Stevie Ray Vaughan fans got a nice little bonus in 1985, when Alligator Records released Lonnie Mack's masterful Strike Like Lightning album. The album, which actually was co-produced by Vaughan and Mack, features Vaughan on several tracks, playing both electric and acoustic guitar, something that very rarely happened.
Although this story isn't about me—in fact, it has nothing to do with me—I will share one of my own mottos: "If you can't do justice to a Stevie Ray Vaughan song, don't even bother." (This is pretty much why I stopped playing Stevie Ray Vaughan songs a few years ago.) That said, here are five live covers that enter the realm of doing justice to the late, great SRV.
Since the guitar's inception, there have undoubtedly been talented players that could make the instrument sing, but it wasn't until the mid '60s and the arrival of the wah pedal that one could make it cry.
When Labor Day came and went earlier this month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar World people, we couldn't help but apply those sentiments to music and the American people who made and make it—bands!
When someone is widely hailed as the greatest guitar player ever, how do you step up and cover one of his songs? Have you ever noticed that the ratio of Metallica tribute albums to Hendrix tribute albums is something like 20 to 1? When's the last time you heard someone say, "Yeah, he played it better than Hendrix," without a clearly present sarcastic tone?
The recent passing of the great B.B. King has inspired a host of casual blues fans to dig deep into their record collection—or into the depths of their iTunes libraries—to get a refresher course on exactly what made King so special. Oddly enough, I had actually started revisited his expansive catalog the week before he became ill back in April.
Besides functional gear, sensible footwear and a guaranteed ride to gigs, members of good backing bands must have the following qualities: Humility, talent and personality. The best backing bands, of course, have all these qualities — and lots of success. Some of them of have played on countless hits. Some have played a role in music history. Others just have so much talent that they automatically move to the next level.
Here’s a great quality clip of SRV performing “Pride and Joy” in January of 1990 during his MTV Unplugged taping. Vaughan uses a 12-string Guild, which gives the song a completely different vibe than the original, full band recording. “Pride and Joy” originally appeared on his 1983 Epic Records debut, Texas Flood.