Will Kimbrough

Wings

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Had Will Kimbrough (who turned 46 in January 2010) not spent so much time backing or accompanying other artists, he might have had a much larger catalog by the time the 2000s came to a close and the 2010s began. But if Kimbrough's solo catalog falls short in terms of quantity -- at least as of early 2010 -- it doesn't fall short in terms of quality. Kimbrough is a skillful singer/songwriter, and his talents are very much in evidence on Wings. The Alabama native has both country and folk-rock credentials; he has been called everything from Americana to roots rock to alternative country. Wings doesn't fit neatly in any one category, although it is safe to say that Kimbrough (who wrote or co-wrote all ten of the songs) makes folk-rock a high priority this time. The American troubadour aesthetic is alive and well on "Three Angels," "Love to Spare," "A Couple Hundred Miracles," and "You Can't Go Home"; there is even a track called "The Day of the Troubador." But this 2008-2009 recording certainly has influences other than folk-rock. "It Ain't Cool," which he co-wrote with singer Jeff Finlin, favors a jazzy groove that would be worthy of Van Morrison or Boz Scaggs -- and there is a strong awareness of Memphis soul on "Open to Love," which contains a horn arrangement that is right out of the Stax/Volt playbook. So even though folk-rock is a major part of what Kimbrough does on this 36-minute CD, Wings is by no means the work of a folk purist. Rather, it is the work of an artist who likes to try different things and is smart enough to realize that rock, folk, country, soul, jazz, and the blues are all legitimate parts of American culture. Wings is a memorable addition to Kimbrough's solo catalog, which will hopefully become much larger in the future.

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