Phoenix music instructor Tracy Kimbrell has turned a family tragedy into an outlet for producing his own Christmas guitar music for all to enjoy this holiday season, and for years to come.
Winter Dream II is the second in a series of six Winter Dream Christmas albums Kimbrell is recording in memory of his father, who was killed in 2006 by a drunk driver.
“The guy who caused the accident had two other extreme DUIs. Yet the drunk driver only received four years in prison,” Kimbrell said. “Like always I try to pull the positive out of a negative situation, which is where my Christmas CDs come in.”
The Winter Dream guitar series, which began in 2007 with Winter Dreams I, will come in six volumes and each album cover is part of a puzzle, resulting in one main picture when all the CDs are put together, Kimbrell explained. The series will conclude with a seventh album of “greatest hits” and will publish that entire piece of artwork from the six album fronts.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of each Winter Dream album will go to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (M.A.D.D.).
“I am trying to raise $500 with this year’s proceeds,” Kimbrell said. “The Winter Dream CD will also be promoted with my new online music school called Musia Institute, at www.musiainstitute.com. When you buy Winter Dream II you will also receive a month’s worth of free guitar lessons at www.musiainstitute.com.”
Kimbrell grew up in the Phoenix area and began teaching guitar lessons 10 years ago at The Music Store in Mesa.
“I bought my first guitar from The Music Store on my 12th birthday,” he said. “I was blessed to start teaching guitar lessons right out of high school.”
Kimbrell decided to use his talent to help him deal with the loss of his father, Vernon Kimbrell, on Aug. 21, 2006.
“When my dad had his accident he had liability coverage and my family divided the money. I used my portion to make something good happen from that tragedy – I decided to build a recording studio in my house.”
That’s where the Winter Dreams idea was born.
“I can’t do a Christmas CD every year, I only have time to do one every two years,” said Kimbrell, adding that he’d like to perform live shows with his band next year. “I’ve been recording this last CD since May and my next one will come out in 2011.”
Winter Dream, volumes I and II, can be purchased for $11.99 each at various stores Valleywide, including The Music Store, where Kimbrell teaches guitar lessons, located at Baseline Road and the 101 Freeway in Mesa. The albums can also be purchased online at www.cdbaby.com, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and all other online music stores.
“I’ve had several people tell me that when they put this CD in and listen to it, it puts them in a different place,” Kimbrell said. “It relaxes them, it calms them.”