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High Water

Fabulous ThunderbirdsAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $15.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, Import, 2011 $22.26  
Audio CD, 1997 $15.96  
Audio Cassette, 1997 $19.99  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 12, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Highstreet Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B00000132K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Too Much Of Everything
2. Do Right By Me
3. Tortured
4. High Water
5. Hurt On Me
6. Hand To Mouth
7. Promises You Can't Keep
8. I Can't Have You
9. Too Hot To Handle
10. Save It For Someone Who Cares
11. It's About Time
12. That's All I Need To Know

Editorial Reviews

Back in the 1980s, Kim Wilson was merely one member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, a quartet that was as much a showcase for its never-waste-a-note guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, and its lean but rock-solid rhythm section, as it was for its lead singer and harmonica player. But Vaughan exited in 1990, bassist Preston Hubbard in 1994, and drummer Fran Christina in 1996. In 1997, the T-Birds are Wilson plus anyone he hires for a particular album or tour. On the road, that includes guitarist Kid Ramos, keyboardist Gene Taylor, bassist Willie Campbell, and drummer Jimi Botti. In the studio, the band is drummer-bassist Steve Jordan and guitarist Danny Kortchmar, who are Wilson's co-writers, co-producers and co-players on High Water. Best known for their work with Keith Richards and James Taylor respectively, Jordan and Kortchmar come out of rock backgrounds and tilt the T-Birds' blues-rock formula in that direction. In various combinations, Wilson, Jordan and Kortchmar wrote all dozen songs on High Water. The spare but muscular grooves are still there, but the catchy chorus melodies and rootsy flavor are both missing in action. Wilson's still a fine blues-and-soul singer, but he has too little to work with here. --Geoffrey Himes

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars spare, groove-based bluesy r'nb July 7, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Now that the Fab T's are (is?) just Kim Wilson plus backing band, I'm a little surprised at the changed sound on this release, probably in part due to working with different musicians to his usual working band. Very different to his solo traditional blues albums under his own Cannonball label.
For a start, there's a definite hip-hop, almost drum-and-bass feel throughout, as if Kim's been listening to a few G Love or Little Ax albums. Repeated drum and keyboard loops are used, lead guitar is minimal, and the harmonica doesn't solo conventionally, rather the riffs mesh with the overall groove.
This has both benefits and drawbacks - in songs such as "Too Much of Everything", the incorporation of hard-edged rhythms and swampy blues work well. Likewise in "Do Right by Me", the repeated keyboard figure give the track a brittle funk, while "High Water" has a dignified, powerful gospel feel, here the harmonica wails and bubbles under the groove, answering the righteousness of the lyrics.
But the downfall is a reliance of too-similar beats and songs which occasionally sound half-finished. Too often the song choruses are merely the title chanted over and over, and few bridges and rhythm changes are used - even rap and hip-hop have breaks to mix-up the beats. Also the spare feel asks much of the vocalist, and Wilson, although one of the better white blues/r'nb singers around, is found lacking in variation once or twice - and to my ears, he often "over-souls" a little too much, his melismatic touches often sound contrived.
That said, the ballad "Promises" has a gorgeous feel, helped by a fine guitar figure and heartfelt vocal - when he hits that final falsetto he sounds like a man brought to the edge.
So a flawed effort, but often compelling enough to be worthwhile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ignore the negative reviews February 6, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the best roots rock efforts I've heard in a long time. Kim Wilson recorded some demos with drummer Steve Jordan (formerly with Keith Richards) and guitarist Danny Kortchmar (James Taylor, Jackson Brown). The demos were so strong that he just put them out. Good idea! Jordan and Kortchmar wrote most of the songs and mixed blues and soul influences with an occasional touch of reggae to set up Wilson's vocals, which are typically strong. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars rockin' roots blues February 22, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Yeah, we all miss Jimmie Vaughns contribution to the T'birds. But I miss Kim Wilson's turban too! However, neither one of them detracts from the fact that this an outstanding CD. This version of the band provides a solid rythym section and Kim Wilson's harp playing and vocals are some of his best.If you like the 'birds and their brand of boogie blues you'll like this CD! OK, maybe I do miss Jimmy's guitar a little bit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thunderbirds or a Wilson Solo Effort? January 21, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I heard different things about High Water after I bought it...I'd heard the record label slapped the "Fabulous Thunderbirds" label on it in an effort to cash in on this collection of tracks Kim Wilson recorded with studio and road veterans Danny Kortchmar and Steve Jordan.

Bear in mind: this is not a Thunderbirds album, in the context of what you'd expect. No run and gun tracks, songs about sexy women and the tradition of Texas-style blues that the 'birds are known for.

No, this is a more personal set of songs, rock-edged and really quite good on their own. The title track is an almost gospel-sounding song, and there are some really well-written tracks here.

"Tortured" is a blues song, but doesn't have the usual underlying rhythm you might expect, for an example.

Either way, this is a good recording. Now that Wilson has become a solo artist in his own right, one should think about starting here to get an idea of what he was looking for, an identity outside the 'birds.
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