Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Jimmie Vaughan: Out There

Stevie Ray Vaughan was fond of saying in interviews that big brother Jimmie Vaughan was the real guitar hero in the family. That always struck me as somewhat suspect, like Michael Jordan boasting about the basketball prowess of his older brother George (if His Airness had an older brother George). But on Out There (Epic EK 67653; 40:37), older brother really distinguishes himself as a force unto himself, creating an alluring vibe with his thoughtful approach to tone, attack and attitude. While tunes like the Nile Rodgers-penned funky blues “Like a King” lacks the searing fire of lil’ brother, it is a fitting ode to those Kings (Albert, Freddie, B.B.) that have made such a huge impact on the brothers Vaughan. “Can’t Say No” is a highlight here, full of vintage B.B. King licks and sporting a soulful, original vocal delivery by Jimmie. “Lost in You,” co-penned by Dr. John, is a nod to Al Green with some stinging Albert King licks thrown in for good measure, and “The Ironic Twist,” with some wicked exchanges between Jimmie’s guitar and Greg Piccolo’s tenor sax, is a suitably ragged dance floor number that would play well in some decadent Quentin Tarantino flick. Jimmie’s tone and attack on a cover of Johnny Guitar Watson’s “Motor Head Baby” is positively brutal, while he plays it smooth and cool on the appealing New Orleans stroll “Astral Projection Blues,” featuring Dr. John on vibes. “Positively Meant to Be” is a slow blues done up in gospel fashion and for something completely different there is “Little Son, Big Sun,” Jimmie’s instrumental acoustic solo romp along the Delta. No doubt, this one would’ve made lil’ brother proud.

Originally Published