Post By: Alan
Stevie Ray Vaughan was a highly skilled blues guitar player from Texas. He won admiration from many of the most influential blues and rock musicians, and is still celebrated in guitar playing circles today. At least once a year, Guitar World will put him on the cover, put him in as a centerfold, or tabulate one of his many songs. Stevie Ray Vaughan, like many musicians against air travel, died way before his time.
Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in 1954, and is guitar player Jimmie Vaughan's younger brother. Stevie is quoted as saying that his biggest guitar influence was his older brother. Stevie got his first guitar at age 7, and by the time he was 13, he was already playing music in clubs.
Stevie got his big break in the early 1980's when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards discovered him and his band, Double Trouble, playing at a club. Jagger and Richards invited the band to play a private party in New York City, where they made some great connections. Before they knew it, they were playing the world famous Montreaux jazz festival in France, where Jackson Browne invited the band to record in his studio, and David Bowie invited Vaughan to play lead guitar on his album Let's Dance. In 1983, Double Trouble released their debut album "Texas Flood".
Texas Flood was a milestone album. It brought the blues to a wide audience, and established Stevie as a guitar virtuoso. During the mid 1980's, Stevie released several albums, including "Couldn't Stand The Weather", "Soul to Soul", "In Step", and "Family Style" which was a collaboration between himself and his brother Jimmie. During the 80's, the stress of being out on the road and maintaining a rigorous schedule helped Stevie become addicted to alcohol and cocaine. However, he eventually got treatment and kicked his addictions.
In the few short years from his debut on Texas Flood, Stevie Ray Vaughan established himself as a hugely influential and respected guitar player--even amongst his own influences. Stevie's guitar style is heavily influenced by many of the great blues guitar players such as Albert King, Buddy Guy, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Stevie also is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix. Much like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie played both rhythm and lead guitar parts in his songs, effortlessly switching back and forth between them. Stevie is the type of guitar player that leaves you in awe with how easy he makes it sound, then makes you want to give up the instrument forever because his skill is so humbling.
Unfortunately, for the world, Stevie Ray Vaughan died tragically before his time in a helicopter crash in 1990. He is buried in the Laurel Land Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas. His legacy has yet to be matched in guitar, blues, and rock and roll circles. Stevie's ingenious guitar playing and skill lives on through his albums. If you're a fan of blues, rock or guitar music, you have to hear Stevie Ray Vaughan.
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