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Thursday, August 28, 2008

My favorite band from 1985 through 1990

The Fabulous Thunderbirds, in all their incarnations prior to Fran Christina leaving the band, were just about my favorite of all time from about '85 through '90 or later. NRBQ supplanted them for a short time and then Doug Sahm took off on a ten year-plus run. Johnny Guitar Watson currently rules the roost for super-favorite. There are actually a bunch of artists and groups I am "addicted" to now, but back around '86-89 it was T-Birds all the way. My friends (and band-mates) and I would sneak into places to see them. We would attend every show possible as underage kids. Our band, instead of covering U2, Peter Gabriel, the Rolling Stones and all, focused on the T-Birds. I bought my first Hohner Golden Melody harmonica at H&H Music on Caroline in downtown Houston around Christmas of '85. For the next fiver years I focused on becoming a Kim Wilson quality harmonica player by apeing his chops and those of Little Walter, James Cotton and Jimmy reed. I never succeeded at playing half as well as any of those cats, but by the sheer grace of God, I figured out that playing other instruments as a complement to harmonica was a good way to imrove my singing, harmonica playing and overall musicality, so I went back to piano sort of and picked up guitar, bass and drums towards the end of college (92-93). I barely play harmonica at all anymore but still get a huge kick out of vintage T-Birds music and videos. The best video they ever had is a video for "How Do You Spell Love" off 1982's "T-Bird Rhythm" which stars little kid Charlie Sexton as a school kid. There's some great ominous pans of my bass playing idol Keith Ferguson (RIP) smiling the "smile of death" in that one as well. I would love it if someone could find that one and post it up on YouTube. Give it to me and I'll do it.
Anyway, here's a 1980 European performance of "She's Tuff", a song I started covering as a junior in high school with me band. Nobody does it as well as Kim Wilson. This video has another guitar player filling in for Jimmie Vaughan, but Mike Buck and Keith Ferguson hold down the groove behind Kim. - David

1 comment:

Ronnie said...

I've never had any desire to play the guitar, the drums, or anything, but I would love to be able to play the harmonica. I bought a good Hohner and a "harmonica for dummies" book, but I have zero musical ability. It's the ultimate un-pretentious instrument in my opinion.