Rudolph, gifts and Will Kimbrough at Southgate

Will Kimbrough
Southgate House
Newport, Kentucky
December 28, 2007

Will Kimbrough’s appearance at Newport, Kentucky’s Southgate House at first seemed to be in support of his recent (EP) release. But, as with most of Kimbrough’s performances, the evening turned into a tour de force for WK’s vast songwriting talent and flair for instrumental prowess on both acoustic and electric guitars.

As he opened early with "Piece of Work," a favorite Kimbrough has played dozens of times as a sideman for Rodney Crowell, Will’s alt-country string bending wizardry reached dizzying heights with stepped up shifts in tempo. "Yellow Mama" off of (EP) found Kimbrough reaching for new meaning in the downcast lyrics. "Eden Prairie" became a crowd pleaser, reflecting the spirit of the holiday just passed and the upcoming new year.

Charging through slick bridge altering runs on acoustic, Kimbrough discovered the rustic feel in the emotional rendering of the "Hill Country Girl."  Bouncing from acoustic to electric, quiet pacing to raucous celebration, Will Kimbrough mastered it all. He treated the Southgate’s denizens to a powerfully uplifting call-and-response cover of "Run Run Rudolph." It was a choice selection to end a two hour and forty minute performance with, and left the Kentucky natives, stumbling out into the cool evening air with a greater appreciation of the many gifts Mr. Kimbrough has to offer.

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