His playing took Eric Clapton’s breath away and David Bowie called him the most exciting guitarist since Jeff Beck: how Stevie Ray Vaughan became a blues guitar hero

Stevie Ray Vaughan
(Image credit: Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)

When the legendary Jeff Beck passed away in January, he was remembered as a player who epitomised ‘feel’ in just about every conceivable way. Summarising the profound sense of loss for the guitar community, Total Guitar noted how Beck was truly in a class of his own. The same is true of another player we lost more than 30 years ago: Stevie Ray Vaughan.

SRV had that same magic touch that all guitarists strive for, never running out of ideas that could amaze the listener at every turn. As with Beck, you got the sense that this was a musician speaking through their instrument, conveying deep emotions and telling stories via the means with which they were most at ease – a rare gift in being able to effortlessly move audiences through honesty, passion and charisma. 

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).