Friday, March 20, 2009

Pheaturing Will Kimbrough


Welcome to the Phile, are you ready to get your Phriday phix? So, did you have a good St. Patrick's Day? There was so much green at Epcot it made me ill. I hate it when people wear "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirts and they are not even from Ireland. Warning to everybody: do not make green beer out of Scope. News came out that the Army fired 11 soldiers for being openly gay. Apparently, the decision was made after officials found one sergeant handling 10 privates.
The pastor of the Times Square Church in New York is predicting that the end of the world. This is a lose-lose proposition. Either the world ends, or he’s talking shit. Either way it’s not good. The theological term for this is painting yourself into a corner. If you really want to get ahead if you’re a doomsdayer, predict that the world will not end. Predict next Tuesday, the world will not end. Then when it comes and it does end, who cares, no one will be around to say you were wrong; and if it doesn’t end, people will say, “He’s a prophet!” Scientists think they may have evidence of life on Mars. There’s a TV show about life on Mars. It’s about a detective who goes back in time to the ‘70s when everyone was doing drugs and having sex and polishing their disco balls. When I was growing up, there were always fights in the discos. And the irony of getting the crap beat out of you while listening to “I Will Survive” is not lost on me.
After receiving bailout money, insurance giant AIG gave out $165 million in bonus checks to executives. The problems is, legally, they are entitled to the money. I think I have an idea that would still adhere to the letter of the law: Instead of mailing the checks, we attach them to rocks, and we put them at the bottom of an enormous piranha tank. Well, I have a good entry for you today. There's a new death to mention, things what happened today in history, geek talk and of course this week's interview with Will Kimbrough. 

Natasha Richardson: Went downhill fast.

An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks into the Pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone. An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more. This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers. Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?"
"Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies. "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America , and the other to Australia . We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."
The bartender and the whole town were pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink. Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening. He orders only two beers. The word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers. The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know, the two beers and all."The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It's just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."

Martha M. Place, the first woman to be honored by a seat in the electric chair, dies at Sing-Sing Prison, executed for murder.
Fred Rogers, born today in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
South African police massacre 69 black civil rights demonstrators in Sharpeville incident, which moves African National Congress to abandon its policy of nonviolence.
The U.S. goes off the gold standard, turning paper dollars into paper tigers.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono get married in Gibraltar. The pair go on to make, uh, beautiful music together until Lennon manages to get himself shot in New York.
Members of the Aum cult release Sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway. Eleven people die and 5,500 are injured. The cult's doctrine of "Poa" make mass murder the way to save their own souls. They had intended eventually to produce 70 tons of the gas.
Last words of Thomas J. Grasso, executed in Oklahoma by lethal injection: "I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this."
Erik and Lyle Menendez convicted of First Degree Murder. They killed their parents for their money, and then lied all about it.

When it comes to superhero franchises, the news just never ends, and the next one on everyone's radar is bound to be Spider-Man 4. It has its release date set (May 6, 2011) and Sam Raimi says they're only working on part four at this point, and still in the middle of hashing out a story. They are, however, close to choosing the big baddie: "All the characters or villains, whatever we decide to do will be from Stan Lee's creations or those that came after him." He's also planning to write in Mary Jane, and hopes Kirsten Dunst agrees to come back... so I guess that's an indication she's still not signed the way Tobey Maguire is. [MTV] X-Men Origins: Wolverine seems to have test screened, somewhere, and spoiler filled reviews are hitting the Internet. I haven't read them (surprises in this job are so far and few between that I'd like to go into Wolverine fairly fresh) but Devin Faraci is wondering how the heck they can go to Japan from here... or anywhere, really. One of the biggest questions (other than: Will it suck?) surrounding Wolverine is what they've done with Deadpool. The LA Times' Dish Rag caught up with Ryan Reynolds and he painted a tiny picture of how the film approaches the character: "I don't even look at it like I play Deadpool. I really think I'm more or less playing Wade Wilson, obviously, and then I'm playing the creature that will eventually become Deadpool. But in this movie, it's sort of his newly formed version, so to speak." He also shrugs off rumors that he's being groomed for his own spinoff. "I've had a couple of people approach me about meetings for a 'Deadpool' movie, but I just think it's absurd to even think that way until this movie comes out." X2 and Watchmen scripwriter David Hayter has formed a production company, Dark Hero, with Benedict Carver. First up: Slaughter's Road, starring Thomas Dekker and (possibly) Ray Stevenson. Demonology is also on the slate. So if big studios don't tackle tricky comic properties, Hayter may just do it himself. [Variety] Monster Attack Network now has a director: the man who beat Watchmen at the box office, Race to Witch Mountain's Andy Fickman. [Variety]

