ravindave_3600

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@Fiesta Red You're right about Gary Clark. I too had really high hopes for him, his playing is phenomenal, but the songs he writes just don't do much for me.
You and Elihu (below) touch an important fact: most players can't write, and many writers can't play. Willie Dixon was a fine bass player, not really a front man, but the greatest composer in blues history (and yes, I put him above RJ). He could write deep and mean or fun and playful. He wrote songs musicians and listeners enjoyed.

In the 60s, when blues became an "art form" to be filled with extended guitar solos, the idea was rejuvenated but a lot was lost. We're all indebted to John Mayall (and thus, Clapton) but now that we don't take acid and need music to watch the colors by it's important we try to remember how to write a song.
Why not a piano player that sings like Ray Charles, plays like Oscar Peterson and writes like Willie Dixon? What I’m trying to say is that we need someone who sings, writes and plays with ability that excites and inspires people. And that might be someone who melds blues and hip hop.
 

Old Verle Miller

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To me, this is the crux of your post. Blues music can still be exciting and visceral, but it has to transition from bog standard 12 bar blues.
...
I'd say put together a killer band, play blues-ish songs that aren't afraid to leave 12-bars behind, but keep it rooted in the blues tradition.

... Is there any market for a killer and original blues band these days?
I think someone is actually doing that and selling out shows all over the world while he's at it. For some reason no one has mentioned Joe Bonamassa in this discussion. (It doesn't hurt that he's got SRV's keyboard man with him!)

JMHO.
 

teletail

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I think someone is actually doing that and selling out shows all over the world while he's at it. For some reason no one has mentioned Joe Bonamassa in this discussion. (It doesn't hurt that he's got SRV's keyboard man with him!)

JMHO.
Many feel he is more technician than musician.

 
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Robert H.

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I love Stevie Ray Vaughan.
His music.
His playing style.
His tone.
His singing voice.

The instruments and effects and amps he used has affected my instrument choices (along with a million other blues and rock players) down to this day.

His battered-Strat-and-black-bolero-cowboy-gypsy image—too often imitated, and never equaled—was a spectacular package to behold.

The background story of a less-handsome little brother living in the shadow of a often-dismissive and sometimes-contentious older sibling resonates greatly with me (personally)…add the ramshackle Oak Cliff childhood and status as an outsider in his own hometown, it becomes even more resonant to me.

His initial professional struggles and failures, followed by unexpected success in a landscape of synths, drum machines and hairspray makes me smile.

The fact that he told an established superstar (David Bowie), “Thanks but no thanks, I got my own thang to do…” when it could have led to a lot of professional exposure just oozes Texas Swagger (which I love).

The fact that his ground-breaking first album was recorded in just a couple of days of studio time borrowed from another superstar (Jackson Browne), along with the tickling of my Guitar Nerddom because those studio session led to SRV discovering a rare and iconic amplifier (Dumble), which shaped his sound even further.

The story arc of alcohol and drug abuse, hitting rock bottom, then redemption through rehab, then making two more (spectacular) albums while sober, overcoming his fear of playing without some chemical help/enhancement is inspiring.

The similar and related aspect of a toxic and occasionally abusive marriage, which fell apart and was followed by a meet-cute story of literally seeing a girl on the side of the road in a foreign country and stopping to introduce himself, is a dramatic rom-com in the making.

The fact that the second album of his sober life was two full-circle moments (reuniting with Nile Rogers, who was instrumental in Stevie’s first professional success on David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and—probably more importantly—the first full album of playing with his big brother) deepens the tragedy and inspiration—the romance, if you will.

His untimely death, when on the brink of…well, who knows what…is tragic and painful for fans of his music as well as his bandmates and friends.

Even the melodrama of his backing band moving forward with (first) the Arc Angels and (second) Storyville, with episodes of playing with multiple guitarslingers (Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, etc) littered along the way is interesting and melancholic.

I don’t know why Hollywood hasn’t snapped up the rights to make this into a movie. The entire story is as cinematic as award-winning biopics like The Buddy Holly Story, La Bamba (Ritchie Valens), Ray (Ray Charles) or Walk The Line (Johnny Cash).

Jimmie’s quote sums it up pretty good:

“The world misses his music, but I miss my brother.”

