Artist Gallery Photo

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Thu, Jun 16 -
Sun, Jun 19, 2022




$36.50 ($8.00 Handling Fee Included) All purchases are nonrefundable/nonexchangeable.

Tickets may be purchased on-line or by phone.
Night of show seating typically available.



KNKX, the Washington Blues Society and Dimitriou's Jazz Alley welcome quintessential American band The Fabulous Thunderbirds for four nights and six shows. The current lineup includes original member Kim Wilson (lead vocals/harmonica), Dean Shot (lead guitar), Steven Kirsty (bass), Rudy Petschauer (drums), Bob Welsh (keyboards/guitar), Jerry Weldon (saxophone), and Corey Wilcox (trombone). Show times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Show times Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday - Sunday.

artist info

A Unique Musical Hybrid

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.

“We started as a straight blues band”, vocalist and harmonica player Wilson says. “We now incorporate a mixture of a lot of different styles. We’re an American music band and we’re much higher energy than we were before.”

“To be in the T-Birds, you need to understand the different styles of music and different ways of playing,” Wilson comments. “You have to be willing to adopt a more contemporary style. The guys we have now are able to do that.”

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.

“I’ve primarily been a solo songwriter, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with the guys in the band,” Wilson says.

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.”

For Kim Wilson, the musical journey started in Goleta, California. At 17 he began playing the harmonica. His influences included Little Walter, George “Harmonica” Smith, Lazy Lester and James Cotton. At the same time, Wilson began singing and was deeply impacted by Bobby “Blue” Bland, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rodgers and Muddy Waters. In search of other musicians who shared his love of the blues, Wilson headed to Minneapolis. He stayed there for a year and a half, playing locally, before moving to the burgeoning music scene of Austin, Texas. It was there that 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. “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.

videos

upcoming shows

Artist Gallery Photo

4X GRAMMY® Nominee - The Baylor Project

Tue, Jun 28 - Wed, Jun 29

"4x Grammy-nominated married musicians vocalist Jean Baylor and drummer Marcus Baylor have created a captivating “project” that meets at the 3-way intersection of Jazz, Gospel and Legacy. Brimming with aural snapshots of their individual roots and the sacred space where they come together, it is a very unique album that soothes the soul..." - Urban Music Scene

info
Artist Gallery Photo

Acoustic Alchemy

Thu, Jun 30 - Sun, Jul 3

Touring in support of their latest release and first in seven years, 33 1/3, Acoustic Alchemy have spent thirty years making music and in that time they have received droves of critical acclaim for their albums and three Grammy nominations.

info
Artist Gallery Photo

Sara Gazarek

Tue, Jul 5 - Wed, Jul 6

Graced with an "impeccable" voice (Winnipeg Free Press) and hailed as an artist that "may well turn out to be the next important jazz singer" by the LA Times, Double Grammy-nominated Sara Gazarek has been one of the leading lights of an impressive generation of jazz vocalists since her brilliant emergence at age 20.

info
full calendar