Kenny Wayne Shepherd curates inaugural Backroads Blues Festival Tour

Guitar great will perform with Buddy Guy & Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Blues rock great and five-time GRAMMY nominee Kenny Wayne Shepherd has announced the talent line up and dates of the inaugural run of his Backroads Blues Festival Tour for which he serves as both curator and featured performer. He’ll be joined for the tour’s six dates by blues legend Buddy Guy and young blues sensation, and recent Grammy winner Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.

The tour, envisioned as a yearly sojourn, is slated to stop in Providence, RI on August 13th; Bethel, NY on August 14th; Lewiston, NY on August 16th; Springfield, MA on August 18th; Roanoke, VA on August 20th; and Portsmouth, VA on August 21st.

It will happen in the midst of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band’s ongoing Trouble Is… 25th Anniversary Tour, celebrating the silver anniversary of the release of his RIAA certified Platinum selling breakthrough album.

“These days nobody mounts a traditional touring blues festival. I conceptualized one that will give people a chance to see the best of the best all in one place,” Shepherd shares. “We are extremely excited that Buddy Guy will be with us for each show. He is, after all, the living king of the blues these days. Also worthy of great respect is Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram who is revitalizing the blues in a potent and powerful way.”

He continued, “We’re featuring three successive generations of blues artists, underscoring the resonance of the genre.”

He explained that the overall concept for Backroads Blues Festival is an extension of his award winning earlier “10 Days Out: Blues” from the Backroads film and album project that saw him bring his band and a portable studio on the road to join forces with both notable and unheralded blues artists documenting those collaborations along the way including Etta Baker, Pinetop Perkins, Honeyboy Edwards, Lazy Lester, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Hubert Sumlin and BB King, among others. That project was also certified as a Platinum seller by the RIAA. He expressed hope of producing a sequel to the 2007 release in the future.

“In the past, I really looked forward to those blues packages both as a fan and as an artist, so I decided to bring the concept back with the Backroads Blues Festival tour.” He recalled his transitioning from ticket holder to the BB King Blues Festival, where BB King, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Joe Cocker and the Neville Brothers performed, to starring as featured performer on several editions of the festival. “Those were very special shows and once that ended there was a void. Our Backwoods Blues Festival Tour is firmly rooted in that same tradition.”

Shepherd will be celebrating his 45th birthday with two birthday shows this June with friends Samantha Fish, the Ally Venable Band and special guest Shemekia Copeland with whom he recorded last year’s Americana chart favorite “Hit ‘Em Back.” The two birthday shows are scheduled for June 11th at Sweetwater Pavilion in Ft. Wayne, IN and June 12th at Fraze Pavilion in Dayton, OH.

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: