Buddy Guy and the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band team up for one incredible blues concert at the Palace Theater.
The title of Buddy Guy’s latest album says it all: The Blues Is Alive and Well. The legendary blues artist’s eighteenth solo LP and follow-up to 2015’s Born to Play Guitar showcases his raw and unadulterated sound, its fifteen tracks a true pleasure for aficionados and genre newcomers alike. “I got children and grandchildren who didn’t know who I was, but nowadays we can play outdoor concerts and see kids that are eight, nine, twelve years old coming to me and saying, ‘I didn’t know who you was, but I read what Eric Clapton said about you,'” Guy explains when discussing his mindset around the new record. “I’m always trying to make an album that someone accidentally plays where some kid hears it, picks up a guitar, and helps keep the blues alive.”
And it only takes one listen to “The Blues Is Alive and Well” to realize that Guy’s mission has been more than accomplished here. The record is arriving on the heels of a spate of high visibility for the 82-year-old performer: at the 2016 Grammy’s, he picked up a trophy for “Best Blues Album” honoring Born to Play Guitar, and that same year he hit the road for a U.S. tour opening for Jeff Beck. In addition to bringing the house down for a recent sold-out performance commemorating the closing of New York City’s B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, he recently appeared on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. A truly restless and energetic performer, “The Blues Is Alive and Well” is the latest triumph in an already-legendary career.
I’m trying to do something to keep this music that I love so well alive.” And with “The Blues Is Alive and Well,” it’s clear that the music—and Guy himself—ain’t going away anytime soon.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
There are few artists whose names are synonymous with one instrument and how it’s played in service to an entire genre.
Utter the phrase “young blues rock guitarist” within earshot of anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the modern musical vanguard and the first name they are most likely to respond with will be Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The Louisiana born axeman and songsmith has sold millions of albums while throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens.
In a 20+ year recording career that began when he was just 16, Shepherd has established himself as an immensely popular recording artist, a consistently in-demand live act and an influential force in a worldwide resurgence of interest in the blues. From television performances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (amongst others) to features in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Maxim Magazine, Blender, Spin, USA Today and more, his musical career has been nothing short of phenomenal.
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band includes Noah Hunt (Vocals), Chris “Whipper” Layton (Drums), Kevin McCormick (Bass), Joe Krown (Piano)