Jimmie Vaughan has never risen to the level of stardom his late brother Stevie Ray Vaughan attained, but the elder sibling hasn't been any less loyal to the blues during the course of his career. Founding and maintaining the Fabulous Thunderbirds since 1974 (quite a bit prior to the renaissance of the genre his younger and flashier relative ignited), Jimmie Vaughan has also continued a string of solo endeavors, the latest example of which is Baby, Please Come Home. Far more than mere revisits of familiar material, it is a deeply-felt homage to the blues genre that crackles with the energy and invention of genuine rediscovery.
Sliding straight into a deceptively casual shuffle with the title song, it's clear how happily Jimmie Vaughan confines himself to the role of a traditional stylist. Sans the influence of the contemporary icon Jimi Hendrix that so inspired his guitar icon relation, Jimmie aims for concise, collaborative results that, on this half-hour plus album, only pass the four minute mark twice. Yet there's nary a note wasted here nor anything superfluous on Fats Domino's "So Glad" and Jimmy Reed's "Baby What's Wrong" as Vaughan and company put a premium on getting right to the point.
As further depicted on truncated tracks like "No One to Talk to (But The Blues)," such an approach has clear advantages Still, the 2:43 duration of this Lefty Frizzell cover allows for incorporation of gritty horns in addition to some quick electric guitar. The effortless nature of which arrangement enhances the emotional gravitas within the frontman's vocal. Meanwhile, "I'm Still In Love with You" is an even more vivid slice of life: the drama of the sax/trumpet/trombone chart highlights how close to Jimmie Vaughan's heart is this song of T-Bone Walker's (his nonchalant singing notwithstanding).
Elsewhere there is a deep and abiding engagement as the Austin, Texas, guitarist and singer bonds with long-time stalwarts such as drummer George Rains. The bandleader clearly created an inclusive atmosphere for Baby. Please Come Home through the recording (mostly) at San Marcos' Texas Fire Station Studios and, perhaps not surprisingly, that inviting air is most infectious through the seductive harmonizing of vocalists Georgia Bramhall and Emily Gimble on "Be My Lovey Dovey."
But the live instrumental "Hold It," is no less of a joy: the licks Jimmie trades in such rapid fire sequence with organist Mike Flanigan are indicative of an inviting musical chemistry that pervades all eleven of these tracks.
Baby, Please Come Home; Just A Game; No One To Talk To But The Blues; Be My Lovey Dovey; What’s Your Name?; Hold It; I’m Still In Love With You; It’s Love Baby (24 Hours A Day); So Glad; Midnight Hour; Baby, What’s Wrong?; Silly Dilly Woman; Exact Change.
Jimmie Vaughan: guitar, vocals; Billy Pitman: rhythm guitar; Al Gomez: guitar; Mike Flanigan: Hammond organ; T. Jarred Bonata: piano; Billy Horton: bass; Ronnie James: bass; George Rains: drums; Doug James: baritone sax; Greg Piccolo: tenor saxophone; Kaz Kazonoff: tenor saxophone; John Mills: baritone saxophone; Mike Rinta: trombone; Randy Zimmerman: trombone; Jimmy Shortell: trumpet; Al Gomez: trumpet; Georgia Bramhall: background vocals; Emily Gimble: background vocals.
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