Fender and Kenny Wayne Shepherd have once again collaborated on the new Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Stratocaster:
Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s fiery leads, meaty rhythms, and hard-driving songs have propelled his robust career through nine solo records – three certified platinum, major tours with Buddy Guy, Van Halen, and The Rolling Stones, and an ongoing collaboration with blues-supergroup The Rides with Stephen Stills.
The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Stratocaster features a chambered ash body for vibrant and resonant tone, while the Transparent Faded Sonic Blue lacquer finish highlights the beautiful ash grain. The early ‘60s inspired “C”-shaped maple neck and bound rosewood fingerboard—with a 7.25” radius—offer comfort and playability straight out of Fender’s golden age. Loaded with three Kenny Wayne Shepherd custom pickups, this guitar delivers punchy and full-throated Strat tones.
There are several notable differences between this model and Kenny’s previous signature Stratocaster. Most interesting to me is the chambered ash body. 60s-style Stratocasters typically use alder as the main body wood, while ash is more associated with 50s-style Stratocasters. I’m interested in playing one of these to see how the chambered ash affects the tone.
One of the other interesting aspects of this new model is the vintage-style 7.25″ fretboard radius. His previous model had a flatter 12″ fretboard radius. With most modern Strats having flatter fretboard radii, the inclusion of the 7.25″ is intriguing. I personally tend to prefer a flatter fretboard. That being said, PRS and John Mayer also went with the 7.25″ radius on the Silver Sky, which has been somewhat divisive, although it ultimately doesn’t seem to prevent people from loving that guitar.
I think the color looks great. I usually prefer a less bling-y Strat, but I think the block inlays look good on this guitar.
This model is made in America and has a street price of $1999.