This Sunday I had the rare treat of seeing Will Kimbrough. I say rare because it’s rare that a good show comes through this area. Hopefully that is all changing because the venue Will was playing at, Kirk Avenue Music Hall in Roanoke is a very “Folk/Alt Country/Americana” friendly venue. Chris Knight played there a few months back (which I didn’t find out about until after the fact), Dave Alvin will be playing there in a couple of weeks, and Tom Russell will be playing there early this summer. Those are just some of the bigger acts, they pretty much have a good show every week, check out their schedule, and it is highly recommended if you are in the Roanoke area. The place is right downtown, easy to get to, ample parking (of course that could have been due to the recent snowstorm and snow covered streets). Also, any bands reading this, this would be a great venue to stop at when you are driving up 81 from Knoxville or Charlotte to Charlottesville or Richmond (which most of you do).
Now, about the show….AMAZING. Will is such an incredible guitar player, such an incredible songwriter, such an incredible singer, and most importantly such an incredible entertainer. Will played from 7:30 to 10:30 taking about a 30 minute break in between. Nothing but Will, an acoustic guitar, and a happy audience. The most remarkable thing to me was just how much sound was coming from this one man and his guitar. It took me a few songs to catch on to what he was doing. He had a loop pedal and he was playing leads over his own rhythm playing. A couple instances he even laid down bass lines, and percussion by beating on his guitar….all this without missing a beat and in some cases playing harp to boot.
I went into this show a casual Will Kimbrough fan, knowing him from his many producing and sideman credits (such as Todd Snider, and Rodney Crowell), and I came out of this show a HUGE fan. So much so I can’t wait for his new album Wings which comes out the Feb. 23rd, and pre-orders begin Feb. 3rd at www.willkimbrough.com (watch this vid where Will tells you all about it). You can also download the song “Three Angels” here.
Now I did take a lot of vid this time, but I will only post a couple. The first is the title track off the upcoming album “Wings”. He prefaced this to say that Jimmy Buffet will also be recording his own version of this song, but his is a little different.
Next up is a vid of the rousing tribute to Chuck Berry and Yo Yo Ma…..the aptly titled Yo Yo Ma. This one includes the intro which will explain everything you need to know. This vid also shows off his loop pedal skills and just how much sound one man can make…..also some of the wildest Chuck Berry-ish guitar playing you are likely to ever see done on an acoustic guitar.