A band whose powerful sound has been synonymous with Texas roadhouse blues for the last 40 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds continue to enthrall audiences with their spirited genre-hopping take on the blues tradition. They’ll head to Rockport armed with a catalog filled with iconic blues rock classics like “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up,” as well as loads of roadhouse swagger to spare.
Still fronted by co-founder and lead singer/harmonica player Kim Wilson, The Fabulous Thunderbirds refuse to let up despite more than four decades of blues-soaked touring and recording. The current lineup includes Wilson as well as Johnny Moeller, keyboardist Kevin Anker, bassist Steve Gomes and drummer Wes Watkins.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds started out in Austin, Texas in the mid 70’s, fronted by Wilson and guitarist Jimmie Vaughan (older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan). They played the city’s blossoming blues scene for several years, making a name for themselves playing at the now-iconic Austin club Antone’s. Their eponymous record came out in 1979. They remained a regional bar band for several years before word began to spread nationally and the band began opening up for acts like The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.
After several lineup changes and a few moderately successful records, they’re commercial breakthrough came in 1986 with the release of Tuff Enough on Epic Records. The album and eponymous lead single shot the Thunderbirds to the top of the charts and helped usher in a blues rock revival that would last the rest of the decade. Their follow-up single “Wrap It Up” cemented the band’s place as the hottest blues act in the country.
Vaughan left the band to [pursue a solo career in 1990, but Wilson continued on, forging a new identity with acclaimed guitarist Duke Robillard (of Roomful of Blues) and continuing to release records and tour the world with their now-oft-copied Texas roadhouse style. Throughout the next two decades the band would continue to thrive on the live music circuit, gaining new blues fans and leaving blues rock disciples in their wake. Their most recent studio album, Strong Like That, came out in 2016 and showcased a new lineup and another worthy stable of Thunderbirds songs.
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