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Stevie Ray Vaughan

With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the '80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late '60s. For the next seven years, Stevie Ray was the leading light in American blues, consistently selling out concerts while his albums regularly went gold. His tragic death in 1990 only emphasized his influence in blues and American rock & roll.

Born and raised in Dallas, Vaughan began playing guitar as a child, inspired by older brother Jimmie. When he was in junior high school, he began playing in a number of garage bands, which occasionally landed gigs in local nightclubs. By the time he was 17, he had dropped out of high school to concentrate on playing music. Vaughan's first real band was the Cobras, who played clubs and bars in Austin during the mid-'70s. Following that group's demise, he formed Triple Threat in 1975. Triple Threat also featured bassist Jackie Newhouse, drummer Chris Layton, and vocalist Lou Ann Barton. After a few years of playing Texas bars and clubs, Barton left the band in 1978. The group decided to continue performing under the name Double Trouble, which was inspired by the Otis Rush song of the same name; Vaughan became the band's lead singer.

For the next few years, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played the Austin area, becoming one of the most popular bands in Texas. In 1982, the band played the Montreux Festival and their performance caught the attention of David Bowie and Jackson Browne. After Double Trouble's performance, Bowie asked Vaughan to play on his forthcoming album, while Browne offered the group free recording time at his Los Angeles studio, Downtown; both offers were accepted. Stevie Ray laid down the lead guitar tracks for what became Bowie's Let's Dance album in late 1982. Shortly afterward, John Hammond, Sr. landed Vaughan and Double Trouble a record contract with Epic, and the band recorded its debut album in less than a week at Downtown.

Vaughan's debut album, Texas Flood, was released in the summer of 1983, a few months after Bowie's Let's Dance appeared. On its own, Let's Dance earned Vaughan quite a bit of attention, but Texas Flood was a blockbuster blues success; receiving positive reviews in both blues and rock publications, reaching number 38 on the charts, and crossing over to album rock radio stations. Bowie offered Vaughan the lead guitarist role for his 1983 stadium tour, but he turned him down, preferring to play with Double Trouble. Vaughan and Double Trouble set off on a successful tour and quickly recorded their second album, Couldn't Stand the Weather, which was released in May of 1984. The album was more successful than its predecessor, reaching number 31 on the charts; by the end of 1985, the album went gold. Double Trouble added keyboardist Reese Wynans in 1985, before they recorded their third album, Soul to Soul. The record was released in August 1985 and was also quite successful, reaching number 34 on the charts.

Although his professional career was soaring, Vaughan was sinking deep into alcoholism and drug addiction. Despite his declining health, Vaughan continued to push himself, releasing the double live album Live Alive in October of 1986 and launching an extensive American tour in early 1987. Following the tour, Vaughan checked into a rehabilitation clinic. The guitarist's time in rehab was kept fairly quiet, and for the next year Stevie Ray and Double Trouble were fairly inactive. Vaughan performed a number of concerts in 1988, including a headlining gig at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and wrote his fourth album. The resulting record, In Step, appeared in June of 1989 and became his most successful album, peaking at number 33 on the charts, earning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Recording, and going gold just over six months after its release.

In the spring of 1990, Stevie Ray recorded an album with his brother Jimmie, which was scheduled for release in the fall of the year. In the late summer of 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble set out on an American headlining tour. On August 26, 1990, their East Troy, WI, gig concluded with an encore jam featuring guitarists Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Robert Cray. After the concert, Stevie Ray boarded a helicopter bound for Chicago. Minutes after its 12:30 a.m. takeoff, the helicopter crashed, killing Vaughan and the other four passengers. He was only 35 years old.

Family Style, Stevie Ray's duet album with Jimmie, appeared in October and entered the charts at number seven. Family Style began a series of posthumous releases that were as popular as the albums Vaughan released during his lifetime. The Sky Is Crying, a collection of studio outtakes compiled by Jimmie, was released in October of 1991; it entered the charts at number ten and went platinum three months after its release. In the Beginning, a recording of a Double Trouble concert in 1980, was released in the fall of 1992 and the compilation Greatest Hits was released in 1995. In 1999, Vaughan's original albums were remastered and reissued, with The Real Deal: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 also appearing that year. 2000 saw the release of the four-disc box SRV, which concentrated heavily on outtakes, live performances, and rarities. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Disc 1

