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This profile was last updated on 1/14/14  and contains information from public web pages.
 
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

39 Total References
Web References
Papa Salty - pictures
www.papasalty.com, 14 Jan 2014 [cached]
Kim Wilson and Papa
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Kim WIlson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Papa
Kim Wilson: harmonica (3, 5, ...
www.piedmonttalent.com, 1 Jan 1989 [cached]
Kim Wilson: harmonica (3, 5, 9), vocals (3, 9)
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Road Dog's Life features an arsenal of mostly new and original material, emphasizing King's own wry, insightful lyrics, along with Kubek's searingly incisive, signature guitar, with the exception of only two covers - the Rolling Stones' Play with Fire and the Beatles' Don't Bother Me. Special guests this time out includes the Fabulous Thunderbirds' frontman Kim Wilson, Nightcats' guitarist Kid Andersen, Delta Groove label head Randy Chortkoff, Kansas City bassist Patrick Recob, along with the Mannish Boys' rhythm section, consisting of bassist Willie J. Campbell and drummer Jimi Bott.
bluesreviews.com:Kim Wilson
www.bluesreviews.com, 3 June 2008 [cached]
Kim WilsonFabulous Harpist
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Listen to "Money, Marble, andChalk" by Kim Wilson
Yes, Kim Wilson was hit by a car in early 2000.No, he didn't miss a step in his grueling performance schedule.
Amid the young guns of the blues--the Kenny Wayne Shepherds and the Jonny Langs--grizzled veteran Kim Wilson is passionate about what he's doing in the blues, and he epitomizes the working-class tough guy who gets the job done, whether on stage, in the studio, or while being interviewed for blues web sites.
The 49-year-old harmonica player brings a retro feel that dates back 20 years before he came on the scene fronting the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and it is his passion for doing things his way that has put his self-launched Blue Collar Music in limbo after releasing his solo CD My Blues.
While on stage doing solo gigs he plays it loose and free, letting his band take him where they may on a given night, Wilson carefully controls everything, including the sound of his music, in the studio.His album My Blues isn't retro, although it's recorded live-to-mono.To Wilson, his blues is thoroughly modern.Recording in mono isn't primitive, but rather "the way the music sounds best."It's all about preserving musical integrity.
"I'm known for that," Wilson says."I don't care what everyone else is doing out there, I don't care if I'm the only one that's doing it the way I'm doing it, that's the way it's gonna be or it's not gonna happen at all."
This is coming from a guy who was an MTV star in the 1980s for the T-Birds, who along with Stevie Ray Vaughan's brother Jimmie propelled Texas blues to Top Ten pop-chart glory.Flung through the major-label sausage grinder, Wilson lived to tell about it and still takes the T-Birds on the road 200 gigs a year sans Vaughan, who left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career.
"I don't care what everyone else is doing out there, I don't care if I'm the only one that's doing it the way I'm doing it, that's the way it's gonna be or it's not gonna happen at all."
--Kim Wilson
The past several months haven't been easy for Wilson; he almost didn't live to tell about a car accident he was in several months ago.He actually wasn't in his car when another vehicle hit it, but was close enough to be thrown 20 feet and suffered a concussion.But it wasn't enough to slow down the man who brought us the anthem "Tuff Enuff":
"I took the shot well," Wilson says with a laugh."I went right back to work.I was pretty racked up for about a week and had some soft tissue damage.I'm still a little bit tweaked there, but I can do what do."
When Wilson isn't on the road with the T-Birds, he plays solo gigs.Away from his hard-rocking band, Wilson plays straight blues of many styles, showcasing his harmonica chops, which Muddy Waters himself tagged the best to come along since Little Walter.That back in the late '70s when the Fabulous Thunderbirds were the house backup band at Antone's nightclub in Austin, Texas, a stop for all the major artists then and now.
In the recording studio on his solo projects, Wilson is a taskmaster, having a very clear idea of what standards and obscure tunes he wants to interpret, and how to do it.The sound is classic blues, as it was recorded in the 1950s, as it was meant to be.Yet there's some R&B, Chicago, Texas vibes interspersed throughout the record, a little uptown stuff . . . all stitched together by that live-to-mono sound.Knowing how Wilson likes to direct things, some pundits wonder why he chooses to cover mostly other bluesmen's songs instead of dipping into his own original repertoire of several hundred compositions.
"It's kind of shocking to people that I've really been dwelling on other stuff [than my own]," Wilson says."But a good's song a good song, and it's stuff I've never had an opportunity to play. . . .As long as I stay in my own world and don't subject myself to the torture of the flavor of the second, I'm fine.I just listen to Muddy Waters and B.B. King and I have a ball.That's the standard I'm trying to reach."
After recording three solo albums for other label in the '90s, Wilson launched his own label, Blue Collar Music.After My Blues came out, monitoring the business affairs and squabbles over advertising co-op dollars got to be more than Wilson wanted to deal with.Wanting to focus on touring and recording, he put Blue Collar "in limbo," for the moment, he says, shopping for another more established label to partner with.
On the road as a solo artist, Wilson takes some players along with him, including guitarist Kirk Fletcher, a young guy about whom Wilson raves endlessly.On the road as a solo artist, Wilson takes some players along with him, including guitarist Kirk Fletcher, a young guy about whom Wilson raves endlessly.
