Get this crazy baby off my head!


Billy Thompson & The Mighty Penguins

Billy Thompson & The Mighty Penguins - Coat of Many Colors - 1992 - RHP Records

Billy Thompson, is one of San Diego's leading guitarists, and should not be confused with the U.K. jazz violinist Billy Thompson or the former Denver Broncos running back of the same name, Billy has been a mainstay of the San Diego music scene since the late 1970s. It was then that he co-founded The Fingers, a pioneering San Diego rock band that also included Paul Kamanski and Joey Harris. After The Fingers disbanded in the early 1980s, Billy went on to lead his own band, The Mighty Penguins, and to work with such blues greats as Little Milton and Larry "Arkansas" Davis. Billy's resume also includes work with country-music pioneer Tex Willliams, Bruce Willis and many more, including Gary Puckett. © 2009 The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC

Thompson’s music bristles with the infectious, syncopated sounds of New Orleans, the electricity of great rock ‘n’ roll, the punchy verve of Memphis soul and the heartfelt power of blues, funk and jazz. © 2005, Billy Thompson, All rights reserved

A sound reminiscent of the great Stax and Volt labels. Billy Thompson's great vocals and guitar are beautifully backed up the Memphis swing of The Penguins. A very good album. It would be also worthwhile listening to Billy's "Tangerine Sky" album. You can find info @ http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2009/03/billy-thompson.html


01-My Shadow Cries - Thompson, Donnelly
02-Coat of Many Colors - Billy Thompson
03-The Boxer - Rod Hicks
04-Take Care of Your Homework - Banks, Davis, Jackson, Kelly
05-Fruit of My Labor - Billy Thompson
06-Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind - Thompson, Donnelly
07-The Big Mistake - Thompson, Donnelly
08-Since You've Gone - Billy Thompson
09-This World - Thompson, Donnelly
10-Peace & Understanding (Is Hard To Find) - DeWalt, Harvill, Teasley


Billy Thompson - Guitar, Vocals
Bruce Donnelly - Piano, Organ
Kevin Hennessy - Bass
Paul Kimbarow - Drums
Al Garth - Sax. Solo (Track 4) *
Dan Higgins - Sax. Solos (Tracks, 2, & 10) *
Greg Smith - Tenor Sax., Baritone Sax *
Dan Savant - Trumpet *
Joe Davis - Trumpet *
Ray Herman - Sax *

N.B: * Guest Musicians


"hey guitar player, gimme your card. I wanna do some gigs w' you" -Albert King. "you're writin' the blues of the future" -Larry "Arkansas" Davis. "man, this CD is gold-blooded" -Art Neville (on Tangerine Sky). "really fine guitar playin" -Bobby "Blue" Bland (Street Scene' 91). "musical articulators like Thompson are so rare that they deserve our full attention" -San Diego Union Tribune. "impassioned singing and blazing guitar work" -Los Angeles Times. "his charismatic technique and dirty tone delivers a consistent barrage of spicy licks and scorching leads" -Cadence Magazine. "funkier than three day ole chitlin'" -Keb Mo. "hey, if you can stand this man's heat, come into his kitchen" -Southland Blues. "he writes blues for the present as well as the past, he sings without any barriers and literally, picks his ass off" -Vintage Guitar Magazine. "Ultra - Hip" -Blues Review Magazine. "Billy Thompson is not following in anybody's footsteps on his excellent Tangerine Sky" -Blues Access. "Tangerine Sky certainly deserves a place in any record collection" -Rootstown Music Magazine (Belgium) © 2005, Billy Thompson, All rights reserved


