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

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 »»»
Americanitis CD review - Americanitis
Will Kimbrough is one of Nashville's best-kept secrets. An in-demand guitarist who has worked with folks like Rodney Crowell, Jimmy Buffet and Todd Snider, the Americana Music Association chose Kimbrough as "2004 Instrumentalist of the Year." The biggest secret, however, isn't Kimbrough's talents as a musician (which are well documented at this point), but rather his little-known skills as a singer, songwriter and performer. Nowhere is this more apparent than with »»»
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: Not playing the hit proves no problem for Bingham – Ryan Bingham may always end up being best known for collaborating with T Bone Burnett on the soundtrack for the 2009 film starring Jeff Bridges, particularly "The Weary Kind." That would not be a surprise given that he won a Grammy and Oscar for the song. One would, therefore, think that "The Weary Kind" would be one of those... »»»
Concert Review: Abbott brings the joy - even with "Front Row Seat" – To say that the Josh Abbott Band's "Front Row Seat" is an easy listen, especially in concert, would be a tremendous understatement. The Texas country singer released a five-act recording about the development, joy and ultimate dissolution of his marriage last fall. Not exactly easy subject matter, but Abbott managed to bring more than a... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Freakwater tells its tales on "Scheherazade" Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin have been together as Freakwater for over a quarter of a century, which gives their creative pairing at least the outward appearance of a marriage. And while Bean and Irwin haven't even lived in the same city for the entirety of Freakwater's existence,... »»»
Hull lifts a weight off her mind Reaching her early twenties, Sierra Hull found herself beset by the same kinds of emotional angst and vulnerability that most of experience coming face-to-face with the challenges of life stretching out ahead. In her case, though, introduction to adulthood came at the age of 16 when she recorded her first... »»»
The Grascals embrace the change The Grascals are a well-established collection of players, featuring a six-piece mix of some of the most talented musicians in bluegrass. What happens when there's some turnover in the lineup of an established band? It either gets better or goes home. With... »»»
Blitzen Trapper explores "Mystery and Wonder" The song "Mystery and Wonder" is the centerpiece of Blitzen Trapper's latest album, "All Across This Land." It finds the band's vocalist and primary songwriter Eric Earley reflecting upon various songs and experiences over the years and vainly attempting to figure out what it all means.... »»»
Whoops, Bottle Rockets create an album Since the inception of the Bottle Rockets in the early '90s. the three basic constants have been the presence of guitarist/vocalist/primary songwriter Brian Henneman and drummer Mark Ortmann, a relatively consistent output schedule and a steady stream of great reviews for those releases.... »»»
Cox Family gets back to business On the eve of the first new release by the Cox Family in nearly two decades, "Gone Like The Cotton," Sidney Cox reflects on the national media frenzy over "Back To The Future" and the date Michael J. Fox would materialize from 1985, and the parallels to his own family's story haven't escaped his notice.... »»»
Fortune has Statlers covered The Statler Brothers were an iconic vocal group in country music. They began by backing Johnny Cash (not a bad early gig, for sure), and went on to win the CMA award for Vocal Group of the Year an astounding 8 years in a row between 1972 and 1980. The group is in both the country music and gospel music halls of fame and has won three Grammy Awards. Tenor Jimmy Fortune replaced Lew Dewitt in 1983, and continued with the group for 21 year... »»»
Down to My Last Bad Habit CD review - Down to My Last Bad Habit
At this point in his career, Vince Gill could just as well have entitled this "Tried and True." He's not chasing trends - pop country or bro country - of chart-geared songs. He's too old for that, and at this point anyway, Gill knows what works for him. »»»
Hymns That Are Important To Us CD review - Hymns That Are Important To Us
There have been many artists throughout the year who've tried their hand at offering up songs for the faithful, mining their past for the hymns of old. Yet. it's the rare few who've delivered the emotional punch that Joey + Rory manage. With Joey Feek battling the final stages of cancer and choosing to forego treatment, the couple took advantage of Joey's good days to head into the studio to craft this collection of time-honored hymns that resonates with deep emotion. »»»
The Ghosts of Highway 20 CD review - The Ghosts of Highway 20
As impressive as her last album "Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone" was, this much is true about Lucinda Williams: the next album will be as stellar or even more. That's not to say any of her releases are subpar, but the quality (and now consistency) of her output makes her a precious gem. »»»
The Driver CD review - The Driver
Many artists find inspiration from pain or life changing events. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley got his out of sheer boredom, and it resulted in a Grammy nomination. The title track off of his first solo album, "The Driver," is up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. With Lady A on hiatus, Kelley thought, "It's winter." "I'm bored and I want to make some music." He contacted producer Paul Worley to »»»
Scheherazade CD review - Scheherazade
The 10-year span since the last Freakwater album, 2005's "Thinking of You," combined with the busy schedules of Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin, the band's core duo, might have intimated to some that they were headed down permanently divergent paths. Between Bean's outside band activities (Eleventh Dream Day, Horse's Ha), Irwin's visual art career and both women's solo work, it seemed that Freakwater's well might have run tragically dry.  »»»
Honeycomb CD review - Honeycomb
The O's are a fun roots band, comprised of ex-Polyphonic Spree members John Pedigo and Taylor Young, who showcase plenty of inspiration from traditional American music. There is a touch of bluegrass and string band element to their sound, but they are decisively contemporary.  »»»
Ladies and Gentlemen CD review - Ladies and Gentlemen
The "Ladies" of this album's title are an impressive batch of female guest singers serving as the voice of the Infamous Stringdusters for the space of a song, lending a softer edge to the group's already smooth take on modern string band music. They come from not just bluegrass circles but rock, soul, folk and country, sending each track in a different direction that's still anchored by the instrumental dexterity of the Stringdusters. »»»
Dori Freeman CD review - Dori Freeman
Galax lies the in southwestern corner of Virginia. Mention of Galax immediately conjures the Blue Ridge Mountains and their music. The Old Fiddlers' Convention has been hosted in Galax for 80 years. So, it should come as no surprise that a new, clear and supple voicing of country music, Dori Freeman, hails from Galax, and that her music finds a vein of pure country and mines it well. »»»
Weighted Mind CD review - Weighted Mind
It has been nearly five years since Sierra Hull released a record. 2012's "Daybreak" (also on Rounder) featured startling mandolin playing by Hull and a strong, but still tentative, vocal style. "Weighted Mind" doesn't hold back on either score, and it's a beautiful work of contemporary bluegrass music. No one is the same person at 19 as at 24, and Hull is no different.  »»»