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Wilson's overall objective, though, is to assemble several "local" bands across the country who can get together when he's in town to play a gig.For instance, at a recent gig in Worcester, Mass. at the local blues joint Gilrein's, local guitar hero Troy Gonyea was in the band--and Wilson is happy to do it not just to give a youthful player some exposure and bring in some locals who might not have otherwise come, but also because he respects Troy's ability.
"He's not some kid picking up a guitar, playing it for three months like a cabbage shredder on some major label . . . [making] $25,000 a show for about a year then he's gone," Wilson says.
by Kim Wilson ...
musicstore.on-the-i.com, 3 Sept 2001 [cached]
by Kim Wilson
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Kim Wilson Add To My Favorites
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Harmonica player, songwriter and singer Kim Wilson is as much a student and historian of classic blues as he is one of the U.S.'s top harmonica players.Simply put, Wilson has taste; when he enters the recording studio, he has a clear vision of what he wants his next record to sound like.Aside from all this, he's also an extremely hard worker and a major road hog, spending upwards of 200 nights a year on the road, playing festivals and clubs throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe with his own Kim Wilson band and leading the Fabulous Thunderbirds.Although he's long been known as the charismatic frontman for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Wilson's solo albums -- which feature bands of his own choosing for different tracks -- is where the genius in his work shows through most clearly.Born January 6, 1951 in Detroit, Wilson grew up in California.His parents were singers who would sing popular standards on the radio, and while Wilson took trombone and guitar lessons, he didn't discover blues until he was a senior in high school.Wilson's father later worked for General Motors and raised his family in Goleta, California, he recalled in a 1994 interview in his adopted hometown of Austin."We weren't rich, but we were alright," he recalled.Wilson dropped out of college and began playing blues full time in 1970.Wilson had a rented room and lived the hippie existence, getting his harmonica chops together by playing with traveling blues musicians like Eddie Taylor.Even though Wilson had only switched to harmonica in his senior year in high school, his progress on the instrument was rapid and every bit as all-consuming as his blues record-buying habit.Charlie Musselwhite, John Lee Hooker and Sonny Rhodes were among the other Bay Area musicians Wilson befriended and worked with in clubs.But Wilson didn't meet his biggest mentor until after he moved to Austin in the mid-'70s."Muddy Waters was my biggest mentor.He really made my reputation for me, and that was a fantastic time of my life, being associated with that man," he recalled of his early days with the Fabulous Thunderbirds in Austin.There, at the Antone's blues nightclub, Wilson and his Thunderbirds would back up whoever came into town, and it didn't take long for the band to realize they had Waters' blessing.As a songwriter, Wilson takes his cue from the long-forgotten names like Tampa Red, Roosevelt Sykes and Lonnie Johnson.His 1993 solo album, Tigerman, for the Austin-based Antone's label, features just three of his own tunes.Being the student of the blues that he is, Wilson was understandably hesitant to record too many of his own tunes when he'd already had a vision in his head of how he was going to rework classics like Joe Hill Louis's "Tiger Man," the album's title track.He followed up his debut with the equally brilliant That's Life (1994), also for Antone's, and again this recording contains just three self-penned songs.Both of Wilson's solo albums are solid productions, highly recommended for harmonica students and fans of classic Texas blues and rhythm & blues.Meanwhile, in recent years, Wilson's career has taken a boost with a major-label deal with Private Music/BMG for the Fabulous Thunderbirds and with his frequent concert appearances with Bonnie Raitt. ~ Richard Skelly, All Music Guide
Kim Wilson Blues Review
www.tennystreetroadhouse.com, 1 Dec 2003 [cached]
Kim Wilson & the Jeweltones | KIM WILSON'S BLUES REVIEW | Kim Wilson,
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Kim Wilson & the Jeweltones | KIM WILSON'S BLUES REVIEW | Kim Wilson,
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Kim Wilson
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Kim Wilson live at Tenny Street Roadhouse - December 2003
Kim Wilson's principal fame is as the front man for The Fabulous Thunderbirds, but for my money his solo shows are better, allowing Wilson to open up and show just how good a singer and harmonica player his is.Kim Wilson's hurricane harmonica and soulful survivor vocals are always a cause for celebration, as well as the perfect way to lose your blues by diving deep into them.
Wilson has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the legends of the blues, trading licks and earning their praises.They're his true peer group because at this point it would probably be easier to list the few blues greats he hasn't played with than detail all the ones he has.But while the great guitarists, pianists, singers and rhythm sections of the blues readily welcome Wilson to the stage, you won't find too many blues harpists willing to share the microphone with him.There's a reason; Wilson is simply the premier blues harpist of his era.Most harp players would rather watch Wilson in action and further their education on the instrument than take him on in public.Buddy Guy, a man who has heard more than a few harmonica heroes in his time, has said "Kim's the best there is," Guy flatly states."If he'd been born twenty or thirty years earlier he'd be legendary by now.He's still going to be a legend because he keeps getting better every time we play together."
Kim Wilson will perform with Doug Deming & The Jeweltones at the Heat on the Street Festival on Sunday May 22, 2005.
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