Okay, today's guest is an American Singer-Songwriter, musician and producer currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. He has a new double album out which rocks, and he plays with Rodney Crowell. Please welcome to the Phile... Will Kimbrough.

Me: Will, sir, welcome to the Phile. You are one of my favorite guitarists. I know you are a busy guy so thanks for doing this interview. Will, how are you and how has your year been so far? 

Will: I am in Helsinki, Finland this morning. On tour with Jenny Scheinman and Rodney Crowell. After less touring than normal in 2008, I am back on the road in early 2009. I'm playing Scotland, Ireland, England, Sweden, Norway and Finland this trip. While I am on tour, John Deaderick and Tommy Womack are mixing the new Daddy album. The artwork is underway, and we are planning a Father's Day 2009 release. I also have a new solo CD almost finished. I have also been working as a producer---you may know I produced two records by Todd Snider, "East Nashville Skyline" and "The Devil You Know". Four albums I produced over the past 18 months have now been mastered and are in the pipeline to be released----Austin's Bonnie Bishop, Canada's Dave McCann, South Carolina's Angela Easterling, and Denver artist Dave Zobl. When I get home from the tour, I will go back into the studio with Pennsylvania trio Gypsy Dave and the Stumpjumpers.

Me: Where are you from, Will, and where do you live now?

Will: I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, down on the Gulf Coast between Pensacola and New Orleans. I have been in Nashville for many years.

Me: I first heard about you from your first band Will & The Bushmen. You got some airplay on MTV back then. What do you think of MTV now?

Will: I don't think of MTV all that often. I don't watch a lot of TV. Not enough music on there.

Me: You also had another band called the Bis-Quits on John Prine's label I think. Was John a treat to work with? Was that only a one album deal?

Will: John Prine is a national treasure. The Bis-Quits broke up after one album. I have continued to work with two of my fellow Bis-Quits over the years----Mike Grimes played on my albums "This" and "Home Away". Tommy Womack has played on several of my albums, I play on most of his, and we are in Daddy together.

Me: Do you prefer to produce? That's where you got most of your success from I believe. If I know an album is produced by you, I will def buy it. Tell the Phile readers who have produced for?

Will: I prefer to be involved in music making as much as possible, and producing is just another bend in what is hopefully a long road. If I have had any success, it's more as a songwriter for Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat, Jack Ingram and Todd Snider, but I have produced Todd, Kate Campbell, Adrienne Young and quite a few other artists.

Me: Have you ever worked with John Hiatt, or toured with him?

Will: No, but I would love to work with John Hiatt. His "Bring The Family" and "Slow Turning" records were played over and over on my turntable.

Me: Tell me about your new band called Daddy. You had one live album out with that outfit. Where was that recorded and how different is Daddy's music from your solo stuff.

Will: Daddy is a band with my friends Tommy Womack, John Deaderick, Paul Griffith and Dave Jacques. Between us, we have worked with John Prine, Buffett, Jason and the Scorchers, Patty Griffin, Jo El Sonnier, Cerys Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Michael McDonald, and on and on. It's a dream come true to play with my talented mates. Daddy is a rock n roll band for a world that needs rock n roll real bad. The music is a coninuation of what our heroes started----Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Howlin' Wolf, NRBQ, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, John Prine, Motown, Stax, Sun Records. We are keeping the roll in rock n roll.

Me: I have all four of your solo albums, Will. Your last one was an 8 song EP. Are you working on a follow-up?

Will: Yes, I've recorded 16 songs and I'm trying to find time to get them finished and mixed and see which tunes work together as a coherent whole.

Me: What album is your favorite?

Will: The EP is my favorite.

Me: I love the album "Americanitis". There's a theme on the whole album, isn't there? What do you think of America right now, under the leadership of Obama?