Not to diminish Jimmie’s relationship with Stevie or his pain, but a lot of people feel the same way, myself included.

Having said all that, there is a second aspect to Stevie’s death that I think goes just as deep and has affected the music (blues) I love so much.

Stevie’s death was a severe blow to the music world, but more so to the blues world in particular. He led the charge, the revolution, the resurrection of Blues music as a viable and profitable product in the 1980’s. His success led to wider recognition for artists who’d been around and playing music for a long time—folks like Robert Cray, whose smoother delivery and sweeter sound belied his ability to *Bring It* when the time came, and his brother’s band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds—who’d already made four of the finest blues albums in history, yet been released and relegated by their label because mainstream success eluded them. The attention given to Stevie led to attention being given to Jimmie and Kim Wilson, who were given another chance, and delivered in spades throughout the rest of the decade.

The whole Austin Blues scene—centered especially around Clifford Antone’s namesake club—was already firmly established by 1983, when “Texas Flood” was released…but the success of the disc brought more national, and eventually international attention to the scene. It grew exponentially, but still seemed to stay true to its roots. Clifford’s habit of mixing new young blood with old legendary players (like putting the T-Birds behind Muddy Waters, putting Stevie onstage with Albert King and later, dropping Sue Foley off to play with Buddy Guy and Albert Collins) continued to foster new growth while strengthening old roots, to great results. The Texas Blues scene became so dominant that a mainstream movie set in Chicago (Adventures in Babysitting), used a Texas Blues guy (Albert Collins) for an important scene, instead of drawing from the local Chicago talent that was undoubtedly available.

The Dallas and Fort Worth blues scenes (close in geography but distant in style and personnel) grew greatly as well; Houston’s pre-existing scene benefitted along the way.

Blues had a scene that could be a worldwide focal point. All was good.

However, there’s some evidence that the whole thing started crumbling when Stevie died.

Just like an old tree doesn’t die just because a limb or two cracks, it wasn’t an immediate collapse. There was great blues and blues-based music made—in Texas and elsewhere—after Stevie’s death (and there still is).

The first big problem was that a lot of people decided that somebody—anybody—needed to fill Stevie’s boots…and the second big problem was that a lot of guitarists tried.

I’m not criticizing the Vaughan-a-bees for their musicianship. Anybody that can reasonably cop SRV’s licks obviously has some talent, aptitude and ability on guitar. But by copying him note-for-note, lick-by-lick and tone-for-tone, those copyists are missing what made Stevie so revolutionary.

Stevie Vaughan copied, borrowed and stole from everybody (as all good musicians do), not just a singular source. He could have made a (reasonable) career just copying Hendrix (like Ernie Isley and Robin Trower and Lance Lopez have done)…he also sounded so much like Albert King that Nile Rogers told David Bowie, “Man, I didn’t know you wanted that on your album—if I’d known, we could have called Albert himself!” (I’m paraphrasing, don’t @me).

But Stevie wisely took a plank or a brick or a shingle from each of his heroes’ homes and made his own castle.

Listening to an album you’d hear traces of Lonnie Mack or Buddy Guy or Hubert Sumlin or Kenny Burrell or Otis Rush or Howlin’ Wolf or the aforementioned Albert King and Jimi Hendrix—or a dozen other influences…but he also sounded exactly like himself, like all those flavors were being blended up in that beat-up Strat and spewed out through a pair of Vibroverbs.

His music was impactful because it sounded familiar, but it also sounded fresh.

He was embraced by his forebears and old-time blues fans was because they could hear his respect for and homages to themselves and their peers.

He was embraced by newer blues enthusiasts because it wasn’t a fourth-generation rehash of what they’d been listening to all their lives.

Stevie sounded like old blues, but with a second gear.

But nowadays, when I hear “Latest Vaughnabee X” I think, “Not bad…now show me your second gear.”

Some have grown into it—they started out with him as a major (or even singular) influence, and matured as a musician to where his influence is still heard, but has become a piece of the puzzle rather than the whole picture.

Some have never grown beyond it, and seemingly never will. They’re not just stuck in first gear, some have put the car in park and they’re just idling.

