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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Fabulous Thunderbirds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fabulous Thunderbirds. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Severn Records artists: The Fabulous Thunderbirds - Strong Like That - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Strong Like That, from The Fabulous Thunderbirds and I really like it. Opening with Temptations classic, (I Know) I'm Losing You, TFT have melded a track that has been done by everyone from Rare Earth to Rod Stewart and with spicy steel guitar work of Roosevelt Collier and the funky beat of Wes Watkins created a cool new sound. Kim Wilson is upfront on vocal and harp and Steve Gomes lays down a solid bass riff along with Kevin Anker on keys. Very cool! Stepping off like Curtis Mayfield on Don't Burn Me, Wilson delivers a really soulful vocal line. Anson Funderburgh lends an artful hand to this soulful mix with tasty guitar riffs and with Christal Rheams and Caleb Green on backing vocals, Gomes on bass and Robb Stupka on drums. Excellent! Funky blues soul on You're Gonna Miss Me has a super groove that makes you want to bounce in your seat if not outright get up and dance. Wilson's harp work on this track is more soul than blues and really works nicely. Al Jackson's Drowning On Dry land has a super cool bottom Wilson keeps it light as air with his smooth vocals and restrained harp. Moeller's guitar riffs are spot on and Anker punctuates nicely. Excellent! Another funky track, Somebody's Getting It, is full blown with Kenny Rittenhouse on trumpet, Joe Donegan on trumpet, Antonio Orta on sax and Bill Holmes on trombone and Rheams and Green on back vocals. Wilson's vocals are particularly rich on this track, possibly being my favorite featuring him in near memory. With it's rolling bass line, Meet Me On The Corner, is the bluesiest track on the release and Wilson takes full advantage with his trademark blues harp riffs and vocals. Very cool. Where's Your Love Been has a cool southern soul sound with the full horns, crafty keyboard work by Anker and a few real nice guitar outings by Mr Johnny Moeller. Eddie Floyd's I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do) has a smooth soul sound with tight horn work and cool stylistic rhythm guitar work by Moeller. Wilson's vocals are cool and the track solid. Wrapping the release is title track, Strong Like That. With it's funky bass line and snappy drum bottom, Wilson really brings it home on vocal and harp. His phrasing and tone are top notch and this track is a particularly cool closer to what may be my favorite Thunderbirds release...ever!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Two-Day California Beer Festival Features Specialty Craft Beers, BBQ Contest, Big-Name Blues Acts

Are you kidding me! Take someone along to go on beer runs... you're not going to want to miss a minute! Look at this line up!

Big Two-Day California Beer Festival Features

Craft Beers, BBQ Contest, Big-Name Blues Acts

Saturday, September 15/Sunday, September 16 - Mission Park, Ventura, CA

(Ventura, Calif.) - California Beer Festival takes place Saturday, September 15 (12:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and Sunday, September 16 (11 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.) in Ventura's Mission Park, 36 Figueroa St., in the downtown district. CBF is one of the year's biggest entertainment events featuring everyone's favorite three B's: Beer, Barbeque and the Blues!

Tickets for the California Beer Festival Craft Beer Heaven on Saturday are $50 for General Admission, $70 for a special Saturday-only "V.I.P. Meet The Brewer", or $25 for a Designated Driver Ticket. Sunday it's the CBF Blues, Brews & BBQ Blues Festival for $30 (children 5 and under are free on Sunday only). Ventura County Blues Society members receive a $5. discount with I.D. Advance tickets available at CBF event proceeds benefit DARC (Dyslexia Awareness And Resource Center) and the Gen Giammaco Foundation. Space is limited! For more information call (805) 323-5691 or email:

On Sunday, September 16, Kim Wilson (center) and the Fabulous Thunderbirds headline a star-studded Blues lineup at the two-day California Beer Festival in Mission Park, downtown Ventura.

Saturday, September 15: Craft Beer Festival Craft Beer Heaven. Over 150 varieties of specialty craft beers on tap along with 70 microbreweries, great food and live music by popular 14-piece Michael Jackson tribute group, Foreverland. "California Beer Festival's main goal is to shine a light on the Craft Beer Movement and celebrate great beer," says CBF promoter/organizer, Vincenzo Giammanco. There's also a 5K Run on Saturday that will have you running through the streets and along the oceanfront of Ventura, crossing the finish line right inside the Festival itself!

Sunday, September 16: Blues, Brews, & BBQ Blues Festival. Blue Moon Barbeque Cook-Off featuring barbeque teams competing for $3,000 in cash prize plus 15 craft beers on tap. Sunday also features non-stop music by some of the biggest names in the world of blues - Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds (known for their hits "Tuff Enuf," "Wrap It Up," and "She's Tuff," among others); a Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan with Crossfire; blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire, Walter Trout; longtime SoCal blues standout harpist-vocalist, Rod Piazza And the Mighty Flyers; Northern California guitar ace, Chris Cain; and Simi Valley's blues stalwarts, Michael John & The Bottom Line. There will be two stages adjacent to one another that day - when one band finishes their set on one stage, the next band immediately starts playing on the other stage!

