Gary Curtis - The Spectator
ITíS UNCLEAR exactly where the name The Fabulous
Thunderbirds comes from. Is it from the Little Walter harp solo Thunderbird?
or is it from the cruising low-ridiní tricked-up T-Birds that motor slowly
through the El Paso barrios? Thunderbirds may be open to discussion but
The Fabulous isn t. for this four-piece amped-up slicked-down band from
Austin Texas is exactly that, Fabulous.
This band is the sum of its parts, and thatís
considerable. When Wilson pulled hard on his harps low end a power surge
seemed to rise up out of the floor and the metallic crunch mustíve been
enough pop the rivets on the new twinned Sky-was. This is a man with a
serious Little Walter fetish and heís among the finest harmonica blowers
this side of our own King Biscuit Boy. but more on that later.
Jimmie Vaughan, who co-founded the band 11 years
ago with Wilson, is among the top Texas blues guitarists. He's idolized
by his little brother Stevie Ray and for good cause; he knows as his brother
apparently doesnít, that one note can do the work of 18 and that pauses
can say as much musically as any flash-fingered run along the six strings.
DRUMMER, FRAN Christina bandís the bandís new
bassist, Preston Hubbard found a steady groove and kept it Hubbard fingered
mostly an upright electric bass. Although both are refugees from Roomful
of Blues, a lighter swinging blues group, they rocked out from the opening
rim shot. A solid wall of throb is an apt description of The Fabulous Thunderbirdís
sound. And the Fab T-Bird philosophy was seemingly summed up in their second
song, Canít Tear It Up Enough, although they certainly did try.
Guitar Mikey and The Real Thing opened the evening
with Three Hundred Pounds of Joy by Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows, For
Mikey, sharply dressed in a pinstriped suit jacket and blue leather tie,
it wasn't altogether appropriate as he s lost considerable weight to get
down to his current 230 pounds. Perhaps he should be called Big Spiff instead.
Mikey and his band. with Claude Des Roches on
drums and the veteran Doug Carter on bass, earned their encore with a Lone
Star hello to the Texas visitors with a smoking version of Johnny Winter's
Rock 'n Roll. Guitar Mikey s performance, however, begs an answer to the
obvious question: When is someone going to get some of these one Hamilton
blues bands down on vinyl.