The problem this phenomenon (“finding/becoming the next SRV”) created is that blues and blues/rock stagnated for 20 years. There was little or no growth, overall, and a large number of marginal blues fans have grown tired of the genre…and since the money isn’t made on the hard-core fans, but rather the (larger) mainstream demographic, festivals, clubs and even regional scenes have shrunk, suffered or died.

The hardcore fans (such as me) are still there; I’ve branched out and explored sub-genres that I was aware of but not well-versed in (North Mississippi Hill Country Blues artists such as Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside, as well as their acolytes such the North Mississippi All-Stars and The Black Keys). Artists such as Eve Monsees and Mike Flanigan have come into their own, and I’ve also continued to follow the folks who were around during Stevie’s lifetime—Derek O’Brien, Lou Ann Barton, the recently deceased Denney Freeman, Sue Foley, and of course, big brother Jimmie.

But I love the style and the art form, going as far back as Bessie Smith and Sylvester Weaver and on through Robert Johnson and Son House and Charley Patton and on through Muddy and Wolf and BB and…you get the point. I love blues, and I’ll keep listening to it.

So what is needed?

Well, in a way we need what we’ve been searching for—another Stevie Ray Vaughan…

No, not yet another person who plays like him, but a player who combines all the cool elements of their forebears and puts out a different-but-familiar sound that’s enjoyable across the board.

I was hoping it would be Gary Clark, Jr and Eve Monsees.

Mr. Clark has done a lot, and received a lot of mainstream attention, but his influence hasn’t become as wide-spread as SRV’s was…

I love the fact that Mr. Clark has re-opened Antone’s nightclub and Mrs. Monsees-Buck (yes, she married the Fabulous Thunderbirds’s original drummer, Mike Buck) is now proprietor of Antone’s Record Shop, but their musical influence is far from the mainstream, in total.

Blues needs a new revolution, a new scene, a new explosion…and us blues fans need it now!
For me, Robert Cray revitalized and changed Blues by fusing R&B with more traditional Blues. He’s got the voice and the guitar chops to bring magic to his shows.
 

raysachs

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All well said.

You alluded to a biography movie of SRV's life story. The only problem with making a bio-type film (as opposed to a documentary) is the question of who would play SRV.

On occasion, an actor comes along and does a pretty job playing a music legend in a film. I think of Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn (great) and to a lesser extent, Beverly D'Angelo's costar role in that film as Patsy. Jessica Lange in that same role was...ok (why they didn't cast D'Angelo in that film...she even did her own singing in the Spacek film and she was pretty great). Forrest Whittaker as Charlie Parker...ok. And so on...

My fear is that people are so passionate about SRV that anything less than the man coming back to life to play himself would be a major disappointment.

IMHO.
My understanding is someone is making a movie about Jerry Garcia with Jonah Hill playing Captain Trips. I haven't heard much about it lately, so maybe it's not still happening. I'd probably go see it, but I'm really skeptical about anyone really being able to play Jerry... Particularly given the legions of Deadheads from multiple generations at this point...

-Ray
 

telemnemonics

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I actually don't think SRV was great for The Blues, and Joe B is less good yet.
SRV was a comet out of nowhere and people were attracted to HIM.
Folks didn't delve into his influences and run out and buy Albert King records at anywhere near the rate we did in the 60's and 70's. But it happened a little because those guys were still around and Stevie boosted them.
Few were frantically searching out the identity of the songwriters on the record...O. Rush, R. King, W. Dixon, C. Burnette, M. Morganfield...
Joe is trying to boost new players, but which old heads can he trot out? Buddy Guy and...uh...
Anybody who plays in a Blues band knows that the popularity of Kingfish, Joe B, Gary Clark, etc. just doesn't send people out in search of more of the same.
The same with old stars who feel like they have to put out "their" Blues album...be it The Stones or Cyndi Lauper.
For whatever reason, it just doesn't work like that anymore.
I agree, not just in how it all worked out in terms of Blues not getting revitalized by famous players upstaging old masters with new monster chops.

But also in confusing newer players interested in the genre.
Blues is a music style that supports vast portions of the music we hear on radio, and that also supports every single individual who picks up a guitar wanting to express their feelings in music.

Promoting monster chops as key to Blues, hurts Blues more than helps, and is dishonest in an honest artform.

