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: Long wait ends for Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – When you don't show for almost six years - Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are guilty as charged - and barely release any music unless counting one excellent disc out in late March on a British label and something almost unheard in the states in 2011, don't expect the masses to show up either. Predictably, that didn't happen for the family band... »»»
Concert Review: Mellencamp overcomes conundrum – John Mellencamp faces the predicament that artists of his stature must face as they age. Now 63 and still putting out new, quality albums, Mellencamp presumably wants to push his new highly relevant music, while the faithful, long-time supporters thrive on the old stuff. How do you rectify the two? Mellencamp tended to have it both ways before 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

Giddens takes her turn A great deal has transpired in the 10 years between Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson connecting at North Carolina's Black Banjo Gathering and the release of Giddens' brilliant debut solo album, "Tomorrow is My Turn." Giddens and Flemons formed the very successful Sankofa Springs. Robinson met and was mentored by black string band legend Joe Thompson, and ultimately, Giddens, Flemons and Robinson formed the bluegrass/folk/blues powerhouse, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. ... »»»
The perfect world of Ray Wylie Hubbard A couple of years ago, while discussing various musical poet-heroes, singer-songwriter Hayes Carll mused that "in a perfect world, Ray Wylie Hubbard would be winning Grammys." With the release of his latest offering, "The Ruffian's Misfortune," a follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed, "The Grifter's Hymnal," now might just be the time that Carll was talking about.... »»»
Nathan Stanley carries on family tradition Young bluegrass artist Nathan Stanley doesn't fall far from the branches of the family tree; he honors the legacy of his grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley, by delivering straight ahead traditional bluegrass music, interpreting old classics that have shaped him and his music. At the same time, young Stanley is an original, refusing to sing the old songs in the ways they've been performed before. "If it's been done," he says, "I don't think I'll do it that way."... »»»
Gibson Brothers join the "Brotherhood" Eric Gibson, the elder (by less than a year) of the award winning, New York-born Gibson Brothers says that the new Rounder release by he and brother Leigh, "Brotherhood," was more than a decade in the making. "It seemed like every time we'd get ready to do a new record, we'd have a batch of new songs that we felt we needed to get out there...but (Leigh) really pushed me on this... »»»
The Mavericks live up to their name When you call yourselves The Mavericks, you have a reputation to live up to. The long-running country band may have addressed that issue from the get go with "Mono," their second disc since reforming in 2011. For non-audiophiles, music is almost exclusively recorded in stereo, considered a higher quality sound. ... »»»
Presley rises above (with) "American Middle Class" Some in the mainstream country audience may only know Angaleena Presley as one of the two other singers in Miranda Lambert's side group, Pistol Annies. But to view Presley in only that limited light would be selling her severely short. For starters, Pistol Annies is a trio of extra strong female country music writers and by no means merely Lambert's side group.... »»»
Jorma Kaukonen kicks back (sort of) and comes full circle with "Ain't In No Hurry" Jorma Kaukonen has reached that stage in life where any break he takes is well earned and completely deserved. The 74-year-old singer/songwriter is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee for his work with Jefferson Airplane and his solo career has kept him busy - and fans deliriously happy - for an astonishing 41 years when he's not sometimes playing with Hot Tuna.... »»»
Second Hand Heart CD review - Second Hand Heart
Dwight Yoakam appears to be a many of mystery on the cover. With two side-by-side images of himself, the Kentucky honky tonker dons a trademark cowboy hat, jeans jacket and jacket and plucking his electric, legs spread and head pointed down. But there really is no mystery about Yoakam, who has been making music longer than some of the contemporary country acts have been alive. »»»
Love Somebody CD review - Love Somebody
It's been five years since her last album - 2010's "All the Women That I Am" - but the Queen of Country Music's crown hasn't lost its luster. On her 27th album, Oklahoma native McEntire adds another jewel to her tiara with her new album that covers familiar territory: strong women, the heartbreak of breakup, the determination of a broken lover starting over and the destructive and healing power of love. »»»
Something in the Water CD review - Something in the Water

Whether Pokey LaFarge's seventh album, "Something in the Water," could be called more than "retro" is a stretch. The St. Louis musician's 21st century talent shows through his performance, compositions and writing, but some things work against him in his fight to make the album timeless. »»»

Southern Gravity CD review - Southern Gravity
With a tragic stage collapse prior to a Sugarland show and a failed marriage in his rearview mirror, one might expect Kristian Bush's solo debut to be peppered with tales of regret and heartbreak. Yet "Southern Gravity" is surprisingly anything but for the other half of Sugarland, offering up a solid dose of positive vibes, heartfelt love and strong mainstream country appeal. »»»
Somewhere Down the Road CD review - Somewhere Down the Road
If anyone's waiting for Billy Bob Thornton to grow out of his music phase, some pertinent facts are in order, namely, a) he's done four solo albums to date, b) the Boxmasters, his band since 2007, are now on their fourth album, "Somewhere Down the Road," but with three double discs, it's actually seven, »»»
Small Town Dreams CD review - Small Town Dreams
Much like Springsteen and Mellencamp, Will Hoge recognizes that even the most sweeping epics are essentially borne from an individual's ordeals. Indeed, the title tells it all; "Small Town Dreams" is essentially a look at a rapidly fading pastiche, that of life in middle America, where for all the touting of an economic recovery, the struggle for survival still persists.  »»»
Southern Style CD review - Southern Style
Although opener "Homegrown Honey" has a few hip-hip sonic elements fueling it, "Southern Style" is a fairly traditional - well, as traditional as Darius Rucker can get - album. "Homegrown Honey," along with the title cut and "Half Full Dixie Cup," make a play for Rucker's Southern credentials, and for the most part support these claims. »»»
Brighter Every Day CD review - Brighter Every Day
Trout Steak Revival has found its voice. A group of Midwest transplants now firmly rooted in the Colorado High Country bluegrass scene, this five-piece band brings real songwriting craft to its third full-length release where TSR goes for the brass ring. »»»