Legendary guitarist Jimmie Vaughan has dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. It’s a spirit he holds close to him, and after 50, Vaughan isn’t about to stop now.
“Playing what you feel has always been my main goal,” Vaughan says. Considering the Texas guitarist and singer has had the kind of career that makes him a living legacy, those are no idle words. His first group when he was starting high school played Dallas’ Hob Knob Lounge six nights a week, learning the kind of lessons that can’t be taught. They have to be lived. Other bands in the ’60s convinced the young man it was time to find a way to play the music he felt the strongest about: the blues. Jimmie Vaughan started in the lead, and has remained there. After worldwide success with the Fabulous Thunderbirds during the ’80s, it came time to leave that band and build his own path in exploring different approaches to the blues. He did not hesitate. And what Vaughan discovered was that he could take it anywhere; there were no boundaries. “I wanted to find out what I could really do,” he says, “and when I started singing it gave me a whole new side to explore. When I was young I didn’t really pay much attention to categories of music. I just heard what I liked and decided to explore that. And that’s really what I’m still doing.”
Years later, Jimmie stopped into a club in Austin to hear Mike Flanigin (organist) and Barry “Frosty” Smith (drums) play. Jimmie was quoted saying, “When I heard Mike Flanigin and Frosty play, it made me want to get back into that organ trio sound that I loved from the 60’s. Mike was smokin’ on the B3 [Hammond organ]. He had studied with John Patton and loved all the same great music.” Soon after, when Jimmie wasn’t on the road, he began sitting in with them, and it became the “cool” thing to catch in Austin. And so the Jimmie Vaughan Trio was born, driving audiences wild weekend after weekend with the insatiable sound of the blues. Frosty Smith passed away shortly after the trio recorded their first album “Live at C-Boy’s” in 2017. Replacing Smith on drums is world-renowned percussionist Rudy Petschauer. With Flanigin on the organ and Petschauer on drums, the Jimmie Vaughan Trio is an unstoppable blues machine.
As bandleader, singer and guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan is a master of how everything is captured for posterity. His singing voice has grown into a study in strength. And while sometimes he might say, “Sometimes you can sing and sometimes you can’t,” like everything else the Texan touches, Vaughan knows when it’s right and never stops until it is. He has always looked to his soul as the ultimate barometer of when the music is right, and when that is satisfied Vaughan knows he has found that spot where the music is ready to be shared.