The explosion and vast success of both Blues and guitar playing, centered around the fact that almost anyone could do those things at any skill level with comparable effectiveness because in particular Blues is just not about impressing others with stupendously speedy licks.
Guitar the same, play it how you feel it and dont worry that its a beauty pageant, a best butt competition, or a race to the finish line.
 

TC6969

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I've been saying this for years!

Stevie Ray Vaughn was a very talented ROCK guitarist who borrowed heavily from the blues while giving absolutely nothing back.

I know I'm going to be attacked for this heresy, but
before you start, name me ONE new furrow that he plowed in the blues music field.
 

Robert H.

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Some folks seem not to know how expansive the term "Blues" can be...
Brent Mason shows us here, as do so many other great musicians (Ellington, Miles, Coltrane, Monk, etc.
 

CCK1

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You and Elihu (below) touch an important fact: most players can't write, and many writers can't play. Willie Dixon was a fine bass player, not really a front man, but the greatest composer in blues history (and yes, I put him above RJ). He could write deep and mean or fun and playful. He wrote songs musicians and listeners enjoyed.

In the 60s, when blues became an "art form" to be filled with extended guitar solos, the idea was rejuvenated but a lot was lost. We're all indebted to John Mayall (and thus, Clapton) but now that we don't take acid and need music to watch the colors by it's important we try to remember how to write a song.
@ravindave_3600 , Very good point! In my opinion, another example is John Mayer. An incredible player, but I couldn’t tell you the name of any song he’s written.
 
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Happy Enchilada

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First time "Pride and Joy" came on the radio in my car I had to pull over. I couldn't believe how incredibly righteous it sounded. Became an instant fan. Like Mr. Fiesta, I followed his smoke from afar with great interest. Sucked that he died when he did, after getting his act together and with a promising future (remind me when I get famous to say OFF small planes and helicopters). 🛩️🚁

However, he's gone and we need to "endeavor to persevere." His talent was undoubtedly a once-in-a-generation phenomena, and therefore it may take time for another torchbearer to arise. So let's all keep playin' the blues and leave a candle in the window. And let's NOT dress up like SRV and try and BE him (there are too many examples of this). Let's just keep on keepin' on. I think it's what Stevie would have wanted. 😇
 

burntfrijoles

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What the blues needs is folks who are true to the DNA of the blues: simplicity, soulfulness, emotion and taste.
Don't take the blues and "rock it up". Too many young blues guys start off fine and then try to add too much rock, fretboard gymnastics and foo foo. When you do that it's not blues anymore.
I still appreciate SRV but, for more "modern" blues I'd rather listen to Ronnie Earl, early Duke Robillard, etc.
When the blues was fading it was the folks in Europe who continued to appreciate the old masters. It may have been early Clapton in the Bluesbreaker period who initially rekindled interest in the blues and, of course, SRV brought it mainstream again.
I pay little to no attention to new guys. I don't really listen much to Stevie Ray. If I want blues, I prefer Muddy, BB, Albert, Freddy, Otis Rush, Bobby Blue Bland, Howlin Wolf with a little Ronnie Earle, Duke. (I love Robben Ford but I don't consider much of his stuff "blues".)
 

Happy Enchilada

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What the blues needs is folks who are true to the DNA of the blues: simplicity, soulfulness, emotion and taste.
Don't take the blues and "rock it up". Too many young blues guys start off fine and then try to add too much rock, fretboard gymnastics and foo foo. When you do that it's not blues anymore.
I still appreciate SRV but, for more "modern" blues I'd rather listen to Ronnie Earl, early Duke Robillard, etc.
When the blues was fading it was the folks in Europe who continued to appreciate the old masters. It may have been early Clapton in the Bluesbreaker period who initially rekindled interest in the blues and, of course, SRV brought it mainstream again.
I pay little to no attention to new guys. I don't really listen much to Stevie Ray. If I want blues, I prefer Muddy, BB, Albert, Freddy, Otis Rush, Bobby Blue Bland, Howlin Wolf with a little Ronnie Earle, Duke. (I love Robben Ford but I don't consider much of his stuff "blues".)
We'll be sure and tell all the "new guys" to stay off your lawn.
 

2HBStrat

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We redefine words to mean what we want them to mean. It’s why we can’t even agree on what a fact is any more.
Define "pop!"
I actually don't think SRV was great for The Blues...
I think SRV was good for the blues genre. He revitalized blues and got a lot of new folks playing guitar ( as did EVH).
While we are on a blues topic , my favorite is below this list.

