Fabulous Thunderbirds Really Fabulous

There should be a revolving door at the foot of the stage when the Fabulous Thunderbirds perform. There have been 17 different members of the band, which formed in 1974. The lone original member of the act, vocalist Kim Wilson, still performs under the moniker.

“This group is my passion,” Wilson said. “I don’t see any reason to stop being part of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. I know how many people have come and gone and I can’t do much about that. All I can do is keep things going with this band. We’re a working band that loves to tour.”

The blues-rockers are also comfortable in the studio. The Fabulous Thunderbirds recently finished off its first album in five-years.  The as of yet untitled disc will be previewed when the band performs Sunday at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton.

“This album is a little different,” Wilson said while calling from Orange County, Calif. “There is rock and the blues but there is also some soul and a little more R&B than you might expect. This time I think we’re a little more sophisticated. You‘ll know what I mean (when the band performs in Trenton).

You have to hear the music to get what I’m talking about.”

Count on the Fabulous Thunderbirds to mix the new with the old when it performs in Trenton. Expect the band to deliver such hits as ‘Tuff Enuff’ and ‘Wrap It Up.’

You just don’t know when those songs will be rendered since the Fabulous Thunderbirds never make up a set list.

“We’ve never planned anything out,” Wilson said. “A big part of what we do is improvise. I give the band signals so they know what song is coming next. I just feel what’s happening with us and the crowd and that’s how I know what’s appropriate to play. That makes it as fresh as can be. We just have fun with it. We play stuff that goes all the way back to the beginning with this band. Anything goes. It’s more fun that way. Who knows what we’ll play when we come to town?”

The only certainty in this year of reunions (Public Image, Faith No More, Soundgarden) is that Wilson doubts that the original band will ever get back together. He doesn’t see any future jams with former Fab Thunderbird guitar hero Jimmie Vaughan.

“None of that is likely,” Wilson said. “It would just be difficult in so many ways. I can’t look back and hope to recapture those days again. There’s no point to it. I’m with a great band that I really enjoy performing with. I don’t have a void to fill. I’m doing exactly what I want to do. How many people can say that about their job?


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