15 Greatest Blues Musicians of All Time: Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Thomas Swan on Dec 27, 2015 07:42 PM EST

One could easily rank the fifteen best blues musicians of all time but then the onus would be on the number rather than the stories they told or the lives they lead, so this list will not be burdened by numbers. Instead, it will be all about the musicians and the music they created. Next is Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The word "incendiary" was invented with the sole purpose of describing Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar playing. Vaughan, part Albert King, part Jimi Hendrix, stormed into the public conscious in the early 80s, fronting the band Double Trouble, and would proceed to make every other guitar look like a rank amateur. His older brother, Jimmie, would serve as lead guitarist for the band The Fabulous Thunderbirds, but it was Stevie who would serve notice to the outside world that Texas Roadhouse Blues was still kicking.

All Music noted about Vaughan, "his astonishingly accomplished guitar ignited the blues revival of the '80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late '60s."

Born in Dallas, Texas October 3, 1954, Stevie Ray Vaughan was abused by his father as a child and this would haunt him in one form or another for all of his life. He, too, would battle alcoholism. Stevie received his first guitar as a hand-me-down from brother Jimmie and there was no looking back. At the age of 11, little Stevie joined his first band and commited his total being to playing guitar and following brother Jimmie into a music career, much to Stevie's parents' consternation.

Stevie would finally find success with his last album In Step. The album spawned his only number one hit, the raucous "Crossfire". The album was Stevie Ray Vaughan at his most mature and advanced. He was sober and drug-free. He was reborn. Only, it was not to be. Like Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughn would die in an air plane accident after a concert he played. The music didn't die. It just lost a talented champion.

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TagsStevie Ray Vaughn, Texas Blues Musician, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn Guitarist. 15 Greatest Blues Musician Stevie Ray Vaughan

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