Kenny Wayne Shepherd will live many a guitarist’s dream next Wednesday, November 10, when he appears on NBC’s "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." Playing live on TV may be nothing new for KWS, but this time will be special because he gets to play the famed Jimi Hendrix "Woodstock Strat."
Hendrix played the Strat at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, including on his famous rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." Hendrix purchased the guitar in ’68 and played it at many concerts including the Newport Pop Festival and his final concert at the Isle of Fehmarn in September, 1970. The guitar was acquired by Experience Music Project (EMP) in 1992 and has been in the Seattle-based museum’s permanent collection since that time. EMP has consented to bring the guitar to New York, accompanied by two curators, in support of Experience Hendrix’s continuing efforts to bring the music of Jimi Hendrix to successive generations.
After the Fallon taping wraps, the Strat will be transported to the Beacon Theater, where Shepherd will play it as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour. The events will mark the first time in more more than 40 years that the guitar is played in front of a live audience.
"We are delighted that this tangible piece of my brother’s history will be front and center for audiences to enjoy on this occasion," said Janie Hendrix, CEO of Experience Hendrix. "Thanks to Paul Allen and EMP for their kind cooperation in helping realize this vision."
Shepherd was inspired by Hendrix and, over the course of his career has closed every performance with Jimi Hendrix’s "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." His recently released <em>LIVE! In Chicago</em> debuted at #1 on <em>Billboard</em>’s Top Blues Album chart – his fifth straight number one album, equalling Eric Clapton’s total.
The current edition of the Experience Hendrix Tour features Steve Vai, Susan Tedeschi, Robert Randolph, Jonny Lang, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, Eric Johnson, Ernie Isley, Living Colour, Mato Nanji of Indigenous, Chris Layton of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and The Slide Brothers (a/k/a Chuck and Darick Campbell of Sacred Steel) and Shepherd.