The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson

Pearl Street Warehouse Presents

The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson

Solomon Hicks

Wed · March 21, 2018

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$40.00 - $50.00

This event is 21 and over

Still going strong 30 years after exploding onto the blues rock scene from Austin, Texas, The Fabulous Thunderbirds had huge hits with "Tuff Enuff" and "Wrap it Up", now bringing their guitar and harmonica-driven American sound to rock the Pearl Street Warehouse stage, along with up & coming blues guitar and vocal prodigy Solomon Hicks.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
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."

In addition to Wilson, the current Thunderbirds line-up features Jay Moeller on drums, Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller on guitar, and Randy Bermudes on bass.

"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.

"The thing about the T-Birds is that we can play both blues festival and rock venues," Wilson comments. "We're a diversified band now and everybody's on the same page."

As a side project Wilson formed Kim Wilson's Blues Revue, a traditional blues band. He also owns a blues label, Blue Collar Music, that has released three albums -- one by Kim, one by "Big Al" Blake and one by Fred Kaplan. Wilson has also recorded and written with noted session guitarist Danny Kortchmar and drummer Steve Jordan and may tour with them at some point. However his current focus remains The Fabulous Thunderbirds. "This is a great time for this band," he says. "We're looking forward to the future."
Solomon Hicks
Solomon Hicks
At the age of 13 Solomon started playing with the Cotton Club 17-piece band as Lead Guitarist and still continues to perform there.

Along with being called “Lil’ B.B.” he played the KISS Kruise V, 2017 Joe Bonamassa Blues Cruise, Spain [FESTIVAL DE BLUES DE BÉJAR-Blues CAZORLA-San Javier], Jazz Marciac in France, and the Tokyo Cotton Club.

He has been featured in The Washington Post, New York Daily News, The New York Times, Amsterdam News, November 2016 front cover of Blues Blast magazine, Montana’s Bigfork Eagle, New Jersey Jazz Society News, and the PBS TV series American Music.

Solomon has performed with Tony Bennett, The Destroyers (George Thorogood), Neal Evans (Soulive), Jimmy Vivino (Bandleader for Conan O’Brien), Sam Moore, Marcus King, Stax Songwriter William Bell, John Nemeth, Blind Boy Paxton, Roger Earl (Foghat), Kim Simmonds (Savoy Brown), Davey Knowles, Ne-Yo, Jon Hendricks, Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour.

He performs regularly in NYC at The Iridium, BB Kings, Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar, The Red Rooster, Terra Blues, Minton’s Playhouse and Ginny’s.

Solomon has taught music at the Children’s Aid Society , is a Harlem Arts Alliance member, supporter of the NYC Jazzmobile and a member of The Blues Foundation in Memphis.

His first major release on Mascot Label Group will hit the streets in late Spring 2018.
Venue Information:
Pearl Street Warehouse
33 Pearl St SW
Washington, DC, 20024
http://www.pearlstreetwarehouse.com/