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.
The previous day, Vaughan had relayed to his bandmates a disturbing dream he had where he witnessed his own funeral. That evening, the guitarist, with his band Double Trouble, joined as special guests for a concert at the Alpine Valley Musical Theater, along with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Vaughan’s big brother, Jimmie.
On December 6, 1983, up-and-coming guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan got together with blues legend Albert King at CHCH-TV studios in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The result was one hell of a jam session—that almost didn't even happen.
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s distinctive playing style is earmarked by equal parts pure power, intensity of focus, razor-sharp precision and deeply emotional conviction. And then there’s his tone—probably the best Stratocaster-derived sound ever evoked from the instrument.
God bless roadies! As any guitarist can attest, roadies are indispensable members of any band's touring operation—as illustrated in this brief video featuring the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan and his roadie, Rene Martinez.
Some more incredibly rare video of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan in action has suddenly become available on YouTube. Below, watch Buddy Guy jamming with Vaughan on July 30, 1989, at Buddy Guy's Chicago club, Legends. The event? Buddy Guy's 53rd birthday party!