The Kimbrough Brothers Shows
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About The Kimbrough Brothers
Three of Blues legend Junior Kimbroughs sons have come together to form what critics are calling the next great hill country blues band. David Junior Kimbrough, Jr., and his two brothers Robert and Kent Kinney Kimbrough will play their first show in Starkville today at the Historic State Theatre on Main Street.
Having grown up together in the shadows of their father, who has been credited as being the father of the Hill Country Blues genre, these three heirs to the North Mississippi music throne have put together one of the most authentic blues outfits in the South today.
David and Kinney have playing together whole lives, and Robert been playing with his two brothers off and on over the past few years as well as in multiple gospel groups.
Aside from their newly polished originals the band is road testing for an upcoming album, they have also remade some of their fathers and fellow blues legend R.L. Burnsides old standards. Living up to the familys reputation and mystique, this group of Kimbroughs has taken the hard road to get to where they are today. Robert was recently released from a stint in prison that put his music career on hold, and David has been out of the joint for about four years – give or take. Their family and their adopted family, the Burnsides, are notorious for running afoul of the law in-between tours and recording sessions, and several of the most popular musicians in these two families have taken musical hiatuses to serve hard time.
But as with most musicians who push the legal limits, the Kimbrough Brothers believe it has had a positive effect on their music, giving their songs an element of darkness, remorse and guilt to both compliment and contradict the upbeat, celebratory tempo that they keep on stage. This time around, it seems, these Kimbrough Brothers are focused on the music and making it work for them.
This is a brand new thing weve started up to see how it would go. Weve been playing together about a year now, and we will record soon, David Junior Kimbrough, Jr. said. Weve been playing a lot in North Mississippi, Roosters & Proud Larrys in Oxford, Bearcats & The Hut in Holly Springs, and around Memphis – just playing some live shows now to make sure everything sounds right.
David and Kinney toured with their late father during the 1990s, from Coast to Coast, as well as abroad.
I first started touring with my Pop back in 93. We went all over the country straight out of the gate – Kansas City, Nashville, Los Angeles, San Fran, all over Colorado and back to New York and Chicago. It was me, Junior, Kinney and Garry Burnside (R.L. Burnsides youngest son), David said.
Their father, Junior, had just released his full-lenght studio debut after writing and playing music for over 40 years. That album, All Night Long (Fat Possum 1992), garnered near-unanimous praise by critics and received a shocking Four-Star Rating by Rolling Stone Magazine.
A second album for Fat Possum, Sad Days and Lonely Nights followed in 1994. A video for the albums title track featured Junior Kimbrough, Garry Burnside and Kinney Kimbrough playing in Kimbroughs juke joint. The last album he would record, Most Things Havent Worked Out, appeared on Fat Possum in 1997. Following his death in 1998 in Holly Springs, Fat Possum released two posthumous compilation albums of material Kimbrough recorded in the 1990s, God Knows I Tried (1998) and Meet Me in The City (1999).
A greatest hits compilation, You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough, followed in 2002. Fat Possum also released a tribute album, Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, in 2005, that featured Iggy & The Stooges (Kimbrough once toured with frontman Iggy Pop), The Black Keys and Mark Langan. Richard Johnson, a Kimbrough protogee, keeps this musical tradition alive with one of Juniors sons, via live performances on Beale Street in Memphis.
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