Perhaps best known as a founding member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughan was one of the leading Austin, Texas guitarists of the late 1970's and '80s, responsible for helping open up the national market to gritty roadhouse blues. Influenced by guitarists like Freddie King, B.B. King, and Albert King, Vaughan developed a lean, tough guitar sound that became one of the most recognizable sounds of the early 1980's blues-rock era. For most of his career, Vaughan co-led the Fabulous Thunderbirds with vocalist and harmonica player Kim Wilson. It wasn't until 1994 that he launched a full-fledged solo career. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, March 20, 1951, Jimmie Vaughan began playing guitar as a child, citing both blues and rock 'n' roll as early influences. While in his teens Vaughan played in a number of garage rock bands before moving to Austin at the age of 19 where he continued to hone his guitar style playing in a variety of blues bar bands. In 1972 he formed his own group, the Storm, which supported many touring blues musicians. In 1974 Vaughan met a vocalist and harmonica player named Kim Wilson. Within a year, the pair had formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds along with bassist Keith Ferguson and drummer Mike Buck. For four years the T-Birds played local Texas clubs, gaining a strong fan base. By the end of the decade, the group had signed a major label contract with Chrysalis Records and helped set the standard for the rough and ready bar room blues band. 1986 saw the release of their smash hit "Tuff Enuff." Jimmie left the band in 1989 and recorded a duet album with his brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan. "Family Style" was released in the fall of 1990 just a few months after his brother's death. In 1994 Jimmie continued his career with his first solo album, "Strange Pleasures," which received excellent reviews. His most recent album, "Out There," was released in 1998. Vaughan creates a warm and deeply personal music that is a mix of Stax soul, rocking Texas roadhouse blues, with occasional jazz phrasings that is delivered in his laid back style. He always plays with taste, soul, and precision and has a savagely lean and clean guitar style, firing off volley after volley of knife sharp licks that can say more with less than almost any guitarist on stage today. His truly awe-inspiring and impeccable guitar playing is glued together with his sly, funky, warm and conversational voice.
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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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