Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughan will always be loved by his fans and his musical peers, he continues to be an inspiration to kids who want to play guitar, highly influential to guitarists' who want to play better and his sharp, expert guitar playing and singing/songwriting skills will always be respected and revered by his musical peers. Even years after his untimely death his influence is still felt in the guitar playing world. Stevie's guitar playing has been described as virtuoistic, intensely focused, artistic, inspirational and real. His early recordings as well as his popular recordings, are highly sought after and his recordings continue to be on many a Rock and Roll AND Blues radio playlist across the world. Stevie not only achieved success in the blues music realm, he was fortunate enough to cross-over and achieve mainstream success as well. Stevie's master recordings are being obsessively sifted through, much like Jimi Hendrix's, seeking out rare, unreleased hidden jems. On top of Stevie's 6 Studio albums, 4 Live albums, 3 Best Of collections and 1 CD/DVD box set the guitar community continues to be interested in hearing all the music S.R.V. played and recorded throughout his career and as long as interest continues new SRV music will continue to be released. Let's hope the master tapes stay in good hands.
After learning to play guitar from listening to blues records, Stevie often cited B.B. King as a major influence and later in his career Stevie had an oppurtunity to play with B.B. King live in concert during the taping of "B.B. King & Friends". Alongside Stevie and B.B. members of the band included Albert King and Paul Butterfield.
Stevie also showed his respect for Albert King by calling him "Mr. Albert King!" during his intro.

Before and after his famous studio stint with David Bowie on Bowie's highly successful 1983 release "Let's Dance", Stevie's skills were highly sought after by many an artist seeking to "jazz up" their records with some top notch lead guitar playing. Stevie made several guest appearances on many a blues artists' studio albums.
Marcia Ball's 1984 release "Soulful Dress" features a intense solo from Stevie on the title track.
Johnny Copeland's "Don't Stop By The Creek, Son" features some tasty, clean playing from Stevie.
Saxophonist A.C. Reed recruited Stevie for his "I'm In The Wrong Business" release.

Stevie also had the opportunity to tour with many a great band and musician during his career, among them is Jeff Beck and his former band The Yardbirds, whom Stevie Ray also cited as a major influence early in his career. Stevie learned, mastered and played "Goin' Down", "Jeff's Boogie" and "Over Under Sideways Down" for many a smoke filled bar in Dallas Texas.

"The first record I ever bought was "Wham!" (in 1963) by Lonnie Mack." Stevie claims that his Dad broke that very same record because he played it repeatedly day and night. After going out and buying that record again and cranking it up through a Shure P.A. system, many years later Stevie had the opportunity to co-produce and play some guitar on Lonnie Mack's "Strike Like Lightning" 1985 release.

One of the highlights of Stevie's career is when Stevie played the 1988 New Orleans Jazz Festival, Stevie was fortunated enough to share the stage with swamp boggie great, Katie Webster and one of Stevie's most absolute favorite guitar players Albert Collins, the Master of the Telecaster.

In 1985 Stevie, with his band Double Trouble appeared along side his brother Jimmie on "Saturday Night Live" to promote their CD "Soul To Soul". Jimmie Vaughn, Stevies brother is also a living blues legend in his own right, Jimmie achieved worldwide recognition with his former band The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Jimmie and Stevie often played the song "Pipeline" by the Chantays live, with a doubleneck guitar...simultaneously...
In 1987 Stevie Ray recorded the very same tune with surf guitar legend, Dick Dale for the movie "Back To The Beach". Stevie and Jimmie recorded a brilliant duet album "Family Style".

Stevie's drummer from Double Trouble Chris Layton reveals "Stevie was that thing that people identify with, that thing they can hear in his music, he touched people in such a way that it was irrelevant that he played the guitar, or that he played the blues. It was something that is mystical to me, because Stevie tapped into the thing that people feel, but cannot express themselves. Stevie was able to do that for them."

Nearly 25 years after his untimely death Stevie Ray Vaughan's music still remains as vibrant, exciting, soulful and spirited as when it was first released.

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