Kim Wilson

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Kim Wilson
Wilson performing in 1996
Wilson performing in 1996
Background information
Born (1951-01-06) January 6, 1951 (age 72)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Instrument(s)Vocals, harmonica
Years activeLate 1960s–present
Spouse(s)Shannon Sousa, married September 2016 [1]

Kim Wilson (born January 6, 1951) is an American blues singer and harmonica player.[2] He is best known as the lead vocalist and frontman for the Fabulous Thunderbirds on two hit songs of the 1980s, "Tuff Enuff" (which was the group's only Top 40 hit)[3] and "Wrap It Up."


Wilson was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1951,[4] but he grew up in Goleta, California, where he sometimes went by the stage name of "Goleta Slim." He started with the blues in the late 1960s and was tutored by people like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Albert Collins, George "Harmonica" Smith, Luther Tucker and Pee Wee Crayton and was influenced by harmonica players such as Little Walter, James Cotton, Big Walter Horton, Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester. Before he moved to Austin, Texas, in 1974, he was the leader of the band Aces, Straights and Shuffles in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the band released one single. In Austin he formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds with guitarist Jimmie Vaughan.[2] They became the house band at Antone's, a blues club owned by Clifford Antone.

Wilson continues to perform up to 300 concert dates per year at blues music festivals and clubs all over the world, both as leader of the Fabulous Thunderbirds and with Kim Wilson's Blues Allstars.

His powerful style of blues harp playing has been described as "loaded with the textures of a full-blown horn section."[5]

In 2015, Wilson made a guest appearance playing the harmonica on Karen Lovely's album, Ten Miles of Bad Road.[6]

In 2016, Wilson won a Blues Music Award in the 'Instrumentalist - Harmonica' category.[7]

Wilson plays himself in a rare television appearance on Wiseguy, "Sleepwalk" episode, 1989.[8]


Performing in San Diego 2007


  • 1993: Tigerman (Antone's)
  • 1994: That's Life (Antone's)
  • 1997: My Blues (Blue Collar)
  • 2001: Smokin' Joint (M.C. Records)
  • 2003: Looking for Trouble (M.C. Records)
  • 2006: My Blues Sessions: Kim's Mix, Volume I (Bluebeat)
  • 2017: Blues and Boogie, Vol. 1 (Severn)
  • 2020: Take Me Back - The Bigtone Sessions (M.C. Records)



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Blues (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 386. ISBN 0-85112-673-1.
  3. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 110. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  4. ^ Fabulous Thunderbirds Archived January 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Gallo, Phil (April 6, 1998). "Kim Wilson's Blues Revue".
  6. ^ "BLUES, Roots, Americana, blues singer songwriter,BMA Nominee Best Contemporary Blues Album,Best Contemporary Blues Female Artist,Song of the Year. 7X Muddy Award Winner. Winner 2nd Place Band 2010 International Blues Challenge. No. 1 Pick to Click XM Radio Bluesville". Karen Lovely. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  7. ^ "2016 Blues Music Awards Winner List". Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  8. ^ "Wiseguy - Season 3 Episode 5 - Video Detective". Retrieved March 13, 2021.

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