Based in folk/country roots, Stephen Shepherd’s songwriting contains poignant lyrics that discuss his relationship with a myriad of characters. Described as “lyric-based folk-country with small town realism,” his songs have been likened to John Prine, Bob Dylan, and Arlo Guthrie. His well-crafted lyrics discuss a landscape of characters, ranging from an aging--yet still touring-- guitar picker to Henry Ford symbolically riding shotgun in a teenager’s hopped up Mustang.
A recent review of his first CD, Einstein’s Hair, states his music as … “ Pure MAGIC! … Real, old school traditional and folksy… worthy of intense study and airplay.” – Country Western Corner Magazine.
Shepherd has been performing music professionally for thirty years in clubs, coffeehouses, college concerts, and festivals, and his first published song appeared in 1975. He now writes and publishes music for Circus Girl Records, does guitar work for Heartland Recording Studios and Waterfall Music, and performs a selected number of concert venues each year. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing.
Currently, Shepherd’s Einstein’s Hair CD is appearing on DJ Radio Playlists in fourteen countries: France, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, Holland, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Germany, and Australia. In 2004, the CD charted a number of EUROPEAN HITS: “Einstein’s Hair” was #4 in France and #6 in Belgium. “Gentle Guitar Pickin” was #3 in Poland, #13 in Holland, #7 in Ireland, #15 in Scandinavia (Norway & Sweden), “Six Pack Syndrome” was #16 in Denmark. In 2005 “Going Down To Mexico” was #13 in Denmark, #20 in Scandinavia, #18 in Austria, #20 in Belgium, and #13 in Great Britain. In March-April 2005, “Big Truck” was #3 in Australia for five weeks. In May 2005, “Big Truck” was also #6 in Austria. Shepherd has also ranked consistently in the top 100 artists in Europe for radio airplay as registered by Worldwide Mainstream Artists. His second CD Heartbreak Standard Time was recorded in October – December 2004, and the single “Ten Tall Women” quickly became #20 in Germany. Singer/song writer Shepherd is a registered songwriter with BMI.
Shepherd often uses original flat-picking and finger-picking styles that blend folk with country rhythms to form a matrix sound on some of his 30 songs performed in concert. Up-beat country crowd-pleasing songs include 100 Proof Woman, Six Pack Syndrome, Down In The Factory, and Gentle Guitar Pickin, while softer country-folk offerings like Phases of the Moon and Tuesday Come Monday embrace a quieter introspective edge.
Inspired by his mother, a piano-teacher, and his father, a die-hard country fan, Shepherd started playing banjo at the age of eight and then guitar at 16. Being born and raised in a rural Michigan town while listening to early country music giants like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams shaped and influenced his music.