Revered Singer-Songwriter and Jimmy Buffett Co-Writer Will Kimbrough to Release Anthemic Album, For the Life of Me May 3

Revered Singer-Songwriter and Jimmy Buffett Co-Writer Will Kimbrough to Release Anthemic Album, For the Life of Me May 3

Revered Singer-Songwriter and Jimmy Buffett Co-Writer Will Kimbrough to Release Anthemic Album, For the Life of Me May 3

Will Kimbrough’s For the Life of Me is out May 3 via Soundly Music

Will Kimbrough

Will Kimbrough

For the Life of Me (releasing via Soundly Music) is Kimbrough’s eighth studio album

This album is not afraid to closely examine the wreckage of the past and the present, but also expresses gratitude for every breath, and for those we love who are still here, or that we’ve lost.”

— Will Kimbrough

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES, April 19, 2024 / — Folkies, even the ones with a good dose of country in their sound, tend to create quiet, introspective songs that are designed to pack a subtle but no less potent punch. Revered, multi-talented folk-Americana artist Will Kimbrough doesn’t quite fit that mold, and it is most evident on the 11 tracks that comprise For the Life of Me, his eighth solo album to be released May 3 via Soundly Music. Here, Kimbrough crafted a batch of anthems with engulfing choruses and stinging musicianship. These songs rush into your consciousness and rattle your insides.

Kimbrough, a longtime collaborator with the late legend Jimmy Buffett and the co-writer of Buffett’s much-touted posthumous single, “Bubbles Up,” produced For the Life of Me and recorded it primarily at Blackbird Studio in Berry Hill, Tennessee with engineer John McBride. Additional recording took place at his own Kimbrough Super Service Studio and Skinny Elephant Studio in Nashville. Kimbrough takes care of vocals, guitars, and keyboards on the new record, while Chris Donohue handles the bass and Bryan Owings is on drums and percussion.

“This album is not afraid to closely examine the wreckage and ruin of the past and the present,” says Kimbrough. “But it also expresses gratitude for every breath, for those we love, those who are still here, and those who we have lost. In the end, it’s just another expression of love.”

For the Life of Me opens strong with “Walking in the Valley of the Shadow,” a Robbie Robertson-The Band-inspired gem that uses its bluesy, gospel-tinged tone to impact lyrics about migrants, school shootings, and grieving mothers. “I Don’t Want to Start a War,” with its piercing guitar riffs and folk-R&B feel, tells the fictional yet reality-based story of a college kid that discovers the Grateful Dead in the mid-1980s, becomes a devoted fan, only to later emerge on the other end of the societal pendulum as an insurrectionist at the capital in Washington D.C. Then, the title track goes full-on folkie as it recounts the heartbreaking, frustrating division we face in America today as well as across the world. But lest Kimbrough gets too somber, he offers us the single “Every Day,” a jubilant, spirit-lifting ode to gratitude, to the simple beauty in life and living, which was released April 5.

It is Kimbrough’s keen sense of melody, lyrics, and crisp-yet-ambient production skills that no doubt attracted the late Buffett. Kimbrough has been Buffett’s favorite co-writer for the last two decades, and he shares five co-writes with Buffett on the recently released posthumous album Equal Strain on All Parts, released November 2023. “Bubbles Up,” already a huge viral streaming hit, is one of Kimbrough’s proudest moments with Buffett. Even Beatles legend Paul McCartney, who guests on Buffett’s new album, has publicly offered praise about “Bubbles Up.”

McCartney, talking about Buffett, said about “Bubbles Up”: “I told him that not only was the song great, but the vocal was probably the best I’ve heard him sing ever. He turned a diving phrase that is used to train people underwater into a metaphor for life. When you’re confused and don’t know where you are, just follow the bubbles – they’ll take you right up to the surface and straighten you out right away.”

Impressively, Kimbrough has worked as a songwriter and/or session musician on every Buffett album since 2004, which spans seven studio releases. In addition to Buffett, and in addition to a career that has already seen Kimbrough as part of several groups including Will and the Bushmen, Bis-Quits, and DADDY, he is also an in-demand record producer and sideman. He’s been a producer and songwriter for electric blues virtuoso Shemekia Copeland on her last three albums–America’s Child, Uncivil War, and Done Come Too Far—the latter two of which were Grammy-nominated, and all three of which won in multiple categories at the Blues Music Awards, Living Blues Awards, Downbeat Critic’s Poll and more.

Kimbrough has played and sung on tour with country legend Emmylou Harris, and he’s performed on albums by progressive country and folk artists such as Rodney Crowell, Gretchen Peters, Kate Campbell, Todd Snider, Kim Richey, and Steve Forbert, to name a few.

Kimbrough, who fully believes that music is a key to healing, continues to work with the non-profit organization Songwriting With: Soldiers on their retreats where participants and professional songwriters work on songs that tell the stories of the participants’ experiences. Kimbrough and Austin based singer-songwriter, and Songwriting With: Soldiers co-founder Darden Smith co-wrote the theme song for the PBS television show After Action with series director Stacie Pearsall, who is also a decorated military photographer, and wounded warrior.

Further, Kimbrough is also involved with the Warrior PATHH Program, which promotes post-traumatic growth for male and female Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) combat veterans. Kimbrough says that both Songwriting With: Soldiers and the Warrior PATHH Program “have utterly changed my life and my work. I take over 20 trips a year to do this work. Working in the field of post traumatic growth has been an incredible experience and continues to be just eye-opening and deep into my love for the human spirit.”

Indeed, Will Kimbrough has his eyes on the present and the future. “I’m in a new place in life, and this record reflects that,” he says. “I also think this new record is the last in the trilogy that started with 2019’s I Like It Down Here running through 2020’s Spring Break. I had to get all this out of my system. I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Mike Farley
Michael J. Media Group
+1 608-848-9707
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Will Kimbrough’s “Every Day” was released as a single April 5

Originally published at

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