TD Toronto Jazz Festival-Kenny Wayne Sheperd+Robert Randolph-Sun.,June 22nd, 2014

By Bill Kwan
Sunday night had the Blues injection for the MainStage at Nathan Phillips Square as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. Robert Randolph And His Family Band, from Newark, NJ, who always performs a mini concert just before each New York Knicks game, opened the show with a high octane set. Randolph played a spirited set, including steel guitar, while incorporating gospel, blues and rock n’ roll in his set. Though the steel guitar is mainly known in country music, it is a big part of the musical stage for Randolph. His band consist of : cousins Danyel Morgan on bass and Marcus Randolph on percussion. They put on a great high energy show with the crowd standing on their feet during their set. Two interesting things happened during the concert. Randolph wanted someone from the audience to come on stage to play guitar. Then a 17 year old named Andrew Prince from Milton jumped up on stage and showed his skills with the band. Also the band exchanged instruments close to the end of their set to show the audience their versatility in playing musical instruments.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd was the headliner but it was pretty clear that the crowd were divided on where their loyalties lie. Recently, Shepherd released his new album called “Goin’ Home.” His touring band/musicians are also in the album led by singer Noah Hunt, Pianist Riley Osbourn, bassist Tony Franklin (from the 80s group The Firm) and drummer former Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble member Chris Layton. Shepherd covered alot of tunes by his mentors such as: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Slim Harp and Freddie King. As a teenager back in the 90’s, Shepherd was a child prodigy. Media compared him to the likes of his hero: S.R.V., B.B. King and Freddie King. Years later it seemed Sheperd was at a stalemate. He is still an amazing guitarist but popularity and musical growth have not followed Sheperd. It would be great to see Sheperd play in a Super Group à la Joe Satriani in Chickenfoot.
Set List:
1- Everything Is Broken(Bob Dylan cover)
2- The House Is Rockin'(Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble cover)
3- You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover(Bo Diddley)
4- Heat of the Sun
5- Palace of the King(Freddie King cover)
6- Born With A Broken Heart
7- I’m a King Bee(Slim Harpo cover)
8- You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now(B.B. King cover)
9- Shotgun Blues
10- Blue On Black
11- Red House(The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
12- Voodoo Child(The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)