PLAYS MORE BLUES, BALLADS & FAVORITES
Proper Records – 25 / 07 / 2011
“If you like your guitaring clean and crisp, then this CD is for you” Blues Matters
For Jimmie Vaughan, too much of a good thing is a concept that simply doesn’t exist. The legendary Texan guitar dynamo was so pleased with the response to his 2010 album BLUES, BALLADS AND FAVORITES that he decided to follow it up with a brand new collection he’s calling, what else but MORE BLUES, BALLADS AND FAVORITES! Packed with 16 covers of classic tunes that are close to his heart, the album, recorded, like the previous one, in his hometown of Austin, Texas, reunites Vaughan with the same cast of musicians that helped him out on the previous set. Also returning for round two, to assist with the vocals, is Lou Ann Barton, whose powerful pipes grace several tunes on the new release.
Jimmie Vaughan, who first came to prominence as co-founder of Texas blues-rock band the Fabulous Thunderbirds in the ’70s has certainly earned the right to do whatever he wants whenever he wants to do it. Since he was a kid, Vaughan has dedicated his life to mastering his axe and reminding folks what American music is all about, music, he says, that need not be categorized.
On MORE BLUES, BALLADS AND FAVORITES, bringing it all together is exactly what Jimmie Vaughan does. From the opening track I Ain’t Never, to the closer, the Faye Adams rouser Shake a Hand, Vaughan and his like-minded pals keep things rockin’ and rollin’.
Highlights include Rains Came, originally by the Texas Gulf Coast band Big Sambo and the House Wreckers and later reworked by the late, great Doug Sahm; two tracks by the recently deceased Bobby Charles, No Use Knocking and I Ain’t Gonna Do it No More; two picked up from the semi-obscure New Orleans R&B singer Annie Laurie, It’s Been a Long Time and I’m In the Mood For You and great, often lost songs originally cut by Hank Williams I Hang My Head and Cry and Ray Charles’ Greenbacks.
If the repertoire sounds like a record collector’s dream, that might be because Vaughan approached the recording sessions in much the same way that the original artists must have. “I pretend that I’m making 45s. I only make two or three at a time and I might say, ‘This song would be a good flip side.’ We go in the studio and work out the arrangement and then go for it. Sometimes something will happen that you didn’t expect and you’ll say, ‘Well, that’s really cool. I couldn’t have planned on that.’”
He plays music because there’s nothing he loves more. “These songs just speak to me,” he says. “Sometimes the ones you think you can’t do, you can do, and the ones you think you can do, you can’t. The only way to find out is to try. But if you saw how easy it was for us to do these songs on this album, you would be amazed. I’d listen to a song for a couple of days in my truck and just take it to the band and say, ‘I’d like to do this.’ We would just do it and sometimes it would be done after the first or second or third take. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the studio.”
Of course, much of the credit goes to the band and Vaughan reserves special kudos for Lou Ann Barton. “I go back with Lou Ann before the Thunderbirds,” he says. “When we met she was 18 and sang a Little Richard medley and I never recovered. She was wild. She’s just got a lot of feeling and we like the same kind of stuff.”