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Stevie Ray Vaughan

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Jazzyjack 27 Jan 03 - 03:12 PM
GUEST 27 Jan 03 - 04:49 PM
Kim C 27 Jan 03 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Taliesn 28 Jan 03 - 08:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 03 - 10:43 AM
GUEST 28 Jan 03 - 12:21 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 03 - 01:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 03 - 01:52 PM
Jazzyjack 28 Jan 03 - 02:27 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 03 - 05:14 PM
Steve Latimer 28 Jan 03 - 11:13 PM
Stilly River Sage 09 Feb 03 - 08:37 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 03 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 03 - 05:39 PM
Steve Latimer 10 Feb 03 - 05:53 PM
Mark Clark 10 Feb 03 - 06:01 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 03 - 07:50 PM
Tweed 10 Feb 03 - 07:56 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 03 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Buck Loco 11 Feb 03 - 08:32 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 03 - 09:03 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 03 - 07:49 AM
Blues=Life 12 Feb 03 - 08:10 AM
Steve Latimer 12 Feb 03 - 11:26 AM
forty two 13 Feb 03 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Guest 21 Feb 03 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,van lingle 22 Feb 03 - 06:29 AM
gnu 22 Feb 03 - 06:55 AM
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Subject: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 03:12 PM

Has Stevie Ray Vaughan ever been discussed here? I would be interested in everyone's comments. I have recently been adding a lot of blues to my repertoire and Stevie's licks are certainly impressive !


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 04:49 PM

If you go back to the discussion forum page where all the threads are listed, you'll see a box toward the top labelled: Filter. Type in Stevie Ray Vaughan and set the age to All and hit the Go button. There's only been about 4 threads devoted to various aspects relating to SRV - ...sort of sad for a blues site. Try spelling his last name wrong and you might come upon a couple more.

But he's been mentioned a lot in many posts.

The most recent thing I heard about SRV was a personal anecdote from Doyle Bramhall II regarding SRV's preparation for a gig.

Evidently he used the heaviest gauge strings he could find for his Stratocaster, and night after night of aggressive playing would tear the calluses off his fingers. Doyle observed him backstage before a gig cutting pieces of skin off other parts of his body and Super glueing them to the ends of his fingers, just so he could play.

SRV, like B.B. King and Clapton, also had pet names for his guitars. One called "Red" the other "Blondie." hmmm...wonder where he got those names.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Kim C
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 05:25 PM

I like to name my instruments too, and Mister thinks it's funny! I'll have to tell him I'm in good company.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST,Taliesn
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 08:15 AM

(quote)
" Doyle observed him backstage before a gig cutting pieces of skin off other parts of his body and Super glueing them to the ends of his fingers, just so he could play."

Ya know , this being the 21st century for crying out loud ,you'd think someone would've come up with some kind of super-strength fingertip sized "stick-on" callous substitutes.
Not only for performers , but for a much wider market : namely talented guitarits whom have gone on hiatus to focus on their dayjobs becoming careers & raise families , but have finally found time to begin working off the layer of dust on the fret neck of that Taylor or Martin only to be daunted by having to build up a new layer of callous.
I can think of several friends whose guitar prowess is hampered by the long process of building up that right amount of callous again.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 10:43 AM

Sounds like a painfully tall tale to me. Also doesn't make any sense, and it doesn't take much hard thinking to arrive at that conclusion.

I don't know much about SRV, but I've seen replays of Austin City Limits when he was the performer, and another one that was in memory of him. I have one of his CD's in a case in my pickup, and there are some days when that is just *excactly* the right music to propel me down the freeway. That guitar gives extra octane to the tank!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 12:21 PM

Mine's "Ruby." You know it's a serious long term relationship when you name your instrument.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:32 PM

True about the heavy gauge strings. I used to listen to him in clubs in Austin. He had powerful hands. And that sound, from the thin mics of a Stratocaster (single coil, not like the double-coil pickups on a Gibson)...the only way you can get that fat a sound from a Fender is to use heavy gauge strings and attack the strings heavily. Gibsons have a fatter sound naturally, but not the strats. SRV had to flail the strings and use the heaviest gauge he could find. Took a toll on his hands, too.

A good recording is one he did with Albert King...out on CD. A lot of SRVs licks came from King, and years ago, in Canada I think, they did a brief studio session together. Just happened to be passing each other and someone had the presence of mind to pair them up. You can hear the similarities of style on that recording.

SRV is the best all around electric blues guitarist I'VE ever heard. Another good guitarist from Texas is Johnny Winter. His first album, Progressive Blues Experiment, was WAY ahead of it's time, and he played killer electric AND National Steel guitar...35 years ago?


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:52 PM

I wasn't debating the strings, guest, just the story about supergluing skin on his fingers.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Jazzyjack
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 02:27 PM

Interesting what you learn here. Last time I found out that James Taylor's dog was named Hercules. Now I learn that Stevie glued skin onto his tortured fingertips !!.
I checked old threads and yes, there is very little about Stevie. I too missed his coming and going while raising kids, coaching ball and dissing heavy metal, grunge and disco during the 80's. What a shame. I am learning the following tunes in this order; " Pride and Joy ", " Life Without You", " Tightrope " and " Couldn't Stand the Weather ". These tunes are VERY interesting either from the viewpoint of chord progression or cool licks. They are very unlike the BB King, Muddy Waters endless repetition ( sorry guys- my personal take ).And they are fun to play, especially Tightrope. They will cut through any bar scene, a necessary weapon to have in one's arsenal. True there's not much story line but the lyrics are clever enough, beating most tired out blues wailings. Give these tunes a listen guys.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 05:14 PM

Stevie was born in 1954 and died in 1990, so 35 years ago he was probably just getting a rudimentary handle on his innate prowess in 1968, as he would've been about fourteen or fifteen years of age.

His debut, Texas Flood, was released in 1983, when he was inching up on 30 (old by modern standards in the blues/rock world...so he had paid a LOT of dues by then). The album that guaranteed his spot in music history as a bona fide, larger-than-life guitar superstar was his follow-up, 1984's Couldn't Stand the Weather.

It received so much attention that even people like me who didn't listen to corporate radio were familiar with him. What floored me about his playing was the incredible cojones he displayed on songs like his remake of Chuck Berry's lukewarm "Things I Used To Do." When it comes time for the usual 12 bar (or for really good players 24 bar) guitar break, SRV steams up and really stretches out, playing through the 12 bar break four times, without ever making it sound repetitive. By the end of the song, the listener was making a vain effort to reassemble his aural molecules into a cohesive whole, but more than willing to have them blasted to smithereens again.   

Vaughan died in 1990 at the age of 35, giving him only six or seven years in the limelight.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 11:13 PM

Well Guest, I liked SRV, but for my money Johnny Winter is the finest Electric Blues player I've ever heard. You're right about Progressive Blues Experiment. I finally got it for Christmas on CD having worn out my Vinyl.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Feb 03 - 08:37 PM

On Austin City Limits this week they're playing a retrospective of SRV's appearances on the program, with some interviews with Double Trouble. I just watched it on my local PBS station. Very nice program! It originates from here, at KLRU in Austin, Texas.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:32 PM

Yeah...there were lots of good guitarists. Prog Blues Exp was a phenomenal album, but then so is Texas Flood. As far as the best all around blues group / album...I've always been partial to the first album by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Mike Bloomfield, Butterfield. If you like harmonica, Butterfield got most of his sound from Little Walter, who helped define Muddy Waters' sound. The 'Fathers and Sons' album...live and studio recordings...are good. Muddy Waters and the Butterfield Blues Band. Man o man. Good stuff.

Or no...Taj Mahal's first album. That may be the best electric blues album I've ever heard. His very first album, just called 'Taj Mahal'. A trio of guitar, bass and drums, with Mahal as the frontman singer-harp player. 'Leaving Trunk', 'Dust my Broom'. Yeah, I've worn out more copies of that than any.

When I was a child, and tall for my age, I got into a local club where Mahal was touring to promote his first album. Small club, and he was still a nobody but he had this astounding album out, so you knew he'd be a star. And he knew it too. My friends and I stayed for both shows, and between the two Mahall came out front after the crowd from the first show left...to stretch his legs I guess. Anyway, we approached him, and you could tell he thought he was about to be adulated...straightened himself up to his full seven feet or so...got ready to give his autograph...then I asked him if he had a quarter for the cigarette machine. He told us to get lost. We stayed for the second show anyway. Jesse Edwin Davis was his guitarist...dead now, I heard, but an excellent guitarist. Great album, too.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:39 PM

And Johnny Winter...I saw him once after his third or fourth Columbia album came out. He was being promoted as a rock star, like his saxophonist brother Edgar Winter ('Frankenstein' or whatever that song was), and the show was good, but it was more flash than blues. Then I read about a year ago that Johnny Winter had appeared locally, in Austin, and the review of the show described him being led out to the stage (he's blind now), and the crowd sitting around eating barbecue and getting drunk not really paying attention for half an hour or so to the old blind guy on stage, but then his genius kicked in and there was dead silence for an hour while people got the education of a lifetime in blues guitar. It was nice to read that he's still doing what he loves and doing it well.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 05:53 PM

Guest,

I only discovered Taj Mahal a few years ago, and man, I'm sold. I don't know how many of his CD's I now have, but several. That first one is a classic. East Bay Women is incredible. Some of the most haunting, soulful slide I've ever
heard.

Yeah, Johnny sure fell victim to his record company, they were trying to make him the next rock guitar god, and although he could rock, his heart was in the blues. He turned his back on that idea, released "Nothin' But The Blues" summoned Muddy from what was near obscurity in the late seventies and produced and played on Muddy's Fantastic come back album "Hard Again", then did "Blue Skies" and one other with Muddy. I've seen Johnny four or five times, the most recent was in about '98. He has slowed down, but he still has chops. And he's playing the music that he loves. The first white (and I mean white) artist inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.                                 

I liked the Butterfield stuff, but I had heard Little Walter do most of it before hearing Butterfield, so I was a bit biased. I did like it though. Maybe I'll dig it out again.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Mark Clark
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 06:01 PM

I've always enjoyed SRV's playing and he certainly led the field during his brief career—the field being white guys playing high-energy electric blues. Still, as GUEST says above, I think Mike Bloomfield is the only white guy that actually understood the blues from the inside out. His playing actually stands up along side the best black bluesmen. Bloomfield was playing before the genre had broken through as mainstream music and a lot of fans never bothered to go back and listen. Bloomfield's playing wasn't just a long series of difficult percussive licks, it was connected and smooth on top of being well composed and difficult. Well before joining Butterfield, Bloomfield had mastered the blues. It's worth noting that Bloomfield, not surprisingly, played in the Chicago blues style, not the Texas style used by SRV.

I don't play anything by either of these great players but I do put heavy flat-wound strings on my Tele. I also have a humbucker at the neck position. As I watch my old tapes of SRV playing on Austin City Limits, I'm amazed to learn that he used heavy strings. You can watch him stretch the treble strings half way across the fingerboard—easy to do with Super Slinkys but damned tough with heavy strings.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:50 PM

Yeah, those strings sure bend on the videos, so it's hard to imagine them being that heavy. But that's why he got that incredible attack. He HAD to hammer the strings.

The last thing I got in the way of a blues recording was the East/West Live CD. An extension of the Butterfield Blues band's second album...East West. Bloomfield had the idea for doing the Indian-music raga thing and they came up with East West. The long jam. Anyway, the organist for the group, Mark Naftalin, took along a reel to reel to record some of their shows in 68-69? and released some of the recordings a while back. The three cuts on the disc are versions of the song 'East West' recorded at different places. Sound quality is bad, but it's good to hear those guys, like they are HERE right now, after so many years.

There's some movie with Redford and Portier...some semi-spy comedy thing...with an opening title sequence of Bloomfield's blues cut off the Super Session album he did with Al Kooper. Most fluid blues guitar I ever heard. And on the East-West Live liner notes Bloomfield told someone once he just wanted to be in that handful of guitarists that is recognized immediately from style. I think his super-smooth guitar work accomplished that. And it wasn't just slick playing. Some of those passages are as heart-felt as anything around.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Tweed
Date: 10 Feb 03 - 07:56 PM

I'm pretty sure he tuned down a full tone to get that stretch across the fretboard Mark, still.....he was a good one.
More SRV trivia: The frets on his main guitar were bass gauge fretwire. I got an old squire bullet that I refretted the same way for the hell of it and they are not a bad thing at all! Will keep you from flyin' clear off the neck;~)

Yerz,
Tweed


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:04 PM

One reason SRV was able to stretch those strings was because he played in Eb in addition to using heavies. Also, he used bass wire for the frets for sustain. Still have the memory of hearing him for the first time in Yosemite Park, late at night after a gig over an AM radio...awesome experience. Was with a group of musicians, all of whom have gone on to careers of some note and I'll never forget the room being silenced 1 by 1 as 'Rude Mood' played over the radio. None of us had ever heard of him to that point and as he just kept going and going and going...still one of my alltime best musical memories. A couple of the guys are now 1st call session guys in LA and Nashville and another went on to write several films. Another has a song in the Smithsonian Institute and one of the 'girls' is a major label session singer in Nash. To watch the entire room of major talent silenced by SRV was truly amazing. Remember one of the girls saying, "Who the f**k was THAT?!" Nobody knew and someone called the radio station and it was like..."Stevie who WHO?" He sold at least 10 LPs that following Monday, I'll guarantee you.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST,Buck Loco
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 08:32 PM

If you are really interested in SRV,go to www.texasflood.com/srvfaq/

Its a great site with all you can get about the man including guitar set ups amps he used and all his lyrics.Its a tribute to him as well.

Between him and Johnny Winter,you can learn a lot about the diff between Texas and Chicago.

Buck


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 09:03 PM

http://vanwilks.com/

Don't know if any of you have heard of Van Wilks. I hadn't thought of him for years until this thread. He used to be a dynamite local act around central Texas. His band always reminded me of ZZ Top. And he played REALLY heavy-handed blues...kind of like Billy Gibbons at the time. Anyway, I looked at Amazon and a review mentioned this web site. Might be worth looking at if you don't know who he is.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 07:49 AM

...Stevie's rhythm section, Double Trouble, went on to achieve some celebrity themselves, under various guises. Perhaps most notably as part of the group Storyville, with Malford Milligan. *Piece Of Your Soul* is the title of their second album. It has some solid playing on it.

Storyville does blues-based rock, and came out of the Austin Texas scene. Austin seems to be a seed bed for raunchy rockers whose influences stem from the blues, but branch out into rock e.g. Chris Duarte, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II et al.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Blues=Life
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 08:10 AM

My favorite SRV quote:

"I use heavy strings, tune low, play hard and floor it. Floor it. That's technical talk."

Blues


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 12 Feb 03 - 11:26 AM

Tommy Shannon was the Bass player for both Double Trouble and Johnny Winter And. Two pretty fine bands.

The sad thing about SRV is that he had fought the hard battle to clean himself up, knowing that his old way of life would eventually kill him. He died sober in an accident.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: forty two
Date: 13 Feb 03 - 05:22 AM

The other guy to track down and arguably more authentically bluesy is Stevie's brother Jimmy, one helluva a guitar player


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 04:54 PM

Article on Bramhall

From this week's Austin Chronicle. Bramhall worked with SRV.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 06:29 AM

Agreed,42 JV is a great player. His approach couldn't be much more different from his brothers. Concise, interlocking solos with wicked tone and infectious grooves. Actually one of the things I liked about SRV is that for all his chops he would occasionally back off and just play very slow and soulfully. Check out their excellent Family Style duet album. vl. (And fie on the previous correspondent who characterised BB King as repetitous *g*. One of the most lyrical and beautiful players that ever lived. Listen to Live at the Regal and particularly How Blue Can You Get.


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Subject: RE: Stevie Ray Vaughan
From: gnu
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 06:55 AM

After reading the very informative posts above, allow me just add a paltry "excellent". And I enjoyed the humour in his performances and videos. RIP. (Riff in peace.)


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