Ian Shepherd & Friends was birthed from the concept of forming the best house band in town and having the greatest musicians and friends sit in and give Chambana a world class show. As time has gone on, the concept has concretized and the band has become a staple on the scene, producing the best funk, blues, and improvised music in the region. They have made their stamp on music by artists such as The Meters, Billy Cobham, Freddie King, and John Scofield, among others. Recent successes include a standing room only crowd at Rose Bowl Tavern for An Evening of Led Zeppelin, and a performance at the world premiere of the documentary Incident At Kickapoo Creek at The Virginia Theater. Over the years some of the guests have included Ryan Groff, Andy Duncanson, Brandon T. Washington, Kayla Brown, and Tito Carrillo, among others.
The band’s leader and drummer is Ian Shepherd. A staple in the Midwest music scene, some of his local credits include Temple of Low Men, The Funky Butt Drum Club, The Brat Pack, and 90’s Daughter, as well as recording credits on many albums and soundtracks. Ian is a proud endorser of Evans drumheads and Promark drumsticks.
Holding down the low end is Mitchell Killough on bass. Mitchell has played bass with nearly every act in Eastern Illinois and is one of the founding members of the band. His local credits include Afro D & The Global Soundwaves, Dropsy, and Spaceport.
On guitar and vocals is Clayton Thompson. Raised on music, Clayton has grown into a style that is his own, and has become a centerpiece in the Chambana music scene and is recognized from his work with Aquila.
Keyboardist Jesse Brown is a thirty-year veteran of the music scene in Central Illinois. Along with being a founding member of The Brat Pack, Jesse has also played with Surreal Deal, The Blues Deacons, Jazz Sandwich, and countless others.
Organist Kurt Reeder, originally from Utah, has made his name over the last four years in Chambana as a versatile keyboardist who rose through the ranks to become a staple in the local performing and studio recording scene. Local credits include Tito Carrillo, Chip McNeill, and Jeff Helgesen.