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Music blues-rock The Fabulous Thunderbirds band pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds are a blues-rock band, formed in 1974. After performing for several years in the Austin, Texas blues scene, they earned a recording contract with Takoma/Chrysalis Records and later signed to Epic.
The first two albums released in 1979 and 1980 (with Keith Ferguson on bass and Mike Buck on drums), did not initially sell well, but are now regarded as successful white blues recordings. Their blues style mixed Texas blues with the harmonica-laced swamp blues sounds of Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester - both of whom the T-Birds covered. Their third album, Butt-Rockin', released in 1981, took the band closer to old rhythm and blues and added piano and brass section played by additional musicians.
Although the Fabulous Thunderbirds had become favorites of fellow musicians -- they opened shows for the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton -- and had been critically well-received, their records didn't sell particularly well. Chrysalis dropped the band following the release of T-Bird Rhythm, leaving the band without a record contract for four years. While they were in limbo, they continued to play concerts across the country. During this time, bassist Keith Ferguson left the band and was replaced by Preston Hubbard, another former member of Roomful of Blues. In 1985, they finally landed another record contract, signing with Epic/Associated.
The single Tuff Enuff was featured in the Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster film Tough Guys, as was the follow-up single, "Wrap It Up". The band's music was also played in John Cusack's 1987 movie Hot Pursuit. The Fabulous Thunderbirds' next album, Hot Number, fell off the charts quickly and alienated many of the bands' long-time fans due to its slick pop-oriented sound. The band then began a long series of line-up changes and obscure, yet improved, albums throughout the 1990s.
After the two poorly received follow-ups to Tuff Enuff, Jimmie Vaughan left the band to play in a duo with his brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan; following Stevie Ray's death in the summer of 1990, Jimmie pursued a full-time solo career. The Fabulous Thunderbirds replaced Vaughan with two guitarists, Duke Robillard and Kid Bangham.
During the early '90s, the Fabulous Thunderbirds were in limbo, as Kim Wilson recorded a pair of solo albums. In 1994, Wilson re-assembled the band and record their ninth album, Roll of the Dice, which was released on Private Music in 1995. High Water followed in 1997 with a live album after that in 2001.
The current lineup includes original member Kim Wilson, guitarist/vocals Nick Curran, guitarist Kirk Fletcher, Ronnie James Weber on bass, and Jay Moeller on drums.
-Ronnie James Weber.