Will Kimbrough is a singer, songwriter, award-winning guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, producer, performer and bandleader with a voracious appetite for every aspect of music. Born and raised in the deep south of the Alabama Gulf Coast, he ingested eclectic FM radio sounds and the music of nearby New Orleans. In his quest to develop his musical capacities to their fullest, Will Kimbrough has become a modern-day Renaissance Man.
Kimbrough’s body of work reflects a lifetime of performing, writing and collaborating from more angles than Da Vinci’s protractor. True to his search for universal truths, his profound musical knowledge and expert creations reflect years of learning the intricacies of folk, blues, gospel, country, rock’n’roll, punk rock and jazz.
With songs recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat, Jack Ingram, Todd Snider and others, Kimbrough’s multidisciplinary approach has led to many desirable collaborations in the studio and on-stage with well-known artists, including Rosanne Cash, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Gomez, Emmylou Harris, the Jayhawks, Mark Knopfler, Buddy Miller, John Prine, Toumani Diabate, Kim Richey, Josh Rouse, Matthew Ryan, Billy Joe Shaver, Todd Snider, Mavis Staples, by fans as a way to explain his masterful performance on the guitar, Kimbrough was recognized in 2004 as the Instrumentalist of the Year by the Americana Music Association – an award that had previously been awarded three years in a row to Dobro ace Jerry Douglas.
Kimbrough earned his graduate degree on the club circuit shortly after finishing high school. Investing years of single-minded devotion to his craft, Will moved to Nashville with his first band – Will and the Bushmen – and was quickly signed to a major label record deal. Following that 15 minutes of fame, Will formed The Bis-quits with Tommy Womack, Mike Grimes and Tommy Meyer and released one CD on John Prine’s Oh Boy! Records.
Having spent several years on the road and in the studio with folk star Todd Snider, Kimbrough has also toured and recorded extensively with Grammy winners like Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, and produced a Grammy-nominated CD for Adrienne Young, in addition to producing the noted East Nashville Skyline and The Devil You Know albums for Todd Snider – two of his most acclaimed recordings.
With 10 artist albums to his credit, Will has released five solo recordings and five albums as a founding member of DADDY, the bis-quits, and Will and the Bushmen. Kimbrough turned ears and earned new fans along with praise from the media for his outspoken Americanitis (2005) album, which cast a critical eye on early 21st century America.
In 2007, Will released EP – his solo studio recording that revealed a hint of what would develop on his next full-length release. All Music Guide wrote, “Wonderfully written and executed songs: sparse yet full of literacy, emotion and a primitive’s attitude to modern invention, though there is nothing remotely primitive about the sound or craft on this short set.”
Kimbrough spent much of 2009 working with DADDY, a band he co-founded with Tommy Womack, featuring John Deaderick, Paul Griffith & Dave Jacques. The band released For A Second Time – their first studio recording and second album – for Father’s Day and have spent much of the year touring and showcasing at major national festivals.
The lead track on the DADDY album – Nobody From Nowhere – struck a chord with Jimmy Buffett who ended up recording the song for his new Buffet Hotel album released in December 2009. But Jimmy wanted more, and tapped Will Kimbrough for three other co-written songs on Buffet Hotel, including Wings – which is also the title track on Will new 2010 studio album.
The songs on Wings invite the listener to comprehend the universe with a modern introspective eye. Exploring themes surrounding the conflict between family and career, love and work, parents and children, the music is based in classic folk rock, with touches of atmospheric guitar, cello, saxophone, trumpet, banjo, Hammond organ.
In early 2013, Will traveled to Key West to work on “Songs From St Somewhere”, the fourth consecutive Jimmy Buffett album Kimbrough has played on and contributed songs to. He wrote or co-wrote three of the songs for the collection, slated for a December 2013 release.
Will is also a member of Gulf Coast group Willie Sugarcapps, a very organic collaboration with Grayson Capps, guitarist Corky Hughes and the duo Sugarcane Jane (Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee). Their debut album is being released by Royal Potato Family Records of Brooklyn in Aug 2013.
Will Kimbrough’s latest album, his seventh solo long-player, is Sideshow Love, a 12 track song cycle exploring the human heart and love in all its guises. According to close friend and longtime partner Tommy Womack, Sideshow Love is not only the best showcase for Kimbrough’s guitar work, but his best collection of songs yet. The record focuses on love in all forms, the ups and downs of romantic love, wistful longing, spiritual wandering and old fashioned lust. Sideshow Love was released in Fall 2013.
In April 2016, Willie Sugarcapps will release their 2nd full-length album, Paradise Right Here. Recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, mixed by multiple Grammy winner Trina Shoemaker, co-produced by the band and Shoemaker, the record is at once a big step forward for the Lower Alabama roots collective, yet retains their debut album’s raw, live, real soulfulness. Paradise Right Here is deeper and darker than the first album; but hope shines through, along with the wonderful collaborative energy everyone loves about Willie Sugarcapps. (Willie Sugarcapps, Paradise Right Here, April 15, 2016, Baldwin County Public Records, http://www.bcpr.rocks/).
Will is currently finishing up work on Doug Seegers’ 2nd album—the followup to “Going Down To The River”, which was a smash hit in Scandinavia—”Walking On The Edge Of The World”—will be released in May 2016 on Lionheart/Capitol Records in Sweden in May 2016.
Kimbrough is also finishing up a duets record with soulful singer songwriter Brigitte DeMeyer. Will and Brigitte wrote almost all the songs on DeMeyer’s most recent album, “Savannah Road”. This time around, they decided to go ahead and do an album together. Full of soul, humor, poetry and picking, “Mockingbird Soul” will be released in Fall of 2016.
The multi-talented, active father of two continues to make a lasting contribution to every project he produces, performs and creates.