We caught up with blues rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd to check out his rig in Des Moines, Iowa. Watch our extensive video interview, including demos of all of his effects:
Shepherd is known for using Strats, and brings a number of them on the road. He relies heavily on his Fender signature models, but employs different variations on the Strat for different songs. Shepherd uses Ernie Ball strings and varies between .10s to .12s, depending upon how much he's been playing.
Left to Right: stock Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Strat, Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Strat prototype, Fender Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Strat with GraphTech Ghost pickup system (used for the "Blue on Black"), Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterrey Pop Limited Edition.
Left to Right: Martin Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Acoustic prototype, Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Strat with GraphTech saddles and a custom neck (used heavily on his first album), National Resophonic Dobro Electric (used for "Aberdeen"), Guy Guitars Strat-style with lipstick pickups, built-in Roger Mayer overdrive boost, and Drop D lever.
When we caught up with Shepherd, he was experimenting with different amp setups and trying to use lower wattage amps to lower the stage volume. That night, he was using a 1964 Fender Blackface Vibroverb Reissue, a new Fender Super-Sonic Twin set on the Bassman setting, and a Fender Deluxe Reissue that's been rebuilt by Alexander Dumble called the Tweedledee Deluxe. He runs all three amps and brings the Deluxe into the mix as "icing on the cake."
Shepherd was using an in-between pedalboard while a custom board was being built when we caught up with him. The signal chain was a Dunlop Uni-Vibe, Electro-Harmonix POG 2, MXR CAE wah, Chicago Iron Tycobrahe Octavia (modern), Analog Man King of Tone (newest version), Ibanez Hand-Wired TS808 Tube Screamer, Analog Man Bi-Chorus, JAM Pedals Delay Llama, and Boss TU-3. His main tone comes from the combination of the King of Tone and Tube Screamer. His new board adds an additional MXR CAE Wah circuit mounted in the board and a BK Butler Tube Driver. The board is powered by Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus and his new board uses a Voodoo Lab Ground Control System.