The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson


The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson

Bobby Patterson & the Disciples, Brad Stivers

Fri · January 19, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$32.00 - $35.00

The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
Photo by K E Johnson

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.”
Bobby Patterson & the Disciples
Bobby Patterson & the Disciples
Bobby Patterson has been singing R&B and southern soul in his hometown of Dallas for over half a century.

He released countless singles for local and regional labels in the 60s and 70s, and his original tunes have been covered by artists as diverse as Little Willie John ("Let Them Talk"), Albert King ("That's What The Blues Is All About"), the Fabulous Thunderbirds ("How Do You Spell Love?"), and Jeff Tweedy ("She Don't Have To See You").

Patterson's latest album, 2015's "I Got More Soul", was produced by Relatives guitarist Zach Ernst and mixed by Brownout's Adrian Quesada.
Brad Stivers
Brad Stivers
A 2014 International Blues Challenge Finalist, Brad Stivers has always found love in being completely immersed in music of all kinds. As a child, Brad would sit in a trance listening to his dad play records on the home stereo. He joined a school band program in California learning the trombone and saxophone and developing an intense passion for music and new instruments.

Soon after taking up these new instruments, his family moved to Washington State and Brad started learning the guitar with his brothers, taking lessons and hanging out at the local music store, soaking up as much as he could listening to conversations between gigging professional musicians who would come through the store.

Brad started a band that played old classic rock favorites with his two brothers in high school and was introduced to Blues by his guitar teacher at a local jam in Marysville, Washington. Hearing songs from artists like BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Joe Louis Walker, Brad developed a love and excitement for digging up the roots of the blues.

His next move was to Colorado to attend The University of Northern Colorado where he earned a degree in Music Business and studied Jazz Guitar. He formed his own band with other students at the university quickly gaining the attention of the local blues society and earning a chance to represent Colorado in the Youth Showcase at The International Blues Challenge in 2012. The next two years were spent playing clubs and festivals all over Colorado working to sharpen his skills as a bandleader. In 2014 Brad’s first band, Bad Brad & The Fat Cats, won the local Blues Challenge and the opportunity to represent the Colorado Blues Society in Memphis once again. This time he performed in the adult part of the competition. Brad and The Fat Cats were one of only nine bands that qualified for the finals out of hundreds that competed for a spot to perform at The Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tennessee.

Brad now resides in Austin, Texas where he is soaking in the rich musical culture and learning from the many talented artists that also call Austin home. He has shared the stage with local heavy-hitters such as Greg Izor, Jai Malano, and Erin Jaimes. He has had the honor of playing at The World Famous Continental Club, C-Boys Heart and Soul, and the Legendary Blues Club, Antone’s, and many other well established Texas clubs. He has recorded two blues and roots influenced cd’s while in Austin: “American Music” and “2000 Miles”, with 2000 Miles yet to be released. “American Music” takes on the older sound of Blues while adding a modern edge to the music. “2000 Miles” approaches the Blues with a more modern sound while featuring some of Austin’s most beloved singers, Malford Milligan and Emily Gimble. Brad is on his way to becoming a well known artist and staple in the Blues and Roots Music Scene.
Venue Information:
305 E 5th Street
Austin, TX, 78701