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I am a long time and large fan of the Fabulous T-birds, and have seen them 5-6 times with and without Jimmy Vaughan, as well as Kim Wilson solo. This band delivers the Texas/New Orleans blues rock in thier undated traditional flavor, ala Delbert McClinton, in a class of thier own.

I own 5 of thier CD's and it's all good. Enjoy!

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of the blues.....

fabt.jpgFabulous Thunderbirds

"Painted On"

Tone Cool/Artemis Records The Fabulous Thunderbirds formed in 1974; they reached the height of their popularity when in 1986 they had a hit single with "Tuff Enuff". Since then they have remained in the forefront releasing an occasional album, most of them live. The lead singer harpist Kim Wilson actually recorded his best blues material under his own name beginning with the "That's Life" and "Tigerman" albums. The last successful studio album released by The Fabulous Thunderbirds was "Roll of The Dice". It was followed by 1997's "High Water" which was criticized for being overly experimental.

Kim Wilson's vision for The T-Birds always had a more rockin' approach, but personnel changes seemed to get in the way of artistic growth, how do you replace Jimmy Vaughan? With the addition of guitarists Nick Curran and Kirk Fletcher, and drummer Jimi Bott they have gotten the shot in the arm they needed. The three new members join Kim Wilson; Gene Taylor, piano; and Ronnie James Weber, bass. The album is produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos.

Thus they turn out their best album since 1987's "Hot Number". Opening with the hard rockin' "Hard Knock", co-written by Kim Wilson and Gary Nicholson, they waste no time in re-establishing themselves. Kim Wilson has written or co-written another five of the twelve songs included here but this album is really a band effort. Kim's vocals and the guitars of Kirk Fletcher and Nick Curran shine throughout the recording. "Love Speaks Louder Than Words" is a wonderful duet between Kim Wilson and Rachel Nagy of The Detroit Cobras. Rachel's voice is a little like Lou Ann Barton to give you an idea of how it sounds. Highlights like the title song "Painted On", "Rock Candy" and "Postman" follow. Nick Curran sings harmony on "Feeling My Way Around" and lead on "You Torture Me". "Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line" is the country standard given The Fabulous Thunderbirds treatment and it could be a crossover hit.

The band is on tour in support of this new album and they will be appearing at BB Kings Blues Club on Sunday October 23rd. Look for the band to receive a handy nomination for this album possibly in the category of "Comeback Album of the Year".

Richard Ludmerer

Director, The New York Blues & Jazz Society


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