to join us.”

The Backroads Blues Festival is an extension of Shepherd’s award-winning, Platinum-selling 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads film and album project, which saw him travel the country with his band and a portable studio alongside the world’s most renowned blues players, as well as some of the genre’s lesser known, but rare and towering talents. Featured artists included Etta Baker, Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Lazy Lester, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Hubert Sumlin, and B.B. King, among others.

The announcement of the second annual Backroads Blues Festival comes on the heels of Shepherd’s latest project Trouble Is…25, a top-to-bottom reinterpretation of his seminal album Trouble Is…, which struck the match that reignited modern blues upon its release 25 years ago. The release is accompanied by a live DVD filmed at The Strand Theatre in Shepherd’s hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, shot at the launch of his year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the album, which found the band performing the album, in its entirety, across the US.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: