Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 2, No. 1, 2003

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Robert J. Lewis
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dube
Phil Nixon
Mark Goldfarb
Robert Rotondo
  Music Editor
Emanuel Pordes
  Arts Editor
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Robert Fisk
Pico Iyer
John Lavery
    Jimmie Vaughan at the Montreal Jazz Festival July 4th. For tickets call 1-888-515-0515  

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Featured artist: JIMMIE VAUGHAN
Jimmie Vaughan: Do You Get The Blues?

Jimmie Vaughan's sparse, quirky guitar licks sharply accentuate his smooth, seasoned voice. It's hard to believe he only stepped in front of the mic recently, after having played guitar professionally for nearly 30 years.

"Secretly, I always wanted to sing, and I just never did, 'cause I didn't like the way my voice sounded. I'd been listening to Muddy Waters and Bobby "Blue" Bland and all these great blues singers, and I just couldn't sing like that. So I decided, "I'm not going to sing, I'm just going to play."

It's lucky for us that he came to his senses. Since his solo debut on Strange Pleasure in 1994, he has shown himself to be quite the singer, bringing a unique sense of phrasing to his vocals. With Do You Get The Blues?, he now sounds extremely at ease in the studio, masterfully crafting recordings from his encyclopedic knowledge of Blues, Jazz and R&B. This is by far the best work to date from a musician who already counts among his fans the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Billy F. Gibbons, and Keith Richards. Never one to rest on his laurels, Jimmie Vaughan is one of those rare artists who just continues to get better.

And yet despite his obvious talent, it's his humility that is his greatest asset:

"I try to speak with my guitar in sentences. The people that I enjoy and the music that I enjoy are not about just a bunch of licks strung together. If you just play a bunch of guitar licks that aren't connected, it's like throwing a lot of words into a bowl. It doesn't make any sense. It's just words. When I listen to Gene Ammons, the great saxophone player, I get the feeling he's telling you a story. That's how I'd like to play guitar someday, when I grow up. That's the goal. That's what I enjoy. That's what makes me get chill bumps--when you listen to music where the phrasing comes out and it speaks. That's the conclusion I've come to after 37 years of playing."

"When I first started playing, I thought that I wanted to play really fast. So I learned how to play fast. I can still play pretty fast. I thought that was an important thing, and it was at the time. Then, I realized that it was like practicing in public."

In a world of one-hit wonders and soon to be has-beens, we can take comfort in knowing that there are still musicians out there like Jimmie Vaughan, who carry the torch of their rich musical heritage, and yet aren't afraid to blaze new trails.

For more of Jimmie Vaughan, visit the Official Jimmie Vaughan Website.


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Emanuel Pordes With a curiosity that begins in the delta and extends to the stratosphere, Emanuel Pordes is a blues lover for whom the addiction to 12 bar has no downside. Where there's good blues to be had, whether it be old, lost, neglected, co-opted, or buried under the charts, that is where he likes to be. He produced Six Degrees of Blues at WGRE 91.5.


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