Videos by American Songwriter




[Rating: 4 stars]

Guitarist/singer/songwriter/producer Will Kimbrough has always been one of the most talented sidemen in the biz. But with “Wings,” his fifth album, he’s finally fulfilled his potential to become a force on his own terms, in his own words. These songs, borne of the maturity a husband and father learns to accept somewhere along the way—even if he is a musician—are beautiful, understated odes to the joys and challenges those responsibilities bring. Interestingly, the title tune (co-written with Jimmy Buffett), “You Can’t Go Home,” “A Couple Hundred Miracles” and other tracks sound as if Kimbrough’s sometime-boss, Rodney Crowell, could have written them (though Kimbrough doesn’t slip into Crowell’s sometimes maddening propensity for inanity). The swamp-pop-flavored Todd Snider co-write “It Ain’t Cool” simmers like a threat; “Love To Spare” sounds like a John Lennon love song. The gospel-y “Open to Love” doesn’t quite achieve liftoff, but it still moves well. Regardless, with “Wings,” Kimbrough soars.


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  1. “Kimbrough Takes Flight” most definitely! And, superbly so! Especially ‘Big Big Love’ which, sounds like a little jazz number. Will moves in and out of almost every genre with this new release like he is weaving a new genre….maybe he is.

    Speaking of Mr. Rodney Crowell, whom I admire very much, can’t seem to relate to your “Crowell’s sometimes maddening propensity for inanity?” Did I spell that right? Mr. Crowell’s exquisite ability to tap into the human psyche leaves me breathless, to say the least. We could all learn a great deal from his willingness to share with us ‘his deepest most felt feelings as a man’.

  2. I loves me some Rodney Crowell, but on “Sex and Gasoline,” for every “I can’t love you with my hands tied, walkin’ barefoot down a landslide” you get the rhyming-dictionary groaner, “They say that time heals every wound. Guess we’ll have to just stay tuned” or the spare-me mixed metaphor, “For those who keep the wolves at bay, there is no setting sun” (cue wolf howling with giant moon in background – right next to the kokopelli magnet in every New Mexico airport gift shop). He shouldn’t stoop, ’cause lord knows, he doesn’t have to.

  3. To say Kimbrough has reached maturity with this cd is refreshing. At least he’s getting the press. The fact is though, Kimbrough has been this good, for a long time. Ok, I admit, the “Will and the Bushmen,” stuff sounds a bit immature and reckless. But I suspect Kimbrough fit that bill at the time. Fact is, Kimbrough, and his buddies, Todd Snider and Tommy Womack, are great singer/ songwriters, in the vein of Lennon and McCartney. (Yeah. I said it). There aren’t that many of them around these days and I certainly enjoy being here to hear them. Kimbrough once told me something to the effect that bringing issues to the public was part of an entertainer’s job. Anyone can write lovey-dovey songs. I always thought he was just too scared to put his feelings to music. He proved me wrong with this cd.

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