5. Texas Flood

Disc 2

1. Say What!

2. Look At Little Sister

3. Change It

4. Come On (Part III)

5. Life Without You

6. Little Wing

7. Willie The Wimp (Live)

8. Superstition (Live)

9. Leave My Girl Alone (Live)

10. The House Is Rockin'

11. Crossfire

12. Tightrope

13. Wall Of Denial

14. Riviera Paradise

15. Telephone Song (The Vaughan Bros.)

16. Long Way From Home (The Vaughan Bros.

17. Life By The Drop

x

Track List: Couldn't Stand The Weather

1. Scuttle Buttin'

2. Couldn't Stand The Weather

3. The Things (that) I Used To Do

4. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

5. Cold Shot

6. Tin Pan Alley

7. Honey Bee

8. Stang's Swang

9. SRV Speaks

10. Hide Away

11. Look At Little Sister

12. Give Me Back My Wig

13. Come On (Pt. III)

Comments

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gardiflash
LEDGOND!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Was n did his guitar do all the talking. Blow my mind n then some
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I LOVE SRV. I was on my way back to L.A. when I �� about him passing.
I had 4 truckers helping me stay awake but after hearing I couldn't sleep
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shelldixiech i c
He's the man!!!
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Don't do dat any more.
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Omg went to all illinois concerts he had.
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His version of Little Wing eclipsed the great Jimi Hendrix.
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What an Amazing Guitarist! Go Stevie, Go... You Are MISSED! :-)
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He maybe gone,but he will always be found. Truly loved an truly missed.RIP!
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Life Without You bro....miss ya
Love is all there is my angel with dirty wings ��
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This is the shot that puts me in the zone when I play. If I ever saw this performance on pbs I know what I'm sayin'. Stevie ray f'n vaughin
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There will never be another . . . Amazing artist that Stevie !!!
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Incredible!
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When we lost ya Stevie,that was a cold shot
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They say that his brother Jimmy can play even better than Stevie Ray, but he never cuts loose except once in a while at a venue. I have never heard him do so. He almost always restrains himself to a few well-chosen notes, like B.B. King.
You can clearly hear every note Stevie Ray is playing, a sign of a blues master. And he varies his attack: loud to quiet and back again; slow to fast, which will repeat; then he inserts the heartfelt lyrics. Blues does not get any better than this.
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Pride of Dallas Texas Mother Blues 1976 what a night
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U are missed very much there will be no other like you Stevie Ray miss u
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lipscomb925
.
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saw him new years eve 1990 The Ritz NYC a legend now
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deitner
Really miss thus guy!!
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Died on the right side of life. At peace with himself and his friends
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Top 5 guitar player Ever
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I. Had the privilege of seeing srv he open for Robert plant amazing truly amazing
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Seems like yesterday... . . . . . . . . . . . .
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david... radio
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Phenomenally gifted... truly truly gifted. Rest in Paradise Stevie Ray... I am sure there are so many awesome concerts in Heaven....
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His voice alone would have made him a blues superstar. And don't even get me started on his unparalleled greatness as a guitarist. What a showman!
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Stevie... Just absolutely amazing. We lost yet another great one there.
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Love ya bros.
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He was a beauliful Shooting Star.Only the good die young RIP my brother
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juniman879
Never be Another One like Him ! Best guitarist as Im concerned !!!
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His music still raises goosebumps on a 90degree day.
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jake_joker88
Angel Vivaldi
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Great Blues guitar!
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The Original American BadAss!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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Good music
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His music will live forever! Wonder if he knew that
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Stevey
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Can't you hear that ? Can't you feel that ? If you do your alive
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Texas Flood and The Sky is Crying are as close as you get to the same songs, different lyrics but the same guitar riffs and melodies.
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I was very fortunate to see this legend.Is there any chance we can hear that final show August 26,1990,with Clapton,Guy, C r a y , & b r o t h e r Jimmie?
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He died before I was even born but my dad had me listening in the womb now 25 years later it's still feel the same heat beating licks.
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Let those blues play on...For a legend now gone...Who is Stevie Ray Vaughan. Amen.
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A Starship flew in, kicked a**, and flew out! We will all miss him...
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Just One, of the Sad stories of great musicians we all love so much
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The sky surely cried the day he died. I miss him like he was an old friend. SRV, the world misses you.
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Epic
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jack.1235
I cried the day the music died.RIP.
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Had the privilege to see him a few times, to think of the future genius virtuosity the world was deprived of when he passed is sad.
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roco.6078
pure and deep...
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