Posts Tagged ‘Will Kimbrough


Our Kind of Music is moving!

After a little over two years at its current location as an ordinary wordpress blog, Our Kind of Music (OKOM) is finally going to grow up and become a real website! We’re still going to be bringing you great articles and news about your favorite Americana / Folk / Roots artists, but over the next couple months we’re going to kick in the second wind!

In the past, we’ve brought you interviews with Todd Snider, Will Kimbrough, and Robert Earl Keen and we had fun doing those, but now we want to take interviews a step further. How would like to see Skype interviews with OKOM artists? Yeah, I thought you might like that. I’m jazzed about it too! I think it would be a hell of a lot more fun than reading those transcriptions of the phone interviews! And I sure as hell won’t miss that shitload of typing!

We’re also planning on bringing reviews of up-and-coming OKOM artists’ releases; news and tour updates about your favorite OKOM singers; and much more.

But first – I do have a bunch of typing to do and finish up those final installments of The Lost Snider Tapes that I promised you (almost a year ago). The Lost Snider Tapes – Part 1.3 will kick off the new website.

The new Our Kind of Music website is located at Slide on over there and take a look. While you’re there, take a second and enter your email address where it says, what else… Enter Your Email and you’ll get notified when the new site is up and buzzing!


I Owe You All…

…The Lost Snider Tapes

Photo by Todd Purifoy

Over a year ago I conducted two interviews with Todd Snider – one in January, 2009, and one more in May, 2009. I intended to write a interview/CD review article – based around the interviews – with hopes of getting it published in a national magazine. I sent query letters (sans the article) to a bunch of national publications, trying to get my foot in the big door only to find it locked (or maybe there were other writers leaning on the door from the inside). Then I got busy with other projects and pushed the Snider article to the back-burner – a couple months later my laptop crashed and the audio files of the interview were among the things lost.

BUT – guess what I just found on a flash drive buried at the back of my desk drawer? Apparently, at some time before the crash, I had a moment of clarity and good sense, and backed the audio files onto the flash drive – and then forgot I had backed them up.

So, my resolution to you all is that I’ll get them transcribed and up on my blog. That is, if you are still interested in reading them. The May, 2009 interview – that I’ll post first – has some very cool conversation about the (then) soon-to-be-released The Excitement Plan, Don Was, jail-time, wine, relationships, and some personal subjects that I promised Todd would be kept off the record – and they will stay that way. Since we talked for damn near an hour, that interview will have to be broken up into three or four parts (like I did with the Will Kimbrough interview).

The interview done in January, 2009 – that I’ll post after the May interview –  was a lot of fun too; We talked about his tour, living on the road, and his (then) upcoming Eugene, Oregon show. I’ll also share my experiences on the Todd Snider tour bus here in Eugene…

BUT FIRST – My wife, our dog Zack, and I have to pack up and move again at the end of January. You see, I got laid-off from my full-time job at OBEC Consulting Engineers in Eugene, Oregon over eight months ago and have had no luck finding full-time work here. I know that there’s a lot of that going around, I’m not the only one, so I won’t whine about it.

So I PROMISE, once we get settled in, sometime in February, I’ll get busy transcribing those Once-Lost Snider Tapes. Thanks for understanding. I hope your 2011 is better than your 2010!


Will Kimbrough’s “Three Angels” video

Will Kimbrough opens his angel-filled home to us with his new video. Enjoy! Be sure to buy his latest album Wings – available February 23rd, 2010


Kimbrough soars high with Wings

Will Kimbrough’s Wings – an OKOM review

On first listen of Will Kimbrough’s album Wings, (due to be released February 23rd) it felt like a pleasant trip that started with being invited into his home, given a comfortable chair in a sunroom, and a hot cup of coffee. As the morning light streaked in, and the children played, I kicked back, relaxed, and absorbed this enjoyable, stimulating soundtrack of his thoughts; a world filled with hope, optimism, questions, miracles, and love. If this album represents Will’s life, and his sense of wide-eyed wonderment and appreciation of what fills his life; then he is truly a blessed man.

Wings starts with Will roused into the dawn of a new day by his wife and two daughters, whom he warmly refers to as his “Three Angels.” Julie Lee lends her pure backing vocal talents to the heartening opening track “Three Angels,” in which Will counts his blessings – all three of them – and is grateful for all his angels do to make his life complete, and for watching over him wherever he goes. Now, a lesser man might consider being the lone man in a houseful of females more of a curse. Will knows they’re only human – “sometimes in the morning they’re a moody band of angels” – but they’ll always be real angels in his eyes.

