Written by Eddie Ferranti
Apr 29, 2010 at 07:30 PM
ImageI’ve been hitting gigs in Houston since I moved here from Ohio in 1979. Probably forgot more than I remember, but one I know I recall was at the old Satellite Lounge. The Bottle Rockets opened and kicked ass. They were followed by Todd Snider and the Nervous Wrecks.

Since that night (circa mid 90’s) I have kept in touch with Snider’s career, but I have followed the lead guitarist of that band, Will Kimbrough, big time!

Albeit one reunion with Snider and an appearance with Rodney Crowell at the venerable Crighton Theater in Conroe, WK has been coming to H-Town solo. My last gig with him was when he stole the stage from Hayes Carll’s Stingaree Fest in 2008. Dude was smokin’ hot and tonight’s show at the Mucky Duck had me in high expectations.

Touring behind his latest album, “Wings”, WK did not disappoint whatsoever. Jumping right in with a Crowell like tune “Piece of Work”, Kimbrough was showcasing his abilities with harp and guitar. New tunes followed with killer intro licks to a touching tribute to his family on “Three Angels” and another great guitar intro with layers of rhythm tape loop on “You Can’t Go Home.” The title cut followed, “Wings”, which was written with Jimmy Buffet. WK is getting help “payin’ the mortgage” by playing with Buffett and having JB cover his songs these days.

“Love to Spare” had sweet slide on it and “Hill Country Girl” had Will remembering how cool Gruene Hall area is. Smooth and slick are just a few words that can describe Kimbrough’s style.  Will closed out the acoustic set with a song he penned in Corpus Christi called “Horseshoe Lake”. An awesome tune about a dead end job featuring one of many cool lyrics like: “I want to feel like it makes a difference, the difference one man makes.” An anti-rat race song, if you will, about getting away from it all.

WK then plugged in his “Montgomery Ward” amp and let the electric take us away on “Nobody from Nowhere”. Unfreakin’ believable, bad ass slide just floored me.

As the night unfolded, Kimbrough showed a silent sense of humor that came to light fantastically in his tale “Wash and Fold” about his trip to a Chinese washateria that had the place rolling. “Grown Up Now” featured more lyrics ranting about today’s society with the line” “I would never bite the hand that has me by the balls.” Amen WK !  Tender new one “A Couple Hundred Miracles” took us to the break and by this time I had witnessed nothing less than extreme effortless excellence.

The back end set saw Kimbrough gettin’ the Duck crowd involved with standouts like “Yo Yo Mama” which came off as Johnny Be Good Chinese style! Classic blues structure on “You Made Your Bed” was epic. “It Ain’t Cool” off the new one (written with Todd Snider) came across as spooky blues, which is really personified on the CD itself.

WK performed like a strong NFL running back who gets stronger as the game/gig goes on! This guy went on to play 28 songs and for three hours! Yikes. Jaw dropping stuff indeed.  A standing ovation just did not seem enough to salute this fine show. And it couldn’t happen to a finer gentleman in the cut throat music business either.

In closing, try and catch Will either solo or with his project band “Daddy” (with cool cat Tommy Womack) & write down July 15th my friends. Mr. Kimbrough is coming back to H-Town to re-visit the Mucky Duck…My seats have already been purchased! CYA around where somewhere…