The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential
American band ever since they came roaring out of Austin, Texas to inspire a
whole generation of music lovers and roots-rock musicians. Their distinctive,
powerful sound draws from the many roots of American music, mixing blues, rock &
roll, R&B, Cajun and more to form the rocking hybrid that has spawned more than
a dozen records, produced such mega-hits as “Tuff Enff” and “Wrap It Up”, and
won countless awards and die-hard fans around the globe.
Original co-founder Kim Wilson spearheads the Fabulous Thunderbirds in their
current hard-hitting lineup, which features Wilson’s signature vocals and
harmonica, rising stars Kirk Fletcher and Nick Curran on guitars, and veteran
T-Birds Jimi Bott on drums, Ronnie James Weber on bass, and Gene Taylor on
In 2004, the Fabulous Thunderbirds signed with Tone-Cool/Artemis Records, and
began work on their much-anticipated new studio CD, PAINTED ON. Armed with a
seasoned T-Bird rhythm section and two of the hottest young guitarists on the
scene today, the Fabulous Thunderbirds rolled into recording studios in Austin,
Texas and Los Angeles, California to record the album their fans have been
“This is by far the best band we’ve ever had, and the best album we’ve ever
made,” Wilson states proudly. Produced by Steve Berlin (of Los Lobos) and Kim
Wilson, PAINTED ON holds a few surprises, including eight brand-new
compositions, a reworked Waylon Jennings song, a pure soul ballad, and vocal
duets with guitarist Nick Curran and special guest Rachel Nagy of the Detroit
Cobras. The title track (and first single) is a soulful rocker with a memorable
hook that has “future T-Birds classic” written all over it. The songs draw from
a variety of styles and influences, but they are all built solidly around the
deep and unmistakable T-Birds groove.
"We started as a straight blues band", Wilson says. "Now we incorporate a
mixture of a lot of different styles. We’re an American music band and much
higher energy than we ever were before... To be in the T-Birds, you need to
understand the different styles of music and different ways of playing," Wilson
comments. "You have to be willing to adopt a more contemporary style. The guys
we have now are able to do that." Born in Detroit, Wilson grew up in California
where he fell under the sway of the blues, honing his chops under the tutelage
of legendary players like George Smith, Luther
Tucker and Peewee Crayton. After a brief time leading a band of his own around
the Minneapolis area, he moved to Austin, Texas in 1974 and formed the Fabulous
Thunderbirds with guitarist Jimmie Vaughan. While ensconced as the house band at
Clifford Antone’s famous Austin blues club, they played with virtually all their
heroes – Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Eddy Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Buddy Guy,
Hubert Sumlin and many others, and the word soon spread that there was a band
down in Austin that was laying down some of the toughest music ever heard. Muddy
Waters called Kim “the greatest harmonica player to come along since Little
Walter.” “Muddy Waters was very good to me,” Wilson says, “He almost adopted me.
I’ll never forget him.”
As the Thunderbirds’ reputation spread, they began to record and tour around the
country to ever increasing crowds. The band developed a reputation as a
compelling live act and subsequently signed a record deal with CBS/Epic Records.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds’ self-titled first album brought the Texas roadhouse
feel of their live shows to a mass audience. In subsequent releases, the band
started to incorporate more Cajun, rock ‘n’ roll and soul influences. The 1982
album, T-BIRD RHYTHM, marked a creative turning point for the group as it
collaborated with noted producer Nick Lowe.
In 1986, the Fabulous Thunderbirds worked with producer Dave Edmunds and reached
a commercial peak with the album TUFF ENUFF, which became a major crossover
success. The title track was released as a single and its accompanying video
received heavy play on MTV, which helped the song reach the American Top Ten.
"Wrap It Up,” the second single from the album, also resonated with a large
audience and became a Top Ten album rock track. Later that year, the T-Birds won
the W.C. Handy Award for best blues band.
Jimmie Vaughan left the group in 1989 but Wilson kept the
T-Birds going, bringing in new players and incorporating keyboards into the
guitar-driven sound. The Fabulous Thunderbirds continued to tour, releasing a
number of studio records in the 90s, and a live CD/DVD combination in 2001.
Acclaimed and respected for their peerless musicianship, the band are favorites
of fellow musicians around the world; they have opened shows for the likes of
the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.
During this time Wilson also began a side project, recording and performing in a
more traditional setting as the Kim Wilson Blues Revue, and lent his talents to
the recordings of other artists including Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Carlos
Santana and many others. His own songs have been included in the soundtracks for
major motion pictures as well as several national commercials, and Wilson has
garnered multiple Grammy and W.C. Handy nominations for his solo projects as
well as for the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
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THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS â€“ Boerderij, ZoetermeerBlues MagazineThe Fabulous Thunderbirds toeren al meer dan 30 jaar de hele wereld over met hun stampende, swingende Blues. De band komt met Kim Wilson, de originele frontman en oprichter van de band, naar de Boerderij! Hij wordt bijgestaan door de gitaristen ...
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