K I M W I L S O N
THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS
IS STILL 'TUFF ENUFF'
ON INTERVIEWING THE LEGENDS
WITH RAY SHASHO
For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up”. Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation. The band continues to tour extensively, in both the U.S. and Europe. Wilson is currently writing songs on his own, with band members and other writers.
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. In fact, 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 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. “Things were wide open back then,” Wilson recalls. “There were hundreds of stages where bands could show what they had.”In subsequent releases, the band started to incorporate more 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, The Fabulous Thunderbirds 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. For the remainder of the ’80s, the band continued to record and tour, and released the album, “Powerful Stuff”.
Jimmie Vaughn left in 1989 but Wilson kept the group going, incorporating keyboards into the guitar-driven sound. Kim 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.”
HIS CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED RELEASE
Take Me Back!
The Bigtone Sessions
For more information about
THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS
1993: Tigerman (Antone's)
1994: That's Life (Antone's)
1997: My Blues (Blue Collar)
2001: Smokin' Joint (M.C. Records)
2003: Looking for Trouble (M.C. Records)
2006: My Blues Sessions: Kim's Mix, Volume I (Bluebeat)
2017: Blues and Boogie, Vol. 1 (Severn)
2020: Take Me Back - The Bigtone Sessions (M.C. Records)
THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS
Girls Go Wild (1979)
What's the Word (1980)
Butt Rockin' (1981)
T-Bird Rhythm (1982)
Tuff Enuff (1986)- Platinum US
Hot Number (1987)
Powerful Stuff (1989)
Walk That Walk, Talk That Talk (1991)
Roll of the Dice (1995)
High Water (1997)
Painted On (2005)
Thunderbirds! (2009, sold only at shows)
On the Verge (2013)
Strong Like That (2016)
The Essential (1991)
Hot Stuff: The Greatest Hits (1992)
Wrap It Up (1993)
Different Tacos (1996)
Butt Rockin'/T-Bird Rhythm (1996)
Best of the Fabulous Thunderbirds (1997)
Tuff Enuff/Powerful Stuff (1999)
Thunderbirds Tacos Deluxe (2003)
The Best of the Fabulous Thunderbirds: Early Birds Special (2011)
Live from London (1985)
"Tuff Enuff" (1986) No. 10 US, No. 83 AUS
"Wrap It Up" (1986) No. 50 US
"Stand Back" (1987) No. 76 US
"How Do You Spell Love" (1987)
"Powerful Stuff" (1989) No. 6
CHRONICLES, TRUTHS, CONFESSIONS AND WISDOM FROM THE MUSIC LEGENDS THAT SET US FREE
…Order yours today on (Collector edition) Hardcover
at bookbaby.com and amazon.com
Featuring over 45 intimate conversations with some of
the greatest rock legends the world will ever know.
CHRIS SQUIRE... DR. JOHN... GREG LAKE... HENRY MCCULLOUGH... JACK BRUCE … JOE LALA… JOHNNY WINTER... KEITH EMERSON... PAUL KANTNER... RAY THOMAS... RONNIE MONTROSE... TONY JOE WHITE... DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS… MIKE LOVE... TOMMY ROE... BARRY HAY... CHRIS THOMPSON... JESSE COLIN YOUNG... JOHN KAY... JULIAN LENNON... MARK LINDSAY... MICKY DOLENZ… PETER RIVERA ...TOMMY JAMES… TODD RUNDGREN... DAVE MASON... EDGAR WINTER... FRANK MARINO... GREGG ROLIE... IAN ANDERSON... JIM “DANDY” MANGRUM... JON ANDERSON... LOU GRAMM... MICK BOX... RANDY BACHMAN… ROBIN TROWER... ROGER FISHER... STEVE HACKETT... ANNIE HASLAM… ‘MELANIE’ SAFKA... PETULA CLARK... SUZI QUATRO... COLIN BLUNSTONE… DAVE DAVIES... JIM McCARTY... PETE BEST
-By Literary Titan (5) STARS
The Rock Star Chronicles, by Ray Shasho, is a splendid book written by a music enthusiast who has poured their heart and soul into it. It’s a story of a boy who loved rock music, and his obsessive passion of it earned himself the name Rock Raymond. He went to school but instead was schooled in all matters of music while his peers were buried chin-deep in coursework. He then became a radio DJ and has now compiled a book on all interviews he held with Rock gods who raided the airwaves back in the 70s and 80s. It’s a compilation of interviews with outstanding vocalists, legendary guitarists and crazy drummers in the rock music scene. Each interview gives a reader an in-depth view into their personal lives and the philosophies that guide their lives which all serve to humanize these great icons. For readers who are old enough to call themselves baby boomers this book will bring old memories back to life. Millennials, on the other hand, may think of this book as a literal work of the Carpool Karaoke show.
The Rock Star Chronicles is a book I didn’t know I was waiting for. To come across a book that will talk me into trying something new. One brave enough to incite me to venture into new frontiers. This book made me a believer- I am now a bona fide Rock and Roll music fan.
Ray Shasho masterfully gets the interviewees talking. He smartly coaxes answers from them with crafty questions designed to get a story rolling out of them. The artists talk about diverse issues ranging from music, politics, and their social engagements. Having been on the music seen all his life, Ray Shasho knows the buttons to press, how to get them comfortable about talking about their lives.
The book’s cover is befitting of its subject matter with the leather look offering a royal background to the golden letter print. It speaks to how high a level rock music holds in the pecking order- arguably, modern music as we know it has originated from blues and rock music. The second noteworthy thing is the use of high-definition pictures to reference the musician being interviewed in every sub-chapter. This ensures that the book is for both original rock and roll lovers and aspiring new ones. Together is makes for a refreshing and consistently enjoyable read.
I recommend this book to rock music enthusiasts, aspiring musicians wondering what it takes and all readers curious to learn new things by going back in time.