Sign up for newsletter
 

Kimbrough finds "Seaside Love"

Monday, November 18, 2013 – Americana artist Will Kimbough will drop "Sideshow Love" on Feb. 18, 2014.

"A good album really should be like a volume of short stories," Kimbrough said. "It should have a beginning and an end, and what happens in between is up for grabs, as long as it fits the theme. The idea of this album is that everybody wants somebody to love and somebody to love them, and what you get when you find that is a lot of responsibility. If it's going to succeed, you've got to work it out over the long haul."

Kimbrough anchored the disc on Home Economics, a cynical, tongue-in-cheek take on the differences between men and women inspired by a friend's divorce. The tune employs a 1920s New Orleans string band jazz sound conjured by Kimbrough's banjo and slide guitar and Paul Griffith's dusty snare drum. Lisa Oliver Gray, who completes the album's core trio, adds her voice.

"When I wrote that song I knew that I really had something. It felt like an album could be built around it," Kimbrough said. "So I started going through the 50 or 60 songs I'd written over the past few years and began pulling together the ones that seemed to fit."

Kimbrough had accumulated those songs while playing guitar in Emmylou Harris' band. "The songs I was culling combined elements of blues and country, and there was a vein of soul music running through a lot of them, which all made sense to me, because I've always been eclectic and I enjoy those styles a lot. Between that music and The Beatles is where I usually gravitate."

"I didn't want these stories to have an unhappy ending, so I chose 'Emotion Sickness' as the last tune," Kimbrough relates. It's a country song with a strong soul feel conjured by the gentle tremolo of Kimbrough's electric guitar, an airy arrangement and a molasses pace that underscores the promise of heartbreak's passing.

Kimbrough produced and recorded most of the album in his home studio, which he's primarily used for demos in the past. He played acoustic and electric guitars, banjo and mandolin. In addition to kit drums, Griffith added Indian clay pot to Let the Big World Spin, a riff-mad blues about lust and sex. Griffith is a frequent collaborator of Kimbrough's who has played on all of his albums since 2006's "Americanitis" and a fellow member of the band DADDY. He has also joined Kimbrough on stage or in the studio with Harris, Snider and many others.

Kimbrough released "Wings" about four years ago. He spent most of the time since early 2011 traveling with Harris. Kimbrough has also provided plenty of self- and co-penned cuts for a list of artists that includes Little Feat, Jack Ingram and a dozen numbers cut by Jimmy Buffett.

"To have an ongoing relationship at that level in this business is really a gift," Kimbrough said.

"I've learned a lot about how to conduct myself in front of an audience," Kimbrough said. "I've seen stars backstage totally freaked out about not knowing the lyrics to a song, and then step into the spotlight looking totally cool and collected. You've got to take away the fear. And Rodney taught me that you've got to write every day - even on the days when you can't sit down in a room by yourself with a note pad for three hours. You've got to keep your eyes and ears open 24/7, and when something interesting happens or gets said, write it down. I try to write a song first thing every morning, just to keep my chops up."

He traces the beginning of his rich and varied career back to his 12th birthday, in 1976 when his parents bought him a $20 electric guitar and amp and a ticket to see Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" tour at the local theater in his native Mobile, Ala.

"That was a big deal, because my mom and dad had spent $32.50 on my presents, which was a lot for them, and from that day on I've never had a job except for playing guitar and writing songs," Kimbrough says. "They probably figure that was the best or worst $32.50 they every spent."

In the early '80s Kimbrough moved to Nashville with his first original band, Will and the Bushmen, and was quickly signed to a major label deal. "We were swallowed up and passed out the other side," he said, chuckling. Next came the Bis-quits, with fellow songwriting kingpin Tommy Womack.

Kimbrough met Todd Snider on the same night the Bis-quits signed their record deal. They quickly became co-writers and musical compadres. Their collaboration has yielded a host of songs and two Kimbrough-produced Snider albums, "East Nashville Skyline" and "The Devil You Know."

Kimbrough began his string of solo albums with "This," released in 2000. Since then he's formed another band with Womack, DADDY, that's cut two albums.

Kimbrough's recently added another band to his resume. Willie Sugarcapps, an aggregation of all-star indie songwriters that also features Grayson Capps, Corky Hughes, and Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee of the duo Sugarcane Jane, was formed last year after a particularly fertile meeting at a songwriter's night at the Frog Pond in Silverhill, Ala. The group released a self-titled debut album in August.

"I have a lot going on and I work really hard, and I value the time I have with my family," Kimbrough said. "But I think that if I worked in an office at a day job somewhere I'd work just as hard at that. So when it comes to taking on new projects like Willie Sugarcapps or playing with artists of the stature of Emmylou or working on new projects with Todd, I consider all of those things opportunities - to write new songs, to grow, to make new albums. That's all I've ever wanted to do."

