It’s been 25 years since Kenny Wayne Shepherd exploded onto the national scene as a teenage blues guitar phenom. In the years since, the Shreveport, Louisiana native has served as one of the genre’s foremost artists and ambassadors. Having played with Buddy Guy and B.B. King, as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble and Muddy Waters’ band, Shepherd is always mindful to shine a light on the greats who preceded him. By blending the sounds of his past with his own fresh take on rock, country and soul, he's sold millions of albums, charted a string of hits and toured the world over.
And his Fender Stratocaster guitars have been along for the ride every step of the way. “I grew up playing a Strat,” says Shepherd, who idolized Strat icons like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Everything about the instrument is just perfect for me. It’s all in the right spot for the way that I play.”
“The first time I picked it up, I knew it was the one,” he says. “It was like finding the glass slipper.”
For most of Shepherd’s career, his primary Stratocaster has been a 1961 sunburst model. That guitar can be heard on his breakthrough 1997 platinum-selling effort Trouble Is… and every album he’s recorded since.