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Thunderbirds really are a Fabulous band
Gary Curtis - The Spectator (Hamilton), Oct. 1986

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.

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