Will: I am not a Bush Administration fan, but that is past us now, isn't it? I still think peace is better than war and hope is better than fear. Obama has only had a couple of weeks in office, but I like the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay law he just signed. It's about time.

Me: You won the American Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year. When was that, where and who voted for you? Congratulations.

Will: I believe that was 2004. Members of the Americana Music Association voted for me, and I didn't even have to pay them very much for their votes. Thank you.

Me: Will, I have readers that are into guitar equipment and that sort of thing. What make of guitar do you play? I am guessing Gibson. Do you play any other instruments?

Will: I play Fenders, Ernie Ball/Music Man guitars, Gibson, Gretsch, and lots of old cheap guitars like Silvertones, Harmonies, Teisco Del Rey, etc. I also play bass, mandolin, banjo, keyboards, harmonica, accordion, melodica, percussion. I have played drums on a couple of songs on my solo albums and a Todd Snider album, but I would not dare to call myself a drummer. I will try to play anything.

Me: I am a Jimmy Buffett fan and know you wrote a song on his "License To Chill" album called "Piece of Work". Was that written for just him or did you write it for yourself and he wanted it?

Will: I wrote "Piece of Work" in a hospital bathroom while waiting for one of my daughters to grow big enough to go home from the hospital after she was born a couple of weeks early. Jimmy heard it on my CD "Home Away" and we've been working together, on songs and in the studio, ever since.

Me: I tried to interview Jimmy but I think that's next to impossible. How is he?

Will: Jimmy's fine and dandy. The last I heard, he was surfing in the French West Indies. Go figure. He's a good man.

Me: You are working with one of my idols, Will. Damn, I am jealous. How long have you known Rodney Crowell and when did you first start to work with him?

Will: I met Rodney through a friend who was his front of house and tour manager. When Steuart Smith joined the Eagles, Rodney was in need of a guitar player, and I got a chance at the gig. That was early 2000... so you can do the math.

Me: Okay, I have to ask you this... are you an alien? I am... alien resident that is. When did fans of yours start calling you an alien? Were you flattered? My fans call me as ass.

Will: I'm flattered just to have fans. I am not at liberty to reveal my true identity. Meep zorp.

Me: Will, what kind of music do you listen to when you are relaxing?

Will: On the plane yesterday, I was listening to Jelly Roll Morton. I was reading about FDR's first 100 days as President, and I thought they went together well. I like Allen Toussaint, Bela Bartok, Doug Sahm, Dylan, anything with Earl Palmer on drums, Jimmy Giuffre 3, Michael Hurley, Mississippi John Hurt, Nick Cave, Thelonious Monk, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Lane, The Stanley Brothers, Tim Hardin, Tom T Hall and Yo La Tengo. Elvis, Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Me: When you were a teenager you were in a punk band, right? When did your music tastes change?

Will: We were definitely a bunch of punks. My taste hasn't really changed all that much. If "London Calling" came out today, they'd call it roots rock.

Me: Have you spoken to Jessie Baylin lately, Will? You played on her "Firesight" album I believe. I just interviewed her as well. She seems real down to Earth. Who else do you think I should interview?

Will: I haven't seen Jessie in a while. I think she's pretty busy on her own, and her husband's in Kings of Leon, so I'd guess there's some traveling to do just to hang out together. Jessie's a great singer, and a real cool hang.

Me: I put in requests to interview some of your friends... Todd Snider, Tommy Womack and of course Rodney. What should I ask each of them?

Will: Ask them if my check is in the mail, and get them to say flattering things about my dog.

Me: Will, I wish you a lot of luck on the road and with your music, sir. Once again thanks for doing this interview. Go ahead and plug anything you wish and I hope to interview you again one day. Peace.

Will: Thanks for having me. Daddy, "For a Second Time", to be released Summer 2009. Enjoy.


Thanks to Will for a great interview and of course you, the readers. So, how do you like the newly improved Phile? E-mail me at and let me know what you think, kids. The next entry of the Phile will be next Phriday with guitarist Gurf Morlix. I will also probably have major bathroom problems as next Saturday's the Kelly Clarkson concert. Anyway, until then, spread the word, not the turd.


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