Shepherd Wasn’t Stills’ First Choice For Band
John Mayer was initially going to be the third member of The Rides, Stephen Stills’ new blues jam band with keyboardist Barry Goldberg. Stills says Mayer had to drop out of the project due to his throat problems and, as announced a while back, Kenny Wayne Shepherd became the third member.
Stills recalls hearing that Shepherd was stepping in from manager Elliot Roberts, and the strange coincidence that took place when he heard that news.
“I’m on the phone with Elliot and he says, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do it with Kenny Wayne Shepherd,” and I go ‘Who?’ There was Kenny, the blond-headed kid guitar player who I went to the Colts game with all the time with Jim Irsay, and we would play these parties and he was really good, but I did not put the two together. And I turn around and I’m in a casino and outside my window is an eight-story sign that said, ‘This weekend: Kenny Wayne Shepherd.” And it’s got his picture and I recognize him and go, ‘Oh, THAT Kenny Wayne Shepherd!'”
Word Game,” a track from The Rides’ debut album, Can’t Get Enough, is now streaming on RollingStone.com. Longtime Stills fans may recognize the song as an electrified version of an acoustic number from his second solo album, 2, which came out back in 1971. By the way, the drummer on the track is Chris Layton, from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.
Can’t Get Enough hits stores August 27th.