Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 1st Hometown Studio Album

Kenny Wayne Shepherd says there’s a double meaning to his next album’s tentative title, Going Home.

Photo: Bob Bayne / Memphis In May
Beale Street Music Festival, Tom Lee Park, Memphis, Tenn.

It’s the first studio album he’s recorded in his hometown and it’s a return to his musical roots, Shepherd told The Times.

“The album is me revisiting my musical roots, the songs that inspired me and influenced me when I was a little kid here sitting in my dad’s living room listening to all these blues players, teaching myself how to play guitar,” Shepherd said.

He said he spent his youth on an adventure seeing the world. Now he’s bought a house in the Shreveport area and wants to spend more time with family, especially for the holidays.

He recorded more than 20 tracks over seven days in August 2012 at Shreveport’s Blade Studios. Up to 13 of those songs will make it to the album.

Guest musicians include Ringo Starr on “Cut You Loose,” previously performed by Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. The Fabulous Thunderbirds lead vocalist Kim Wilson joins on Muddy Water’s tune “I Love the Life I Live (I Live the Life I Love).” Robert Randolph, the pedal steel guitarist and frontman of Robert Randolph & the Family Band, contributes to the Muddy Waters cover “Still a Fool.” Keb’ Mo’ performs on Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.”

The album is due out in May 2014.