More news for Will Kimbrough

CD reviews for Will Kimbrough

I Like It Down Here
Will Kimbrough is best known as a session and touring guitarist with such artists as Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris, but with "I Like It Down Here" the Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist serves up his eighth solo release. There is a dark mood through much of the album particularly with "Alabama," the grim true story of the 1981 lynching of Michael Donald conveyed via the omniscient narration of the victim ("Those men went down/Justice did prevail/But I'm still gone"). »»»
Sideshow Love CD review - Sideshow Love
Will Kimbrough's been around a long time, with his early band Will & the Bushmen signed to a short-lived major label contract and his tenure in the Bis-Quits with Tommy Womack a notable footnote, but despite extensive credits as an artist he's still mostly lauded for his production, songwriting and sideman roles for others including Todd Snider and Jimmy Buffett. The Willie Sugarcapps ad hoc collective he formed with Grayson Capps and other Alabama natives released a great rootsy album »»»
Wings CD review - Wings
On his fifth solo effort, Will Kimbrough succeeds with a simple, but soulful approach that is as engaging as it is quietly low-key. An in-demand songwriter, he has plenty of nuggets on "Wings" that will likely attract the interest of other performers. The title track was co-penned by Jimmy Buffett, who includes his version of the song on his latest effort along with two other Kimbrough co-writes and Daddy's Nobody from Nowhere. Kimbrough has indicated his novel intention »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Shiflett learns "Hard Lessons" Until recently, Chris Shiflett took a somewhat obsessive/compulsive approach to his music career. For the past two decades, Shiflett has been the primary guitar foil for Dave Grohl in Foo Fighters; early in his tenure, Shiflett was so self-deprecatingly... »»»
White embraces "The Hurting Kind" John Paul White, to paraphrase a Steve Earle song, may just be one of the last of the hardcore troubadours. By 'troubadour,' we mean one of those guys that lives to write great songs - more specifically, great country songs - and then get these songs into the ears of folks that... »»»
Bingham gets personal with "American Love Song"...again A lot of the early reviews for "American Love Song," Ryan Bingham's latest set of raucous and reflective Americana brilliance, have characterized it as the singer/ songwriter's most personal album to date.... »»»
Wilson goes her own way After having huge success at the get go with "Redneck Woman," Wilson eventually went her own way and took a break. During her "hiatus," Wilson started her own label and was a "120 percent mom" to her teenage daughter.... »»»
9 CD review - 9
Hollywood may be pushing a broadminded agenda where there are more genders than one can even count, but in Jason Aldean's world, there are only two: tough guys, and the women that love them. There's no confusion  »»»
Ocean CD review - Ocean
Lady Antebellum may lean a little too closely to pop music for many tastes, but it's hard to argue with the trio's song choices. And its latest collection is filled with many memorable songs. The single "What If I Never Get Over You," »»»
Thinkin' Problem CD review - Thinkin' Problem
Most hard core country fans certainly have heard David Ball's 1994 "Thinkin' Problem," a true honky tonk classic. Ominvore is releasing the album in remastered expanded format with eight bonus tracks, marking its 25th anniversary. »»»
Onward CD review - Onward
Veteran Texas artist Stoney Larue has been through a lot in 20 years of touring and recording and puts that experience to good use on his first release since 2015's "Just Us." "Onward" enlists veteran Nashville producer and songwriter Gary Nicholson  »»»
Travelin' Thru The Bootleg Series Vol. 15 1967-1969 featuring Johnny Cash
All these many years later, Bob Dylan 'bootleg' songs are still better than many intentional studio releases from other artists. Although some might have been shocked at the time to learn of Dylan's sojourn south to Nashville »»»
Play the Hits CD review - Play the Hits
When The Mavericks call an album "Play The Hits," It really should be qualified as "Play The Selective Hits" because this band has never been especially interested in performing only what's commercially viable.  »»»
Old Dominion
Old Dominion has gained a following on the heels of two albums of lively material. Their self-titled third release stays the course and delivers a dozen radio-friendly songs. The hyper positive lead single "Make it Sweet"  »»»
Redemption 10: Live at Blue Rock CD review - Redemption 10: Live at Blue Rock
Houston-based singer-songwriter and former lawyer Libby Koch celebrates the 10th anniversary of her first album, "Redemption," by releasing a full band, live audience setting for what was originally a solo acoustic album.  »»»
Live From the Ryman CD review - Live From the Ryman
The very best way - the only way, really - to see Old Crow Medicine Show is live. Like its namesake, the medicine shows of old that were part preaching, part snake oil sales pitches, part old time music and pure entertainment, »»»
Fire & Brimstone CD review - Fire & Brimstone
It would be easy (and lazy journalism) to write about how much Brantley Gilbert's music is un-country. You need only isolate the drum parts for most of these latest songs to confirm this is primarily a rock recording  »»»
Sunshine is Free CD review - Sunshine is Free
Monica Rizzio's second album, "Sunshine Is Free," emblematic of its title, ushers in bright country music, with roots touches but generally gliding in melodic, uplifting country territory. Put this in your player when you need a smile or two. »»»