(PPR) Kenny Wayne Shepherd has announced a series of live performances for Winter 2024, which will follow the release of his highly anticipated new album, 'Dirt On My Diamonds, Vol. 1.'
These newly revealed dates will kick off on February 6th at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, FL and will then head west for a Texas run, beginning in Tyler at the UT Cowan Center on February 14th, before wrapping up at the famed ACL Moody Theater in Austin on the February 17th.
The tour will also include standout performances at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on the February 24th and the iconic Beacon Theatre in New York City on March 15th. Tickets are on-sale to the general public this Friday, September 22nd at 10am local time.
Shepherd's upcoming album, poised for release on November 17th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group, boasts the intoxicating lead single "Sweet & Low," encapsulating modern urban influences blended with traditional blues undertones, bringing together the quintessence of Shepherd's musical expertise. The track offers a fresh perspective on the old-fashioned courting ritual, emphasizing the irresistibly captivating groove. Shepherd recalls, "People I've played the album for, they consistently have the biggest reaction to that one."
Birthed from the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 'Dirt On My Diamonds, Vol. 1' chronicles Shepherd's journey of musical evolution, touching on stories of loss, redemption, and memorable melodies, all crafted by an elite team of songwriters. As Shepherd himself describes it, "Every record I make is a moment in time. And this is a really special moment."
Since the release of his debut album, 1995's 'Ledbetter Heights,' this multi-platinum bandleader still sounds like the future of the blues. Approach 'Dirt On My Diamonds Volume 1' expecting autopilot twelve-bars and you'll instead be thrown a volley of curveballs, from the modern urban edge of "Sweet & Low" to the speaker-tearing production from Shepherd and his partner-in-sound of recent years, Marshall Altman. "Working with Marshall, it's like any productive relationship," considers the guitarist. "We put our strengths together and push each other."
Throughout, as the album title suggests, the grit and emotional honesty of these new songs is prized above guitar pyrotechnics (even for one of the modern scene's most valuable players). Of the 'Dirt On My Diamonds' guiding philosophy, "Life has imperfections, and I actually prefer it that way. The imperfections are what make it interesting."
With material this strong, no polish was needed. As on any KWS album, songs are the currency, and the seven originals from 'Dirt On My Diamonds Volume 1' demand to be heard, lifting listeners above their circumstances at a time when life often feels bleak and bone-raw. "I didn't want this record to be dark or dreary," considers Shepherd. "There's not a lot of incredibly heart-wrenching or difficult subject matter...My goal is always to make music that makes people feel good, regardless of what it's about."
And of course, as befitted this most playful of album sessions, Shepherd dipped into his mental jukebox for a rabble-rousing cover of Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting. "I always keep a catalogue in the back of my mind of songs I think my band could bring our thing to. The timing worked out well because Elton is doing his farewell tour. Also, I love his guitar player, Davey Johnstone. He's a friend, too, and when we recorded that song, I sent him a message saying, 'Hey man, we're gonna cover Saturday Night...' - and he said, 'Go for it!'"
Shepherd's newly announced Winter 2024 shows follow Shepherd's extensive journey across the U.S., performing at renowned venues from the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO in September, to the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise 2024 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in late January.
Stay tuned for continued updates.
Dirt On My Diamonds Vol. 1
1. Dirt On My Diamonds
2. Sweet & Low
3. Best Of Times
4. You Can't Love Me
5. Man On A Mission
6. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
7. Bad Intentions
8. Ease On My Mind
Fall 2023 Tour Dates
Thursday, September 21st - Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO
Friday, September 22nd - McCain Auditorium - Manhattan, KS
Saturday, September 23rd - Orpheum Theatre - Wichita, KS
Tuesday, September 26th - Hoyt Sherman Place - Des Moines, IA
Thurs, Sept 28th - Capital Region MU Health Care Amphitheater - Jefferson City, MO
Friday, September 29th - The Lerner - Elkhart, IN
Sat, Sept 30th - Caesars Event Center at Caesars Southern Indiana - Elizabeth, IN
Sunday, October 1st - Victory Theatre - Evansville, IN
Tues, October 3rd - Paramount Theater - Charlottesville, VA
Thurs, October 5th - Paramount Hudson Valley Theater - Peekskill, NY
Friday, October 6th - Capital One Hall - Tysons, VA
Sunday, October 8th - Grand Opera House - Wilmington, DE
Tuesday, October 10th - Sandler Center for the Performing Arts - Virginia Beach, VA
Wednesday, October 11th - Paramount Arts Center - Ashland, KY
Thursday, October 12th - Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium - Chattanooga, TN
Friday, October 13th - Capital City Amphitheater - Tallahassee, FL
Saturday, October 14th - Florence Center - Florence, SC
Sunday, October 22nd - Clearwater Jazz Holiday 2023 - Clearwater, FL
Winter 2024 Tour Dates
Sunday, January 28th - Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise 2024 - Fort Lauderdale, FL^
Tuesday, February 6th - Hard Rock Live - Orlando, FL
Wednesday, February 7th - Barbara Mann Performing Hall - Ft. Myers, FL
Thursday, February 8th - Van Wezel PAC - Sarasota, FL
Friday, February 9th - Sunrise Theatre - Ft. Pierce, FL
Wednesday, February 14th - UT Cowan Center - Tyler, TX
Thursday, February 15th - River Spirit/Margaritaville - Tulsa, OK
Friday, February 16th - Majestic Theater - Dallas, TX
Saturday, February 17th - ACL Moody Theater - Austin, TX*
Thursday, February 22nd - Mark C Smith Concert Hall - Huntsville, AL
Saturday, February 24th - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
Thursday, March 7th - Mountain Arts Center - Prestonburg, KY
Friday, March 8th - Four Winds Casino - New Buffalo, MI
Saturday, March 9th - Hollywood Casino - Lawrenceburg, IN
Sunday, March 10th - Palace Theatre - Greensburg, PA
Tuesday, March 12th - Kirby Center - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wednesday, March 13th - Santander PAC - Reading, PA
Friday, March 15th - Beacon Theatre - New York, NY*
Saturday, March 16th - Hollywood Casino - Charles Town, WV
Sunday, March 17th - Chubb Theatre - Concord, NH
Tuesday, March 19th - State Theatre - Portland, ME
Wednesday, March 20th - Paramount Theatre - Rutland, VT
Thursday, March 21st - Warner Theatre - Erie, PA
* with Samantha Fish
^ previously announced