By turns punchy and poignant, earthy and elegant, his vivid songwriting draws from a rich stylistic well to create classic American music that is steeped in tradition yet unmistakably vital and contemporary. His tasty, melting pot style is is highlighted on his 1991 debut album, “Coat of Many Colors,” “Tangerine Sky” in 1998 and his latest recording, “Area 51.” Whether performing original material or covering music everyone has heard, Billy’s impassioned vocals, virtuostic guitar work and artistic vision never fail to deliver. He has performed on ABC TV’s ” The View” with Barbara Walters, with The San Diego Symphony, Qualcomm’s Super Fest for the 2002 Super Bowl, numerous appearances at The San Diego Street Scene, the Grand opening of the House of Blues Los Angeles in 1993 and recorded the musical soundtrack to Thunder Knocking On The Door with platinum recording artist Keb Mo. A little known fact: Late, great, Delta bluesman Frank Frost used to request Thompson's "Tangerine Sky" be played on KFFA radio in Helena, Arkansas from renowned deejay and "bluesicologist", "Sunshine" Sonny Payne!!! Born: Fayetteville, NC : Home: San Diego, CA: Major Influences: like John Fogerty said, "Anybody good!": Has Performed Live With - Little Milton, Albert King, Art Neville, Earl King, Larry "Arkansas" Davis, Elvin Bishop, Chuck Berry, Sir Harry Bowens (Was Not Was, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett), Billy Branch, Leslie Uggams, Marva Hicks (Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson), Ivan Neville, Daryl Johnson (Daniel Lanois, Boz Scaggs, The Neville Brothers, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris): Has Supported Shows Featuring - B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Boz Scaggs, The Neville Brothers, Sonny Landreth, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, John Hammond Jr., Bobby Womack, Robben Ford, Junior Walker and the Allstars, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Albert Lee, Joe Louis Walker, Anson Funderburg, Raful Neal, Kenny Neal, Jimmie Vaughan, Gallactic, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, Lucky Peterson, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, Debbie Davies, Angela Strehli, Cocoa Montoya, The Belairs, and many more: Theater Performance: 2004 - Guitarist / Songwriter / Musical Supervisor for a new Keith Glover play entitled the Rose of Corazon. 2002 - Lead guitarist for Tony Award winning playwright Keith Glover's critically acclaimed "Bluesical", "Thunder Knocking On The Door" featuring original music by Keb Mo and Anderson Edwards. 2001 - Lead guitarist for the Broadway musical "It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues" directed by Randal Mylar (Love Janis). Musical direction: Dan Wheatman. Associate musical direction: Jim Ehinger. Written by: Dan Wheatman, "Mississippi" Charles Bevel, and Ron Taylor : Original Albums: Coat of many Colors - The Mighty Penguins 1994, Tangerine Sky - Billy Thompson 1998, Area 51 - Billy Thompson 2005: Other Recordings - "This World", co-written with Mighty Penguins keyboardist / arranger Bruce Donnelly. Recorded by former Fleetwood Mac / Savoy Brown producer Mike Vernon for the Atlantic / Code Blue album "Here And Now" performed by Sherman Robertson: Original Music In Film - "Out Of The Black" 2001. Directed by Karl Kozak, "Making Contact" 1999. Directed by Molly Smith: High Profile Dates Include - Qualcomm Super Bowl International Media Event 2003 with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, ...King Biscuit Blues Festival 1991, ...San Diego Street Scene 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, ...SuperFest Superbowl Party 1998, ...Phoenix Blues Festival 1995, ...BB King's (Memphis), ...BB King Bar & Grille (New York), ...Los Angeles House of Blues grand opening week with Little Milton 1993, ...San Diego Blues Festival 1999 & 2001, ...Britt Festival 2000, ...Adams Avenue Street Fair 2001, ... Rockin' the Tetons (Alta, WY) 2001, ... © 2005, Billy Thompson, All rights reserved


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

I REALLY like this one a lot! What a great find. Thank you for posting it. Truly wonderful roots R&B sound.


A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, MoonBear. It's good stuff. If you haven't already heard it, Billy's "Tangerine Sky" is @

Thanks, and ttu soon

Anonymous said...

I have not seen Billy perform in years, but I recall him (and the Mighty Penguins) as being THE greatest band I've ever seen play in any bar. I recall them at the old Mandelin Wind bar (San Diego)and was hooked on them ever since. Later I saw them perform as the backing band for the great Chuck Berry at a Humphreys by the Bay Concert venue. Not an easy task backing Chuck as any musician knows. Billy is an amazing guitarist, one not to be missed if you have the chance to see him live.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, anonymous. Thanks for comment. These guys deserve more exposure. I would love to see some of these bands live. They make a laugh out of today's so called "Rock Stars". Good to hear from you, & come back soon

Big John said...

Billy was the bomb in San Antonio circa 1994/5 at Billy Blues. Tore the place up, but there were only about a dozen folks there that night. Strange. I remember Humphrey's too, back around 84/85. Spyro Gyra played; same funkified DNA as Billy, but Bill's got the blues ... so you know the winner!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers, Big John. I know the winner! Why the small crowd at Billy Blues? Thanks for comment & keep in touch

h-bomba said...

Saw Billy this summer at Western Maryland Blues Fest.Rained like crazy but the set was still great!! Thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,h-bomba!Once the gig is good, the rain is never a big deal! TVM, & come back soon