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Sunday, June 20, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Jimmy Vaughan

Posted By on Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 8:30 AM

Guitar man
  • Guitar man

Before his kid brother Stevie Ray became the most influential blues guitarist this side of B.B. King, Austin axeman Jimmie Vaughan was already striking blows for roots music. When everyone else was swept up in New Wave in 1979, the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ Girls Go Wild was generating the biggest buzz among contemporary blues fans since the Paul Butterfield Band’s run in the ’60s. Vaughan’s stripped-down sensibilities were key to the T-Birds’ sound. While Stevie Ray had a flair for flash, imbuing blues with a fire that would captivate rock-oriented ears, Jimmie took on blues, roots rock, and R&B tunes with a classic sound and masterful minimalism. This approach was well suited for the ’80s, when the T-Birds’ single “Tuff Enough” hit the charts and netted some heavy MTV airplay. Vaughan left the group at the end of that decade. His latest album, Jimmie Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites (which comes out next month), is pure truth-in-advertising, as the guitarist matches throwback licks and vocals with vintage gems like “I’m Leavin’ It Up to You” and “Send Me Some Lovin’.” Vaughan plays the Beachland Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. The Brickhouse Blues Band opens. Tickets are $26.50 advance, $28 day of show. —Duane Verh

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