Stevie Ray Vaughan, roadhouse king


The roadhouse is an American institution—the little bar on the edge of town that comes alive when the sun comes down with back-to-basics roots music. Texas is the honorary home of roadhouse music, and Stevie Ray Vaughan was its uncrowned king.

Vaughan arrived in a blaze of guitar glory in the early 1980s, following on the trail of his Texas forebears from electric guitar pioneers like Eddie Durham and Charlie Christian to blues legends like T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Albert Collins, and his own big brother Jimmie.

This according to Roadhouse blues: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Texas R&B by Hugh Gregory (San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2003).

Today would have been Vaughan’s 60th birthday! Below, live in 1982.

BONUS: One of his legendary Hendrix covers.

1 Comment

Filed under Jazz and blues, Popular music

One Response to Stevie Ray Vaughan, roadhouse king

  1. Tom Ross

    Yeah, Stevie was good. Tuned the guitar down a half-step . . .

    I admire people who can ‘play’ distortion, play the amp. But I’m with Frank Zappa, who called distortion something like adolescent anger. For me it’s because you need clarity for chords more complex than open 5ths: distortion spreads foggage over everything.

    But as they say in Nashville, there’s no money above the 5th fret.