Kendall Shaffer

April 22, 2020

Kendall’s songs sparkle with a decidedly modern edge and yet they still manage to cut

through the homogenization that’s held the genre hostage for far too long. But Kendall’s music shows that you don’t have to try too hard to be yourself — all you have to do is let it flow.

Although he’s a child of the ‘90s, Kendall fell under the spell of artists like Hank Williams, Sr. and Alan Jackson as a young child. On the cover of The Traditional Revival, Kendall — barely older than a toddler and dressed in nothing more than a pair of drawers and a cowboy hat — is shown holding an acoustic guitar in the backyard. Kendall’s love of country music, he says, was already sealed by that point, and it wasn’t long after that that his dad taught him the three foundational chords Kendall would run with. The Louisiana native has never looked back since, even though it means he’s had to push against the grain.

Although Kendall would take a liking to Southern Rock as a teenager, rocking Allman Brothers and Skynyrd tapes while out fishing with his dad, he has mostly eschewed the conformity-inducing call of radio. And sure, he and his high school buddies knocked around on some popular cover tunes in their day, but Kendall has never let peer pressure steer him from his first love. To this day, in his part of Louisiana, the demand for swamp pop can engulf an upstart country artist.

But that hasn’t stopped Kendall, who chuckles when he thinks back to the small PA he used when he first started playing bars at 16 years old. “I had no clue how to run it. My dad ran it most of the time, and he didn’t really know how to do it either.” Since that point, Kendall has steadily refined his craft. Backed by a crack group of players who are all old enough to be his dad or his grandad, Kendall’s delivery is as casual and approachable and as the sound of someone cracking open a beer before cracking a joke. And by all accounts, Kendall wouldn’t be out of place onstage at a comedy club — a charm that’s enabled him to fold life’s troubles into a vehicle for us listeners to laugh at ourselves a bit.


Watch Kendall's music video "Whoever Said It Was Easy"


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