Texas blues
Chicago blues
East coast blues
Cali blues
Mississippi valley old timey

*Brit blues (fav) and some vintage US (Canned heat,Siegel Schwaa,Butterfield)
I like R.L.Burnside and the Northern Mississippi blues style. It's as weird as any blues ever.
I've been saying this for years!

Stevie Ray Vaughn was a very talented ROCK guitarist who borrowed heavily from the blues while giving absolutely nothing back.

I know I'm going to be attacked for this heresy, but
before you start, name me ONE new furrow that he plowed in the blues music field.
He may not have plowed a new furrow but he plowed what he plowed [email protected] good!
Some does but most pop hits fade into obscurity rather quickly...
I was talking about the "genre" of pop, not any particular song. Pop is the best selling genre of music, and always has been, whether pop is a separate genre or not. In the 1940's pop was Glenn Miller. In the 2020's pop is Doja Cat. Same genre?
 
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Telefsantasia1

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I love Stevie Ray Vaughan.
His music.
His playing style.
His tone.
His singing voice.

The instruments and effects and amps he used has affected my instrument choices (along with a million other blues and rock players) down to this day.

His battered-Strat-and-black-bolero-cowboy-gypsy image—too often imitated, and never equaled—was a spectacular package to behold.

The background story of a less-handsome little brother living in the shadow of a often-dismissive and sometimes-contentious older sibling resonates greatly with me (personally)…add the ramshackle Oak Cliff childhood and status as an outsider in his own hometown, it becomes even more resonant to me.

His initial professional struggles and failures, followed by unexpected success in a landscape of synths, drum machines and hairspray makes me smile.

The fact that he told an established superstar (David Bowie), “Thanks but no thanks, I got my own thang to do…” when it could have led to a lot of professional exposure just oozes Texas Swagger (which I love).

The fact that his ground-breaking first album was recorded in just a couple of days of studio time borrowed from another superstar (Jackson Browne), along with the tickling of my Guitar Nerddom because those studio session led to SRV discovering a rare and iconic amplifier (Dumble), which shaped his sound even further.

The story arc of alcohol and drug abuse, hitting rock bottom, then redemption through rehab, then making two more (spectacular) albums while sober, overcoming his fear of playing without some chemical help/enhancement is inspiring.

The similar and related aspect of a toxic and occasionally abusive marriage, which fell apart and was followed by a meet-cute story of literally seeing a girl on the side of the road in a foreign country and stopping to introduce himself, is a dramatic rom-com in the making.

The fact that the second album of his sober life was two full-circle moments (reuniting with Nile Rogers, who was instrumental in Stevie’s first professional success on David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” and—probably more importantly—the first full album of playing with his big brother) deepens the tragedy and inspiration—the romance, if you will.

His untimely death, when on the brink of…well, who knows what…is tragic and painful for fans of his music as well as his bandmates and friends.

Even the melodrama of his backing band moving forward with (first) the Arc Angels and (second) Storyville, with episodes of playing with multiple guitarslingers (Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, etc) littered along the way is interesting and melancholic.

I don’t know why Hollywood hasn’t snapped up the rights to make this into a movie. The entire story is as cinematic as award-winning biopics like The Buddy Holly Story, La Bamba (Ritchie Valens), Ray (Ray Charles) or Walk The Line (Johnny Cash).

Jimmie’s quote sums it up pretty good:

“The world misses his music, but I miss my brother.”

Not to diminish Jimmie’s relationship with Stevie or his pain, but a lot of people feel the same way, myself included.

Having said all that, there is a second aspect to Stevie’s death that I think goes just as deep and has affected the music (blues) I love so much.

Stevie’s death was a severe blow to the music world, but more so to the blues world in particular. He led the charge, the revolution, the resurrection of Blues music as a viable and profitable product in the 1980’s. His success led to wider recognition for artists who’d been around and playing music for a long time—folks like Robert Cray, whose smoother delivery and sweeter sound belied his ability to *Bring It* when the time came, and his brother’s band, the Fabulous Thunderbirds—who’d already made four of the finest blues albums in history, yet been released and relegated by their label because mainstream success eluded them. The attention given to Stevie led to attention being given to Jimmie and Kim Wilson, who were given another chance, and delivered in spades throughout the rest of the decade.

