Alibi V.13 No.13 • March 25-31, 2004 

Music Magnified

Jimmie Vaughan

Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmie Vaughan

Wednesday, March 31; El Rey Theater (21 and over, 8 p.m.): Not surprisingly, Jimmie Vaughan has long been overshadowed as a musician by the astonishing six-string prowess of his late younger brother Stevie Ray. But it was the tragic death of Stevie, not that he was a far superior guitarist to Jimmie as many believe, that forever enshrined him as the greatest blues revivalist that ever lived. Fact is, it was Jimmie Vaughan that captivated American audiences in the '70s and '80s with the most original blues sounds since Buddy Guy. It was Jimmie who inspired Stevie Ray to play. See, Jimmie's the roots of it all, widespread popularity notwithstanding.

Jimmie Vaughan effectively and almost single-handedly transformed Austin from a sleepy Texas town to its current status as The Live Music Capital of the World after meeting a young harmonica player and singer called Kim Wilson, with whom he founded the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Although the T-Birds had limited commercial success (their 1986 album, Tuff Enuff, sold more than a million units), Vaughan's contributions to Texas music in a broader sense will never be eclipsed. Not the aggressive, meaty guitarist his little brother was, Jimmie nonetheless created a sound all his own—one that reverberates through the fingers and Stratocasters of nearly every blues-rock guitarist today. Whether he or she knows it or not.