In “You Can’t Go Home,” co-written with Jeff Finlin, Will tells a mystifying old world type tale –wrapped in the musical textures of a steady pulsing Celtic beat, the lingering tone of Sarah Siskind’s accompaniment, and punctuated by a haunting guitar – of characters with a raw unresolved past. The line – “She cannot hear or say goodbye, or hear your heart break right in two, she cannot waive the angry years, what you said, forgive you too” – stabs into a wandering lost soul, left broken-hearted and alone. The mystery is – what tragedy brought him to this pain and guilt shrouded world?

You’d be hard pressed to find a more optimistic song than the title track “Wings.” This is the original version, lyrically different from the one co-written with Jimmy Buffett that appears on his latest album Buffet Hotel. The airy effortless instrumentation of this lifting version perfectly fit what this song is all about – unbridled buoyancy and self-faith. Personally, I like Will’s version much better, and this comes from a long time Parrot Head.

Will Kimbrough is a master of baring his heart and soul in a love song. “Love to Spare” is no exception. He’s always there with words of comfort – even through the rough times – for the one he loves… “Take me in when storms are raging; I’ll calm you when you’re feeling crazy.” Guys, if you ever need to put consoling words in a card to your love, pull them from this song. You won’t be sorry.

In addition to “You Can’t Go Home,” there are two other songs on Wings that Kimbrough co-wrote with Jeff Finlin, “The Day of the Troubadour” and “Big Big Love.” Will and Jeff color these songs with complex, absorbing, thought provoking lyrics; coming together like fine glasses of wine. Not everyone will get the same message; see the same picture; or taste the same flavors. You’ll want to listen to them again and again, possibly finding something new or different each time.

Have you ever thought of what it could have been like if Jesus had lived in the modern world? Hey, for all we know, he may have; this is a subject that “The Day of the Troubadour” explores. Jesus traveling for years, riding the bus from town to town, performs little miracles along the way, until the interest in him begins to fade. He dreams – from the bed of a cheap motel – of his followers still wanting more. The same story could also apply to any number of extremely talented performers that spend the majority of their life on the road sharing their own form of miracles, and baring their souls.

Miracles happen around us all the time, most of the time they slip by unnoticed, but they’re there nonetheless. “Big Big Love” is a skillfully crafted song that takes us on a walk through an old growth forest of life’s little miracles; lost time; quests for love; and unfulfilled dreams – “I tried to be the big man with a knuckle and a tin can, with the knowledge and a big plan, holding onto Wonderland. I held so tight, I lost you there; I looked so hard, I couldn’t see; I let it go and fell alone, and it was there in front of me.” – discovering aspects of life that were there all the time.

Will has co-written quite a few songs with Todd Snider. He’s pulled one out of an old box in the attic to share with us. “It Ain’t Cool” has never been recorded by Todd or Will until now. Contrary to its title, it’s a very cool J.J. Cale style tune, simple in structure, with an even simpler message – don’t bad-mouth people when they’re not there to defend themselves, it ain’t cool!

Will’s appreciation of old school R&B is evident in the arrangement of “Open to Love” co-written with Dave Zobel. Building on a slow solid backbeat, it’s full of big horns, great big backing vocals by Jonell Mosser and Lisa Oliver Gray, and wailing guitar work by Kimbrough. It’s an expressive, driving “hard times” love song – that Will does so well – preaching of hanging on to love, letting it carry you through obstacles life can throw your way. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear this performed someday by a soulful Southern Baptist choir with hands held high towards the heavens.

Slowing down to a gentle walk down a tree-lined street, Wings takes us back to being with loved ones. Relationships have taken on many analogies through songs. “Let Me Be Your Frame,” co-written with Sarah Kelly, sung in beautiful tandem with Dawn Kinnard, portrays a relationship as a canvas – a work in progress maybe – and the frame that surrounds, and at the same time, compliments it. If you think about it, in a give-and-take relationship, you can’t help but splash each other with a bit of color or lend a simple stroke of a brush, adding texture and beauty to each other without taking anything away.

The final track on Wings, “A Couple Hundred Miracles,” brings us full-circle. We’re back in the quiet, comfortable safe haven of home. In the calm morning, warming your hands around a cup of coffee, it’s a time to reflect on the journey. “A Couple Hundred Miracles” – inspired by the book The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh, and co-written with Irene Kelly (Sarah’s mom) – tells of taking what life gives you – with appreciation and amazement – making the most out of it, with a smile on your face, and no regrets. Beautifully simple in its arrangement of Will on vocals and guitar, and David Henry on a warm, soothing cello. Personally, this wonderfully stirring song is my absolute favorite track on this release.


Sneek peek at Will Kimbrough’s “Wings” artwork

Here’s the artwork for Will Kimbrough’s upcoming release Wings.
Cool shades of blue… looking very hip.
A full review of Wings will be posted here on OKOM very soon! Keep checking back!

Will Kimbrough’s Wings – promo video

Check out the new promo video for Will Kimbrough’s soon-to-be-released album Wings!


