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Lemuel Sheppard / Bio

Lem sheppard Guitar, banjo, Vocals,

Lem grew up in Kansas City Kansas and like everybody in his neighborhood, got a guitar when he was about nine years old. There were bands everywhere. From the sixth grade on, everybody had a band. By age 13 he and his brother put together a serious band with two brothers who lived next door. They were the sons of blues organist, Lawrence Wright from Oklahoma. Lawrence sat in with them once at a reunion, but most of the time he'd get them to help him load the B-3 on the van. Albert Collins was playing with him those days and sometimes they would come over to borrow a drum pedal, guitar chord or something late at night.
Lem’s band began playing colleges, house parties, reunions, and clubs around KCK. The youthful quartet even played a three day rock festival put on by a motor cycle club called the "Vultures."The Funk/Blues band stayed together until a few years after high school. While in college Lem studied saxophone and began playing Jazz and it was there that he met the 86 year old, Dr. Eva Jessye.
Dr. Eva Jessye, who gained international fame as the original choral director in George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess,” taught him to sing the 100 year old folk and blues songs her father sang to her. In 1978 while in college, Sheppard appeared in a CBS Special Segment titled "Pioneers in Black Music" with Dr. Jessye and that began his exile from playing the electric guitar. Eva Jessye taught the world that spirituals were serious music and Lem wanted to do the same thing with Traditional Blues.
Sheppard has performed across the United States, South America, Africa, and at the Kennedy Center. He composed and performed the Jazz soundtrack to the PBS documentary Black, White and Brown, is a member of the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Kansas Folklore Society’s Joan O’Bryan award for folk music.

Guitarist vocalist and songwriter lem Sheppard is a solo artist who can move seamlessly from blues, jazz, folk and classic songs from the “The great American Song Book.”Known primarily for his contemporary approach to traditional acoustic blues, he is also crowd favorite at folk festivals. Lem is the genuine article who can deliver a great performance on the concert stage with the same ease as he can on a flat bed trailer out in the middle of freshly cut field. Whether his audience is a group of 5th graders at a school assembly, a scholarly gathering of folklorist, musicologist, jazz and blues enthusiast, or a people having dinner and drinks, lem delivers a performance that is perfect for the setting.

General Info

Band Members
Lem Sheppard, Isaac Sheppard, Alexander Sheppard
Artist Name
Lemuel Sheppard
Home Page
Active Since
Blues / Blues / folk

Contact Info

Kansas City, KS

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