Matt was the son of jazz bandleader Henry Kimbrell, remembered now for writing the "15-cent Jingle" for Jack's. He and his brother, Mark later performed on an extended version of the jingle for Jack's 50th anniversary.
Kimbrell graduated from Alabama School of Fine Arts. With high school friends Mats Roden and Leif Bondarenko he formed the pioneering punk/new wave band Jim Bob & the Leisure Suits. The popularity of that group is credited with touching off a burgeoning local music scene in the 1980s. When the group disbanded in 1983, Kimbrell recruited Walter Kelly and Ed Glaze to form the HoHo Men, which picked up where the Leisure Suits left off. That group then evolved into the Mambo Combo when Kelly left to enroll in law school. Kimbrell closed the curtain on the combo when he released his solo album in 2001, touring as the "Mark Kimbrell Experience".
Kimbrell also performed with Ryan Reardon & the Levee Breakers, the Tim Boykin Blues Band, Robert Moore & the Wildcats, Possum, the Hurlers, Lunasect, Common Ground, Lolly Lee, and Big Dixie. He performed several times with different bands at City Stages.
Kimbrell died at home in October 2010 of a heart attack.
- Yates, Elizabeth (2001) "The Birmingham News talks to Matt Kimbrell in 2001 (republished October 14, 2010)." The Birmingham News
- Colurso, Mary (October 14, 2010) "Birmingham musician Matt Kimbrell dies at age 51." The Birmingham News
- Reynolds, Ed (November 11, 2010) "The Entertainer King: Matt Kimbrell takes a final bow, no doubt laughing all the way." Black & White