David Kimbrough, Jr. sure has packed a lot of living -- and thus, fodder for good songs -- into his years spent in northern Mississippi. A reformed drug addict and crack cocaine dealer, Kimbrough is young by blues standards, and has a very bright future ahead of him as a recording and touring artist. Kimbrough began playing music with his late father, the legendary David "Junior" Kimbrough, when he was six. The elder Kimbrough ran a juke joint in Chulahoma, Mississippi and recorded and toured under the auspices of the Fat Possum label before he passed away in 1998. Kimbrough's albums, and albums by R.L. Burnside and others who recorded for Fat Possum, brought national attention to the raw, repetitive, sometimes droning sound of North Mississippi-styled blues. The record company sponsored several revue-styled tours that combined the talents of several previously lesser-known talents on the fertile Mississippi juke joint scene, like the elder Kimbrough, Burnside, CeDell Davis, and Paul "Wine" Jones.
The elder Kimbrough's passing affected young David Kimbrough in a multitude of ways, but he honored his father by performing on Sunday nights at Junior's Juke Joint until the facility suffered an extensive fire in 2000. Kimbrough recorded an album dedicated to his father, Up Out of the Ashes, produced by Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars. Kimbrough added his own guitar flourishes to his late father's tunes on the self-released album, recorded at his father's juke joint shortly before the facility was destroyed by fire. After serving a stint in Parchman Farm for parole violations from a previous conviction for crack cocaine possession, Kimbrough was released from that infamous correctional facility in February, 2005. He jumped right back into the music, recording an album the next day in Clarksdale at Jimbo Mathus' studio, which he called Shell-Shocked. As a guitarist and vocalist, Kimbrough's influences include Curtis Mayfield, Prince, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as his most important influence, his late father.
Kimbrough estimates he's written more than 5,000 songs, many of which will never see the light of day, as some were lost in a house fire and others were lost in the fire at his father's juke joint. He credits his second stint in prison with granting him the time to write, and the will to continue educating himself and writing more songs, since he was unable to play any instruments during his second incarceration. Kimbrough remains a prolific songwriter and performs frequently in the Memphis and North Mississippi area.