On July 26, Jimmie Vaughan released his fifth solo album,Plays More Blues, Ballads & Favorites, more proof that 2011 is shaping up to be a killer year for new blues and blues-rock releases.
If you need more proof, check out recent releases by Joe Bonamassa, George Thorogood, Damon Fowler, Los FabuLocos, Johnny Nicholas and Tab Benoit, not to mention the ol' Allman Brothers crew, namely Greg Allman, Tedeschi Trucks Band and Warren Haynes, plus brand-spanking-new albums by Keb Mo and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and the great-sounding Robert Johnson: Centennial Collection.
With all this blues buzz going around, I asked Jimmie Vaughan about the blues guitarists who inspired him -- and about the up-and-coming or contemporary players who've caught his ear. Here's how it went:
What are the albums -- or who are some of the players -- that have inspired you the most?
In terms of albums, I'd say It's My Life Baby! by Junior Wells with Buddy Guy. That live stuff -- I must've played that a million times, over and over and over. And any B.B. King record, like Live at the Regal, or the really old studio ones. I've always liked those. The first time I got some money, I went down to the record store and bought all the albums by B.B. King. There must've been 10 or 15 of them. So I guess B.B. King and Buddy Guy and T. Bone Walker -- and I liked Cream and The Yardbirds, anything like that.
And then there was Freddie King. I met Freddie in Dallas when I was 15. He lived by this club I used to go play at, so I got to see him several times. He had moved back from Chicago. So Freddie King -- and then there were the local guys in Dallas.
Of course, there were Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry and Lonnie Mack. This was all pretty much before Jimi Hendrix and all that stuff came out. And then Hendrix came out, and I loved Hendrix.
Are there any young blues guitarists out there now whose playing or music you're into?
There's a guy here in Austin -- Dave Biller. He's fantastic. Also Rick McRae; I"ve been listening to him a lot; he's in Austin too. These are both more like jazz players, but they can play anything. They're phenomenal. And then there's Mark Bish. And then I really like Nick Curran. Nick is great.
Those are my favorite guys right now -- and lucky for me, they're all right here in Austin!
Here's Nick Curran in action:
Plays More Blues, Ballads & Favorites by Jimmie Vaughan came out July 26 on Shout! Factory Records. For more information, visit JimmieVaughan.com or ShoutFactoryStore.com. Also check out my recent interview with Jimmie Vaughan on GuitarWorld.com.
Jimmie Vaughan photo: El Ojo Photography