By Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmie Vaughan, ex-Fabulous Thunderbirds and older brother of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan, has brought his own smooth blues playing to a collection of personal favourites. Recorded in his hometown of Austin, Texas, the album consists of one original and fourteen covers from the likes of Johnny Ace, Jimmy Reed and Little Richard.
The first thing that you notice with this album is the authentic blues sound and the way the songs are executed from the heart and with feeling. One criticism of modern blues is the way that tracks are over produced and as a result the songs feel flat and it's as if the artists prefer to use it as a forum to show off their moves.
As a result, this is a great album where there are so many stand out tracks. 'Why, Why, Why' is a gritty blues ballad that pulls on the heart strings. 'Lonely Weekend' is an upbeat rock'n'roll number that highlights the unity within the band. With 'Comin' and Going,' Jimmie's original instrumental, he gets the chance to show off his fine guitar work. Then there's 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Send Me Some Lovin' where Lou Ann Barton puts her heart and soul into a couple of powerful ballads. While 'Roll, Roll' Roll' and 'How Can You Be So Mean,' are also strong contenders.
The band is perfect for this album. Jimmie's guitar work and singing is a joy to listen to. The rhythm section gets the right feel for each song. The horn section adds colour and texture to the tracks while Jimmie's father, Bill Willis, plays a fine Hammond on some of the tracks and even a vocal on the Willie Nelson cover 'Funny How Times Slip Away.' Add to this Lou Ann Barton's gutsy vocals and you've got the perfect combination that blasts through everything from upbeat rock'n'roll, to ballads with ease.
While Jimmie doesn't possess the lightning speed and aggression on the guitar that was the trademark of his brother, he does have the ability to play with flair and imagination and has brought a lot of these old tunes to life. The album offers so much variety from a genre that can get a bit stuck in its ways.