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Stevie Ray Vaughan: Solos, Sessions & Encores

Jim Santella By

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Blues guitarist and singer Stevie Ray Vaughan impressed millions of fans and aspiring musicians with his genuine soul and fiery technique. Cut short by a blanket of fog in the wee hours of the morning after an August 1990 concert, his career had put him in touch with blues artists and rock stars from around the world. That final encore jam in East Troy, Wisconsin, featuring Vaughan with his brother Jimmie and friends Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray, was but one reminder of how dedicated he was to the blues and its people. The helicopter crash killed Vaughan and the other passengers on that fateful flight, but his music lives on. This compilation, which includes six tracks that have never been issued before, pairs Vaughan with some of the stars that he'd worked with during his all-too-brief career.

Every track is a gem. Vaughan's vocals and guitar weave through each selection with a natural blues intuition. This "common language enabled him to converse musically with a wide array of artists, entertainers and performers. His guitar colors David Bowie's hot rock interpretation of "Let's Dance with skyscraper-leaping flames. "Pipeline features Vaughan in an instrumental duet with original surf guitar veteran Dick Dale. Bonnie Raitt adds a pure guitar tone to "Texas Flood, Lou Ann Barton sings "You Can Have My Husband with an Old School authority, and Jimmie Vaughan joins his brother on "Change It, from a Saturday Night Live television performance.

Albert's Shuffle features Vaughan with Albert Collins in a thrilling guitar conversation. Lonnie Mack's "Oreo Cookie Blues pairs two exciting blues guitarists in a celebration of good music. Jeff Beck's guitar defines "Goin' Down with a like-minded duet, while Bill Carter's "Na-na-Ne-Na-Nay moves into the country with Vaughan's boy-next-door vocal. New Orleans boogie takes over as Vaughan joins pianist/vocalist Katie Webster for "On the Run. Saxophonist A.C. Reed pairs with Vaughan for a rollicking instrumental on "Miami Strut. Johnny Copeland delivers a true-blue message on "Don't Stop by the Creek, Son, which features strong performances from two guitars, vocal, piano, and more. Marcia Ball's interpretation of "Soulful Dress belies the Texas roots that built both her career and Vaughan's. A summit meeting of Albert King, B.B. King, Paul Butterfield and "rising star Stevie Ray Vaughan opens the album with a blast of the blues on "The Sky is Crying.

This is not Stevie Ray Vaughan's best work. Solos, Sessions & Encores does, however, show the versatility in his blues endeavors and the natural manner in which he partnered with others. His dreams were fulfilled during his all-too-brief career; the music lives on forever.


Track Listing: The Sky is Crying; Soulful Dress; Don

Personnel: Stevie Ray Vaughan: guitar, vocals; Albert King: guitar, vocals; Johnny Copeland: guitar, vocals; Jeff Beck: guitar, vocals; B.B. King: guitar; Bill Carter: guitar; Lonnie Mack: guitar; Albert Collins: guitar; Jimmie Vaughan: guitar; Bonnie Raitt: guitar; Dick Dale: guitar; Paul Butterfield: harmonica; A.C. Reed: tenor saxophone; Katie Webster: piano, vocals; Marcia Ball: vocals; Lou Ann Barton: vocals; David Bowie: vocals; others..

Title: Solos, Sessions & Encores | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Sony BMG Legacy

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