California Beer Festival - SOUTHLAND BLUES Feature
Q and A With CBF's Vincenzo Giammanco - ALL ACCESS MAGAZINE
California Beer Festival - BLUES E-NEWS Feature
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Monday, July 23, 2012

What I Say - Stevie Ray Vaughan And The Fabulous Thunderbirds

For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group's distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as "Tuff Enuff" and "Wrap It Up". Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation.

"We started as a straight blues band", vocalist and harmonica player Wilson says. "We now incorporate a mixture of a lot of different styles. We're an American music band and we're much higher energy than we were before."

Fabulous Thunderbirds with Stand Up BassIn addition to Wilson, the current Thunderbirds line-up features Jay Moeller on drums, Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller on guitar, and Randy Bermudes on bass.

"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."

The band continues to tour extensively, in both the U.S. and Europe. Wilson is currently writing songs on his own, with band members and other writers.

"I've primarily been a solo songwriter, but I'm looking forward to experimenting with the guys in the band," Wilson says.

The thread throughout the T-Birds career has been the respect the group commanded for its peerless musicianship and devotion to the sounds of blues, R & B and rock 'n roll. In fact, Muddy Waters called Wilson his favorite harmonica player and vocalist. "Muddy Waters was very good to me," Wilson says. "He almost adopted me. I'll never forget him."

For Kim Wilson, the musical journey started in Goleta, California. At 17 he began playing the harmonica. His influences included Little Walter, George "Harmonica" Smith, Lazy Lester and James Cotton. At the same time, Wilson began singing and was deeply impacted by Bobby "Blue" Bland, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rodgers and Muddy Waters. In search of other musicians who shared his love of the blues, Wilson headed to Minneapolis. He stayed there for a year and a half, playing locally, before moving to the burgeoning music scene of Austin, Texas. It was there that he met Jimmie Vaughan and they founded the T-Birds in 1974. The band developed a reputation as a compelling live act and subsequently signed a record deal with CBS/Epic Records.

In 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. "Things were wide open back then," Wilson recalls. "There were hundreds of stages where bands could show what they had."

Fabulous Thunderbirds B&WIn subsequent releases, the band started to incorporate more Cajun, rock 'n roll and soul influences. The 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 reached a commercial peak with the album, "Tuff Enuff". The single of the same title as well as the singles "Wrap It Up" and "Look At That", all went top 40. The song, "Tuff Enuff" was featured in the film "Gung Ho" starring Michael Keaton.

For the remainder of the '80s, the band continued to record and tour, and released the album, "Powerful Stuff". Jimmie Vaughn left in 1989 but Wilson kept the group going, incorporating keyboards into the guitar-driven sound. Kim moved back to California in 1996, continuing to cultivate the T-Birds music.

As a side project Wilson formed Kim Wilson's Blues Revue, a traditional blues band. He also owns a blues label, Blue Collar Music, that has released three albums - one by Kim, one by "Big Al" Blake and one by Fred Kaplan. Wilson has also recorded and written with noted session guitarist Danny Kortchmar and drummer Steve Jordan and may tour with them at some point. However his current focus remains The Fabulous Thunderbirds. "This is a great time for this band," he says. "We're looking forward to the future
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Thursday, November 10, 2011



ANNAPOLIS, MD – Severn Records has announced the signing of legendary American roots music band The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and will begin recording their label debut CD shortly at Severn’s new state-of-the-art studio in Annapolis for release in early 2012.
In addition to The Fabulous Thunderbirds co-founder, singer/harmonica player Kim Wilson, the band members are the brothers Moeller – Johnny (guitar) and Jay (drums) - as well as Mike Keller (guitar) and Randy Bermudes (bass). Severn Records also released Johnny Moeller’s critically-acclaimed CD, BlooGaLoo, in 2010.

“We are thrilled to have The Fabulous Thunderbirds as part of the Severn family and to have the opportunity to give Kim and the band’s music a home,” said Severn Records president David Earl. “Their style will fit in perfectly with what we do and we are looking forward to the first studio sessions in the creation of a new Thunderbirds album.”

“I’m really excited about being a part of Severn Records,” said Kim Wilson. “We have a great rapport with David Earl and I feel at home already. The creative family atmosphere he provides is something that is very rare in any business these days.”

Founded in Austin, Texas, in 1974, the Grammy-nominated Fabulous Thunderbirds have evolved over the years from the group’s original blues sound. “We started as a straight blues band,” said Kim Wilson. We now incorporate a mixture of a lot of different styles. We’re an American music band and we’re much higher energy than we were before. To be in the T-Birds, you need to understand the different styles of music and different ways of playing it. You have to be willing to adopt a more contemporary style. The guys we have now are able to do that.”
Through consistent touring and the release of such landmark albums as Butt Rockin’,
T-Bird Rhythm, Tuff Enuff and Powerful Stuff, The Fabulous Thunderbirds garnered international stardom with the hit singles, “Tuff Enuff,” “Wrap It Up and “Look at That.”

The Fabulous Thunderbirds are managed by Skip Taylor of Two Goats Entertainment and booked in the U.S. and Canada by Bill Monot at Paradise Artists. The band has an upcoming tour of Australia in April, 2012 and will also support the release of their new Severn Records album with extensive touring in both the U.S. and Europe.