Interview with Will Kimbrough – Part 4 of 4

This is the final installment of my interview with Will Kimbrough. We talked about what Will likes to listen to when he’s not busy. Since he’s one of the hardest working, in-demand musicians in Nashville; and a loving and devoted husband and father, it’s hard to believe that he has any free time.
His new album Wings will hit the streets on February 23rd. It’s a wonderful, beautifully produced collection of songs that I know you’ll all enjoy. Trust me.
Here’s Will’s words about Wings:
“It’s about having a home, leaving the old home, finding meaning in little things, giving thanks, wondering, sinning, being forgiven, keeping an open mind, loving, living in the moment; or it’s at least thinking about those things.”
 So, between now and then, here’s what you can do: Call your local radio stations that play OKOM and tell them to get an advance copy and start playing it; Go to your favorite OKOM music venues and tell them about Will, and how outstanding his live shows are (because they are), and that they need to book him; Go to your favorite Indie record shop and ask them to order this album for you! It’s OK to be a pain-in-the-ass! These things don’t happen by themselves. He’s not Lady Gaga. You’ve got to go out, make it happen, and help support OKOM artists!
Alright, I’m down from my soapbox. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the interview so far, and that you’ll enjoy this part. Happy Christmas and peace to everyone!

Part 4

OKOM: So, what kind of music do you listen to at home or when you’re on the road?

WK: Well, I’ve been listening to The Beatles mono box set stuff.

OKOM: Oh, the mono stuff. I’ve been buying the re-mastered stereo stuff. How does the mono sound?

WK: It sounds great. The reason I wanted to hear it was because I heard a little radio show about it, and they interviewed a guy that had been the writer that was following the whole process of when they re-mastered all The Beatles stuff. He said that one of the things that had kind of been forgotten in the stereo world that we live in is that; through the White Album – when The Beatles mixed their albums – they first and foremost mixed them in mono.

OKOM: Really?

WK: Yeah, because AM radio was mono. The stereo mixes were usually done without Lennon or McCartney there, and sometimes without George Martin there. That doesn’t mean that they’re not good, it just means that when you hear the mono stuff, it’s interesting to hear what John and Paul – and I presume George and Ringo – intended when they originally did it. For the technology of the day, they were like; well, stereo is great but no one has a stereo so lets do this in mono.

OKOM: I remember the first LPs that I bought back then; they were all in mono.

WK: Yeah, so you’ve heard them. I came around when all the versions were in stereo. So, I’ve been listening to that, and it is different because it’s… well, it’s mono. It’s also what happens when you put everything through one channel. Some of the things on Sgt. Pepper’s [Lonely Hearts Club Band]; there’s this extra sort of phasing, flanging sound that’s on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” that’s really more psychedelic, more spacey sounding than before. There’s a double track vocal that’s flanged, and it becomes more extreme in mono. So, it’s cool to hear that and think, “Oh, that’s what John Lennon was hearing in his head.”

OKOM: So those kinds of things got lost in the stereo mixes.

WK: They just got changed. It’s a whole different thing.

OKOM: I’ll have to check them out.

WK: It’s interesting to hear. I’ve been listening to a borrowed copy because… well… they’re expensive. [laughs] But, it sure is good. So, that’s lately because they just came out. We’re all such Beatles fans.

OKOM: Yeah. Hey, I read that you were getting into African music too.

WK: I love African music. The thing that’s got me in the last few years is Jamaican music from the 60s and the 70s, mostly Reggae, classic Reggae – The Heptones, The Gladiators, The Mighty Diamonds, Gregory Isaacs, and Delroy Wilson – stuff that was a hit in Jamaica. I’ve also been listening to R&B from the 60s, a lot of old music really. There’s a lot of cool stuff to be found out there. I haven’t been listening to too much new music. I’m trying to think of something that I’ve got. Oh, I got the new Mark Knopfler record [Get Lucky] because I like to hear what he does.

OKOM: I haven’t gotten the new one yet. I have the previous one [Kill to Get Crimson] and I love it. How’s the new one?

WK: It’s good! I know some of the guys in his band too. So I love listening to it and I can just picture those guys playing.

OKOM: That’s cool. Well, we’re coming down to the end of the year. I’m sure that you’re going to be very busy promoting and touring for the new album. It comes out February 23rd.

WK: Yeah. I’m excited about it, and I’m really pleased with it. I’m looking ahead to going out and playing this music for people. Now I’m already working on putting together the next album. It’s a nice life.

OKOM: That’s great. Alright man, thanks much for the interview. I wish you the best of luck with this album. I love it. It has a very cool sound to it.

WK: Thank you.

OKOM: You have a Happy Christmas, and say hi to Jess.

WK: I will, you too, and don’t be a stranger.

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