For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a 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.
For Kim Wilson, he began singing and playing the harmonica at 17, influenced by musicians like Little Walter, James Cotton, Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. In search of others who shared his love of the blues, he moved to Austin, Texas, where he met Jimmie Vaughan and they founded the T-Birds in 1974. The band developed a reputation as a compelling live act and subsequently signed a record deal with CBS/Epic Records.
In 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. In 1986, the group reached a commercial peak with the album, Tuff Enuff. The titular single, as well as the singles “Wrap It Up” and “Look At That,” all went top 40.
For the remainder of the 80s, the band continued to record and tour. Jimmie Vaughn left in 1989 but Wilson kept the group going,
And the band continues to tour extensively. The thread throughout the T-Birds career has been the devotion to the sounds of blues, R & B, and rock ‘n roll. One of Wilson’s inspirations, Muddy Waters called Wilson his favorite harmonica player and vocalist.
Kim Wilson – lead vocals, harmonica
Dean Shot – guitar
Bob Welsh – piano / guitar
Rudy Albin – drums
Steve Kirsty – bass