Will Kimbrough has a reputation as a songwriter's songwriter. That's tended to overshadow his equally impressive work as a performer. Kimbrough's early work with Will and the Bushmen and the Bis-Quits gave way to an acclaimed but obscure solo career and a ton of supplemental session and production work for Todd Snider, Kate Campbell, Rodney Crowell and Amy Rigby, among others.
With his latest solo album, Wings, Kimbrough does what he's always done: write great songs and perform them with quiet elegance. Kimbrough has also made a cohesive album about the dichotomy between a musician's unquenchable desire for work and the road, and the appeal of family and home. Whether it's a folk-pop paean to his daughters ("Three Angels"), an ode to a musician's sense of permanence ("You Can't Go Home"), a folk/country nod to his own profession ("The Day of the Troubadour") or a soulful hymn from and to the heart ("Open to Love"), Kimbrough weaves together a handful of folksy chords and wonderfully heartfelt lyrics, bringing them to life with his bourbon-smooth voice and musical grace. — Brian Baker