On October 20, longtime Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson will release one of the best traditional blues albums of the year, Blues and Boogie, Vol. 1, via Severn Records. We know this to be true because we’ve heard it—over and over again.
As readers discovered when we premiered “Same Old Blues” last month, Wilson—a serious blues devotee—has gone back to basics on Blues and Boogie, Vol. 1, coming up with an album that sounds like it’s from another era, an era when “real musicians played real instruments with real feeling” (to quote a comment on our “Same Old Blues” premiere).
To truly drive home the point, we hereby present the exclusive premiere of “Searched All Over,” a Kim Wilson original with tons of vintage barroom ambiance that feels, sounds and grinds like a long-lost Elmore James recording from 1957. You can hear it below.
The powerful track features Wilson on vocals and harmonica, Big Jon Atkinson and Billy Flynn on guitar (laying down some impassioned, Elmore James-style slide vibrato), Barrelhouse Chuck on piano, Larry Taylor on bass and Richard Innes on drums.
“I want to tell the real blues fans out there what a labor of love this project has been,” Wilson says in the liner notes. “I’ve been recording many, many tracks for a couple of years now, and time has just flown by. A couple of the greatest musicians that ever lived—Richard Innes and Barrelhouse Chuck—passed away during the process of making this [album]. One of their dreams was to see this stuff come out.
“So here it is, the first of many to come. This kind of music is very easy and pleasurable for me to perform. I like to surround myself with musicians who like to ‘fly by the seat of their pants,’ people like Richard and Barrel, Billy Flynn, Big Jon Atkinson, Marty Dodson, Nathan James, Larry Taylor, Malachi Johnson and all the other fantastic blues musicians on this CD. I desired to record songs I’ve always wanted to do. However, I have to put my own twist on everything.”
The album’s track list includes covers of tunes by Elmore James, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter and more, plus several Wilson originals, including “Searched All Over,” “Bonus Boogie” and “Edgier,” that fit right in with the rest of the pack. Wilson even covered an old Fabulous Thunderbirds tune, “Learn to Treat Me Right,” which originally appeared on the band’s What’s the Word? album in 1980.
Check out the album’s full track list—and listen to “Searched All Over“—below.
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Kim Wilson, Blues and Boogie, Vol. 1 Track Listing
1. Bonus Boogie
2. No Love in My Heart
3. Ninety Nine
4. Worried Life Blues
5. You Upset My Mind
6. Teenage Beat
7. Same Old Blues
8. Searched All Over
9. From the Bottom
10. Look Whatcha Done
11. Blue and Lonesome
12. Sho Nuf I Do
13. Learn to Treat Me Right
15. Mean Old Frisco
16. You’re the One