Last week marked the 21st year since SRV left the building. And when I say left, I mean physically. His music and musical prowess will be with us forever, and he will always be considered one of the great guitarists of all time!
I was remiss in not mentioning it last week, even in passing, but I knew I would get back to him this week, and here I go.
Stevie Ray Vaughan – The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
Yes, this is a collection and a double album at that, but with this artist especially, I thought a retrospective was in order and well deserved.
I love the blues. Living near Chicago for four years all but assured a lifelong addiction to the music carried north from the Mississippi Delta and electrified in Chi Town! I so miss going to clubs like Biddy Mulligan’s (now closed), The Checkerboard Lounge, Mama Rosa’s, B.L.U.E.S., etc. and The Kingston Mines. What an array of live music I heard.
In Texas, they do it big… no little baby backs on the grill. Nope. Here you will find slabs of big ass, beef ribs… Fred Flintstone-style. Same with the music. Stevie played LARGE… and LOUD… Texas blues is a screaming mix of swing, rock and blues and Stevie knew how to kick it up a notch… Well, several notches. He, too was larger than life.
I remember the day he died… remember seeing it on the news… I remember that he just played a concert with Eric Clapton and Robert Cray. I remember the tragedy of it all… so young… 36… So much music left to give the world… And that is what I remember the most… the music… so raw and powerful and alive.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was electric in every sense of the word. The music pulsed through his veins and quite literally ran in his blood. His older brother is Jimmie Vaughan of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
He played with Lonnie Mack and Albert King, two of the greatest bluesmen around… His influences ranged from fellow Texan Johnny Copeland, to Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker and to Clapton, The Stones and Hendrix … and just like how he was influenced by those greats, a lot of young kids wanted a Fender Strat to be like Stevie.
Give this one a listen, hear and feel the music. That’s what Stevie Ray Vaughan did… When he passed, the sky was crying… but it cried when he played, too. That’s just what great music does.