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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I like Marty Friedman better than srv.
close your eyes no enjoy the ride!
Nobody can match this dude on a fender stratocastor ! ! I mean no one
Dang! That's a real musician!
he is the best
recesq8
I agree with everybody... . . S t e v i e . . . . T h e One & Only. He takes you to another place. There is no one better.
The voice. The guitar talent. Wow.
jeffrey.kuli k o w s k i
A beautiful Stew..... vocals,rhyth m , s o a r i n g lead served with PASSION
I grew up in south Greenville ms....3 miles from delta village when srv played their
solraczelazn o g
I saw him in the 80's, San Bernardino Swing Auditorium, he opened for The Charley Daniels Band - I was hooked!
i think his musicial talent puts him right up there with david gilmore
love the soul in him......... . . K a t h e r i n e Sophia...... . . . . . . . .
In 84 i traveled to Texas and got hooked to SRV and will never for get one main reason he wad born Oct 3 54 and me Oct 3 64 live on SRV
Stevie will never be duplicated! He was an inspiration to many!
Very well said byrantsrlb
bryantsrlb
To me Stevie's music is like a Drug. It takes you to places like no other guitarist can. Rip Stevie Ray
sandc2816
Will never get tired of listening to Stevie, was one of the best, sorry I never got a change to see him play.
As much as I always liked Jimi Hendrix I'd be lying if I didn't give Stevie Ray his props. Stevie is with out a doubt the most spectacular guitarist of my lifetime. That is not a small statement at 59 years old growing up with Eric Clapton, BB King, Hendrix, and a host of others to long to write down. Stevie was and in my mind still is the only guitar player in his class. He took those strings to an all new high. Stevie my man, forever in my heart my brother! Rest in Peace my man, rest in peace.
The only artist I ever cried for, when he passed.
I saw Stevie 0ver 70 times in the eighties and ninetiess best guitar player ever
All comments r so amazingly true
&&
Jayden B.Pleas keep it up! Playing on that Fender, Because If u make the blues Moan like Stevie has, we are due for another iconic Master of Blues
The best ever in all of music still today.
may he rip
Texas flood bad a** !!!!!!!!
I'm only 11..but I can play almost every song he has made (scuttle buttin,I'm crying pride and joy Texas flood and other stuff) he we'll...insp i r e d me to play blues on the guitar and I have a fender strat with 12 gauge strings.
luckyheartz7 7
Will always love Stevie Ray Vaughan . His love for something so part of him made him timeless
sokaczd
I had an opportunity to see SRV in 1990, and let it pass me by. One of those "If I could turn back the clock" moments in life .... RIP SRV
Stevie Ray Vaughan was and always will be the best in my eyes I saw him in concert over ten times to which he rocked my world each and every time. Here's to you SRV!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Aaaahhhhhhhh . . . . . . h e ' s amazing !!!!!! My boys and I hav stayed to his sounds many yrs .....listeni n g to ....my lil boys in my mind and in my heart .....turned them on to wonders of music ......true God !!!!!! Kill those strings !!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh !!!!!!!
tnoble6038
you were fortunate to get to see him in person...... . . . . . . . . . .
Iwas at his concert the night befo re his untimely demise..miss him but thankfully his brother also sings and sounds like Stevie...my idol
SRV just blo .ws my mind with his blues style.
Stevie you'll live on forever
Saw Stevie Ray play at the Cool Jazz festival in Hampton, VA. He came on at midnight and all but 10 people left the concert! He stop playing in the middle of the first song and said gee, hope it wasn't something I said! and looked at me and my 6 friends and played the best music we have ever heard in our life!, for 2 hours! Its true, only the good die young!
Don't read this cause it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is scary cause it really works
Sometimes we walk a tight rope in life,even get caught in a Texas flood.We live and learn life by a drop.Stevie ray lives on, just close you're eyes and listen.
Deep down dirty soul!!!!!!
Jeff Young is a better guitar player. His Van Halen Kramer beats a fender strat.
Love him<3 he's the best
And you know that how BOOZEHOUND? Were you onboard with him? Tt his concert? Seeing how he died after a concert - whaddya mean by starting his day off. Or is that you that is starting YOUR day off with coke when you are listening to his music? Geez. Let his memory rest in peace.
carriecombs6 0
STARTED HIS DAY OFF WITH 4 GRAMS OF COKE IN HIS COFFEE!!!
My daughter's nickname has been Little Wing since before birth, because she would start dancing like crazy in the womb whenever SRV's version of the song would come on.
Hey ladies want to lose weight fast? Check this out! http://e0387 5 m 8 a y g k 4 v 1 n s g 9 g j g o y b 4 . h o p . c l i c k b a n k . n e t /
I have been following Stevie Ray Vaughan until that horrible day just think he had just hit the top of his he was clean an sober just think where he would have been today in music
BEST EVER!!! Imagine the music Stevie would have made if not for his untimely tragic death...RIP my man
Like rain ? Then burn natural wooden logs in a free air enviroinment like outside and after two days, it will begin to rain and our drout will be no more, all in season of course
larrymartins o n
Saw SRV at Irvine. CA opening for Huey Lewis blew the joint away. What a talent RIP Stevie
Great man learn by the BEST of the Best�� ������

An all time great musician and yet he was a much better man
Stevie Ray left an indelible mark on civilization in its entirety. This man turned his life around and became a beacon of hope for us all. The fact that he became the Master of the Stratocaster is mere icing on the cake. Thank you Stevie for becoming the role model we need.. In SRV we trust
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