The whole Austin Blues scene—centered especially around Clifford Antone’s namesake club—was already firmly established by 1983, when “Texas Flood” was released…but the success of the disc brought more national, and eventually international attention to the scene. It grew exponentially, but still seemed to stay true to its roots. Clifford’s habit of mixing new young blood with old legendary players (like putting the T-Birds behind Muddy Waters, putting Stevie onstage with Albert King and later, dropping Sue Foley off to play with Buddy Guy and Albert Collins) continued to foster new growth while strengthening old roots, to great results. The Texas Blues scene became so dominant that a mainstream movie set in Chicago (Adventures in Babysitting), used a Texas Blues guy (Albert Collins) for an important scene, instead of drawing from the local Chicago talent that was undoubtedly available.

The Dallas and Fort Worth blues scenes (close in geography but distant in style and personnel) grew greatly as well; Houston’s pre-existing scene benefitted along the way.

Blues had a scene that could be a worldwide focal point. All was good.

However, there’s some evidence that the whole thing started crumbling when Stevie died.

Just like an old tree doesn’t die just because a limb or two cracks, it wasn’t an immediate collapse. There was great blues and blues-based music made—in Texas and elsewhere—after Stevie’s death (and there still is).

The first big problem was that a lot of people decided that somebody—anybody—needed to fill Stevie’s boots…and the second big problem was that a lot of guitarists tried.

I’m not criticizing the Vaughan-a-bees for their musicianship. Anybody that can reasonably cop SRV’s licks obviously has some talent, aptitude and ability on guitar. But by copying him note-for-note, lick-by-lick and tone-for-tone, those copyists are missing what made Stevie so revolutionary.

Stevie Vaughan copied, borrowed and stole from everybody (as all good musicians do), not just a singular source. He could have made a (reasonable) career just copying Hendrix (like Ernie Isley and Robin Trower and Lance Lopez have done)…he also sounded so much like Albert King that Nile Rogers told David Bowie, “Man, I didn’t know you wanted that on your album—if I’d known, we could have called Albert himself!” (I’m paraphrasing, don’t @me).

But Stevie wisely took a plank or a brick or a shingle from each of his heroes’ homes and made his own castle.

Listening to an album you’d hear traces of Lonnie Mack or Buddy Guy or Hubert Sumlin or Kenny Burrell or Otis Rush or Howlin’ Wolf or the aforementioned Albert King and Jimi Hendrix—or a dozen other influences…but he also sounded exactly like himself, like all those flavors were being blended up in that beat-up Strat and spewed out through a pair of Vibroverbs.

His music was impactful because it sounded familiar, but it also sounded fresh.

He was embraced by his forebears and old-time blues fans was because they could hear his respect for and homages to themselves and their peers.

He was embraced by newer blues enthusiasts because it wasn’t a fourth-generation rehash of what they’d been listening to all their lives.

Stevie sounded like old blues, but with a second gear.

But nowadays, when I hear “Latest Vaughnabee X” I think, “Not bad…now show me your second gear.”

Some have grown into it—they started out with him as a major (or even singular) influence, and matured as a musician to where his influence is still heard, but has become a piece of the puzzle rather than the whole picture.

Some have never grown beyond it, and seemingly never will. They’re not just stuck in first gear, some have put the car in park and they’re just idling.

The problem this phenomenon (“finding/becoming the next SRV”) created is that blues and blues/rock stagnated for 20 years. There was little or no growth, overall, and a large number of marginal blues fans have grown tired of the genre…and since the money isn’t made on the hard-core fans, but rather the (larger) mainstream demographic, festivals, clubs and even regional scenes have shrunk, suffered or died.

The hardcore fans (such as me) are still there; I’ve branched out and explored sub-genres that I was aware of but not well-versed in (North Mississippi Hill Country Blues artists such as Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside, as well as their acolytes such the North Mississippi All-Stars and The Black Keys). Artists such as Eve Monsees and Mike Flanigan have come into their own, and I’ve also continued to follow the folks who were around during Stevie’s lifetime—Derek O’Brien, Lou Ann Barton, the recently deceased Denney Freeman, Sue Foley, and of course, big brother Jimmie.

