For nearly twenty years Fender® and modern blues sensation Kenny Wayne Shepherd have shared a stage and they are now officially announcing the September 2008 release of his new signature model, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster® guitar.
A sleekly elegant addition to Fender's stable of artist Strat® models, the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster is based on Shepherd's own '61 instrument (which will soon be on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum) and welds vintage style to modern features. Most distinctively, Shepherd's new signature model boasts a blueswailing voice of its own thanks to its three custom-voiced Kenny Wayne Shepherd pickups.
Other features include an alder-body, maple neck with 12"-radius rosewood fingerboard and 21 jumbo frets, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge with Graph Tech® saddles and Fender vintage-style tuning machines. The guitar comes in three polyester finishes — a Black model with a three-ply black-white-black pickguard and racing stripe body graphic, and Three-color Sunburst and Arctic White models that each have a three-ply mint green pickguard (with cross graphic on the Arctic White model).
"It's an honor to be a part of the Signature Series guitar line. My goal throughout the design process was to combine top notch quality with unique appearances and road proven components at an affordable price. These guitars will help a new generation of guitarists develop their own signature sound the way Fender has helped me to develop mine.
The Louisiana-born Shepherd began recording his first album at age 16 and became a blues/rock sensation. He has sold millions of albums worldwide, including the platinum selling Ledbetter Heights (1995), the Grammy®-nominated and platinum selling Trouble Is ... (1998), Grammy® nominated Live On (1999), The Place You're In (2004) and two time Grammy® nominated 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads (2007). Shepherd has four No. 1 blues albums to his credit, including Billboard Magazine's # 1 Blues Album of 2007, a string of No. 1 mainstream rock singles, two Billboard Music Awards (1998's Rock Song of the Year and Blues Album of the Year), two Orville H. Gibson Awards, the Blues Foundation's Keeping The Blues Alive Award, and a Blues Music Award.
"In addition to his unique voice, unbelievable abilities and general fingerboard prowess, Kenny is one of the modern-day ambassadors for a true American art form — the blues," said Justin Norvell, Fender's marketing director for electric guitars. "His Grammy®-nominated 10 Days Out showcased a mutual respect that crosses generations. He is the real deal, and he has the entire package."