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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsJimmie Vaughan has established himself as a legendary blues performer for many years. Vaughan is well known as Stevie Ray Vaughan's older brother. He ran away from home when he was 14 years old to begin his career as a blues guitarist and he has never looked back.
He founded the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1974 and remained in the band until 1990. He began his solo career at that time.
Vaughan and his band is presently on tour in support of his impending new record release, Baby, Please Come Home. Tucson fans were thrilled to have Vaughan and The Tilt-a-Whirl band for a two hour show.
Vaughan is essentially a self-taught guitarist. His approach with the guitar is raw, uncluttered and heart-felt with a whole lot of finesse. His music is free of special effects that highlight the band's stripped-down arrangements. He has an incredibly distinctive, often-imitated style.
Vaughan quietly took the stage sharply dressed in a suit, with slicked back hair. But the moment he plugged in his guitar, his fingers touched the fret board and he started to play, you knew you were in for something special. The fans knew they were in the presence of guitar royalty. Even though that was the vibe that described the entire evening, Vaughan maintained an unpretentious approach to his music. He still loves to perform. He loves everything about it and that love was infectious throughout his show.
Vaughan was four years older then his brother Stevie. He recalled in a recent interview that he got his first guitar by the time he was nine years old. His family had several guitar players. When the family got together, the activities always included a guitar ‘pull.'
Stevie silently watched his older brother play guitar. Stevie would pick up his bother's guitar when Jimmie wasn't around and practiced what he saw his old brother do. The rest of the story is Texas guitar legend history.
The show started with "Comin' & Goin,'" and the full band immediately had the packed house captivated.
Members of the band are blues royalty within their own right. Mike Flanigin is the Hammond B-3 organ maestro and he provided superb vocals during the night. Flanigan is also a member of the Jimmie Vaughan trio. He has also worked with Gary Clark, Jr. and Billy Gibbons.
The horn section was exceptional and they had many opportunities to solo during the night. Doug James on baritone sax is another self-taught musician. He has gravitated toward the blues. He has performed with greats like LaVerne Baker, Freddie King, Charlie Musselwhite, Muddy Waters, Junior Walker, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Michael Rinta on trombone has been playing since he was 11 years old. His musical resume includes working with musical greats that includes Santana, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, John Lee Hooker Jr., Wayne Shorter, Sly & the Family Stone.
Bassist, Billy Horton, brought his broad experience to the band playing upright bass. Horton has a load of experience with the blues as an instrumentalist as well as Being a recording engineer, mixer and producer.
Another Austin musician, Billy Pitman on rhythm guitar, also works with Sean Wheeler and the Reluctant Messengers when he's not on the road with Vaughan. Jason Corbiere on drums is another very experienced blues musician.
There's plenty of blues and rock and roll to go around during the show. The new album is a group of cover songs that were selected by Vaughan essentially because he loves the songs. He took time to play several of the tunes including "Hold It," "Just a Game," and "No One to Talk to (But the Blues)."
Vaughan shines on Clarence "Gatemouth Brown's "Dirty Work at the Crossroads" and "Frame for the Blues." Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back" was given priority treatment.
There were spectacular renditions of Stevie Ray's "Texas Flood" and "The Crawl" from Jimmie's days with The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
It was hard to determine who had the most fun, the fans or Vaughan. Smiles abounded everywhere. Fans were out of their seats dancing, singing and shouting words of love to their favorite guitarist and band. Jimmie and his Tilt-A-Whirl Band absolutely delivered a magical evening.
This is going to be a great year for Vaughan. He is currently touring with Buddy Guy. He has a new album dropping May 17. He is also currently working on a new album of original tunes for future release. He has an upcoming tour later in the fall where he will be opening for Eric Clapton that includes performing at London's Royal Albert Hall.
1. Hold It / Comin' & Goin'
2. It's Been a Long Time (Annie Laurie cover)
3. I Ain't Never (Webb Pierce cover)
4. Dirty Work at the Crossroads (Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown cover)
5. No One to Talk to (But the Blues)
6. Roll Roll Roll (Guitar Junior cover)
7. Just a Game
8. Just a Little Bit (Rosco Gordon cover)
9. Silly Dilly Woman
10. Frame for the Blues
11. Hey! Baby (Bruce Channel cover)
12. Come On Rock Little Girl
13. You Can't Sit Down
14. I'm So Glad, Fiona's Comin Home
15. I'm Still in Love with You
16. Baby Scratch My Back (Slim Harpo cover)
17. Texas Flood (Larry Davis cover)
18. The Crawl (The Fabulous Thunderbirds song)
19. You Got Me Runnin' (Jimmy Reed cover)
20. D/FW (The Vaughan Brothers song)
21. White Boots (The Vaughan Brothers song)
22. Hold It
23. Do the Mamma Jamma
24. Rainin' in My Heart (Slim Harpo cover)
25. Thunderbird (The Nightcaps cover)
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