Backroads Blues Festival coming to Symphony Hall in Springfield

The Backroads Blues Festival is coming to Springfield Symphony Hall in less than two weeks.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:53 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Backroads Blues Festival is coming to Springfield Symphony Hall in less than two weeks.

“Blues music, to me, is music about celebrating. It is born out of suffering, but it’s about getting to the other side,” said Kenny Shepherd with the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band.

Shepherd said his father, who was a disc jockey at one of the most well-known stations in Louisiana, inspired his passion for music.

“I grew up around music 24/7 and as a result of his position, we got to go to every concert that came through town and we got to meet every band,” Shepherd added.

Fast forward to today and Shepherd has sold over a million albums, but it was at the young age of seven when he first picked up a guitar.

“By the time I was 13, I got on stage for the first time. By the age of 14, I had recorded my first demo. When I was 15, I put my band together. By the age of 16, I signed with a major record company,” Shepherd explained.

Once Shepherd was introduced to blues music, he never looked back.

“Seeing the hottest talent in the blues, from BB King to Buddy Guy to Etta James, Joe Cocker, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the list goes on and on,” Shepherd said.

Being a fan of the blues, Shepherd said he was thrilled to tour with the best in the business.

“When I was a teenager and put my band together, I became a participant in the tour and did many of them with BB…and that tour stop existing several years back,” Shepherd noted.

Now, Shepherd said it’s time to bring it back.

“This is something for people that are fans of this music or people who want to get turned onto this music, like that was a great platform for the genre to bring the hottest blues talent to different cities across the country,” Shepherd said.=

He is no stranger to playing Springfield. Shepherd said he can’t wait to come back.

“I do know, in the area, we have had consistent support. We have had great turnouts. We have had fans who have been with us for the past 30 years and we have a great fan base, so we expect a great turnout,” Shepherd explained.

Three bands are part of the Backroads Blues Festival: Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram. Shepherd said each one brings something unique.

“All three bands bring a tremendous amount of energy and we are bonafide entertainers and our job is to entertain you and show you a good time. We guarantee that,” Shepherd added.

The Backroads Blues Festival is scheduled for Thursday, August 18 at Symphony Hall.