The Fabulous Thunderbirds w/ Kim Wilson
For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been performing their Texas roadhouse electric blues with such top 40 hits as “Tuff Enuff”, “Wrap It Up” and “Look At That”. The band’s distinctive and powerful sound manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid led by Kim Wilson, songwriter, lead vocalist and commander of the harmonica.
“We started as a straight blues band," 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.” In 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.
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. 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.”
In Austin, TX in 1974 Kim and Jimmy Vaughan founded the T-Birds, and they quickly developed a reputation as a sizzling live act. In 1979 they released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became an instant cult classic. Later releases drew on 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, they 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.
Kim Wilson has kept this amazing group going, incorporating keyboards into their guitar-driven sound. He moved back to California in 1996, continuing to cultivate the T-Birds music. “The thing about the T-Birds is that we can play both blues festival and rock venues,” Wilson comments. “We’re a diversified band now and everybody’s on the same page. This is a great time for this band. We’re looking forward to the future.”