Part 2 of 2: Will Kimbrough is a Nashville-based singer, songwriter, award-winning guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, producer, performer and bandleader. Will’s songs have been recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat, Jack Ingram, Todd Snider and others. He’s shared the studio and stage with such greats as Rosanne Cash, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, the Jayhawks, Mark Knopfler, Buddy Miller, John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver, Todd Snider, and Mavis Staples.
In 2004, Will was awarded the “Instrumentalist of the Year” by the Americana Music Association. Since his solo debut disc–2000’s This–Will has released a half-dozen well-received records. His band “Sugarcapps” with Grayson Capps just won the “Best New Band” in the Independent Music Awards.
And to top it all off–Will is on tour ALL THE TIME! Check out his website for his current dates. And to top that off–he’s a dedicated husband, father and just an all-around nice guy!
Table of Contents
1:10 – When the record deal blows up
2:19 – The record deal timeline
12:23 – Big dreams and realistic goals in the musicbiz
18:34 – On working with Jimmy Buffett
When the record deal blows up
We all pointed fingers. We did that. Our band split up. It took a few years to get out of the deal. It was painful, and it would be painful now. But now I know not to get into a deal that. I can avoid wasting my time now.
The record deal timeline
So I’m in this band, we get signed to a big record deal. It quickly doesn’t work out, but we’re still clinging to it like it’s our one chance in the world. But we went out and worked hard. We went on tour for a year, and toured the whole country a couple of times over. Basically we lived in the van. Came home from that. The label sniffed and said: “We’ll give you ⅓ of the budget from your first record for your second record.”
Big dreams and realistic goals
When you are working this hard, you have to have goals. You have to have big dreams, and realistic goals. So that you are constantly realizing your goals so you can check them off the list. And keep a sense of satisfaction. That is what I’m trying to do. I love what I do, but I also love to be home with my family.
On working with Jimmy Buffett
One day I got the call–Mr. Buffett wants to record your song, is that okay? Uh, of course that’s okay. And then a couple of weeks later, they said that he wants you to come down and play on the record. Are you available to come to Key West in February? And I’m like, heck yes I am! And then we recorded the whole record, and the last day on the first song, the producer tells me, “Okay tomorrow, your song is first. Just letting you know.”
And so the next day, I come in and I’m real excited. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, but they’re going to record my song. The band includes Sonny Landreth, Bill Payne from Little Feat, and the late great Ralph MacDonald. I’m in there, and they are all standing around me going, “okay Will, how are we doing this song?” So I was like, “Okay, we’re doing it this way.” And all of a sudden I was in charge, and we did the song, and the record sold. At that point, bam, my real adult professional life started–even though I’d been a professional my whole life.
The best ways to reach Will:
On the web:
Feature Article by Tommy Womack in The East Nashvillian: