Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bush Sucks but Texas Blues Kicks Ass

Stevie Ray Vaughn hailed from Oak Cliff --not what you would call the most fashionable suburb in Dallas. Were it not for great talents like SRV, Dallas would be remembered solely as the overgrown cowtown where JFK was gunned down in the middle of a street. To be sure, Oak Cliff is most often associated with Lee Harvey Oswald. Texas politics turned mean spirited and malevolent with the rise of the GOP.

Tragically, the likes of Tom DeLay, George W. Bush et al will all rot in hell for ravaging the state's environment, beating out Mississippi for "dead last" in Education, and making Texas most notable as the nation's capitol for capital punishment! Texas is not called the gulag state for nothing. It's outsourced prison system must surely rank among the worst in the world with the the possible exception of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo! Houston traffic long ago put LA in the shade. It is not only the air pollution that robs one of a decent breath, it's the breath-taking hubris found among idiots, bigots and oil barons who presume to tell the rest of the world how it should live.

Stevie Ray Vaughn --even in death a breath of fresh air -- is remembered as one of a handful of immortal guitarists, ranked by blues rock cognescenti with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Hendrix. The great B.B. King said of Stevie Ray that he literally channeled his blues licks. And so he did!


Stevie Ray in Concert

You'll get better audio quality with the following player.



Bio: Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan

From his bio on Wiki:

Vaughan is recognized for his distinctive guitar sound, which was partly based on using heavy guitar strings (anything from 13- to 16-gauge sets) that he tuned down a half-step. Vaughan used a wide range of vacuum tube amplifiers during his career, often using multiple different amplifiers simultaneously, but is usually associated with early Fender guitar amplifiers. His influence is often credited for helping to launch the "vintage gear" movement among guitarists, which turned old musical equipment that could once be had fairly cheaply into expensive collector's items.

Vaughan's sound and playing style, which often incorporated simultaneous lead and rhythm parts, drew frequent comparisons to Hendrix; Vaughan covered several Hendrix tunes on his studio albums and in performance, such as "Little Wing", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", and "Third Stone from the Sun". He was also heavily influenced by Freddie King, another Texas bluesman, mainly in the use of tone and attack; King's heavy vibrato can clearly be heard in Vaughan's playing. Another stylistic influence was Albert Collins. By utilizing his index finger as a pick a la Albert Collins, he was able to coax various tonal nuances from his amplifiers. Vaughan's brother Jimmie Vaughan has stated that Johnny "Guitar" Watson was the guitarist he and Stevie studied the most.

Like Hendrix, Vaughan worked with only the support of bass and drums for a long time before Wynans joined the group. Also like Hendrix, he exhibited an amazing command of feedback, volume, and distortion. Like Hendrix, he could play lead and rhythm simultaneously with the rare ability to rattle out massive chord clusters and piercing barrages of single notes with incredible precision, drenching them in exotic tones produced by pickup switches, wah-wah pedals, and overamplification.

Vaughan preferred to make use of the immediate tonal capabilities of his guitar amplifiers in "overdrive", adding few effects. Stevie's basic effects included an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Vox wah-wah pedal. He also used loud volumes for dynamic, coaxing effects from the natural overdriven performance of his amplifiers.

Legacy Recordings

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