But I love the style and the art form, going as far back as Bessie Smith and Sylvester Weaver and on through Robert Johnson and Son House and Charley Patton and on through Muddy and Wolf and BB and…you get the point. I love blues, and I’ll keep listening to it.

So what is needed?

Well, in a way we need what we’ve been searching for—another Stevie Ray Vaughan…

No, not yet another person who plays like him, but a player who combines all the cool elements of their forebears and puts out a different-but-familiar sound that’s enjoyable across the board.

I was hoping it would be Gary Clark, Jr and Eve Monsees.

Mr. Clark has done a lot, and received a lot of mainstream attention, but his influence hasn’t become as wide-spread as SRV’s was…

I love the fact that Mr. Clark has re-opened Antone’s nightclub and Mrs. Monsees-Buck (yes, she married the Fabulous Thunderbirds’s original drummer, Mike Buck) is now proprietor of Antone’s Record Shop, but their musical influence is far from the mainstream, in total.

Blues needs a new revolution, a new scene, a new explosion…and us blues fans need it now!
Red, you could not have said this with any more eloquence.....Nice brother
 

OmegaWoods

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I’ve been listening to a lot more female-oriented blues the past couple of years—both established artists like Lou Ann Barton and Sue Foley as well as younger/newer artists like the Lovell sisters (Larkin Poe). They seem to understand the balance between “economy of notes” and “emotion”…
I completely agree with this. Most of the best blues men today are women.
 

OmegaWoods

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All you folks crying out to hear modern blues should try some proper rap; it's just as much rooted in the working lives of working class black Americans as the blues was a hundred years ago. Folk music (and I mean folk in the sense of music made by the working classes for the working classes and reflecting their own lives) is the same all over the world and throughout history - okay, the style may be different but the subject material is the same.

Disclaimer: Being neither black nor from the US, I'm aware that this may make my post hard to swallow. I'm also aware that folk music in all its forms speaks to other people from similar backgrounds, if not for the same demographics.
I would agree with you if we were talking about fifteen or twenty minutes in the 80s where rap/hip-hop was roots-based street music. What it has become isn't what it started out as.
 

OmegaWoods

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To me, this is the crux of your post. Blues music can still be exciting and visceral, but it has to transition from bog standard 12 bar blues.

To me, and obviously well before SRV, Led Zeppelin was the band that made the blues new again. Listen to the Hunter sequence from Bring it on Home, or I Can't Quit You Baby, or Since I Stopped Loving You!

I'd say put together a killer band, play blues-ish songs that aren't afraid to leave 12-bars behind, but keep it rooted in the blues tradition. That said, does anyone listen to real music anymore? The industry is in shambles and the little money left is made by influencers who release garbage. Is there any market for a killer and original blues band these days?
This. LZ is my favorite blues band. They have a bunch of rock songs, of course, but their blues was as visceral and powerful as any every laid down by anyone.

As to the market, the market is "long-tail" with great bands from every genre finding and connecting with their fans via streaming and YouTube. So many of the young acts mentioned in this thread would be shut out of the old guard, gatekeeping industry of the past. It may be harder to be a superstar but it's easier to make your authentic stuff and have people buy it. At least that's my opinion.
 

msalama

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is dishonest in an honest artform

But didn't you just say that the Blues supports every single individual who picks up the guitar? And if so, at what level of playing proficiency does said support end, and is there a (preferably toll-free) helpdesk number one can call to extend it?

PS. And no, monster chops are NOT key to playin' the blooze.
 

2HBStrat

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@ravindave_3600 , Very good point! In my opinion, another example is John Mayer. An incredible player, but I couldn’t tell you the name of any song he’s written.
Gravity? It's kind of a blues. Kind of.
...the market is "long-tail" with great bands from every genre finding and connecting with their fans via streaming and YouTube. So many of the young acts mentioned in this thread would be shut out of the old guard, gatekeeping industry of the past. It may be harder to be a superstar but it's easier to make your authentic stuff and have people buy it. At least that's my opinion.
That's true. A band can have a big following and still be relatively unknown. A few years ago I took off work to go to a concert. Folks at work asked me who I was going to see. I told them but none of them had ever heard of them. It was Gov't Mule.
 




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