Vaughan tells his story on record, tour
Jimmie Vaughan has quite a story to tell with his music.
There’s four Grammy Awards, a platinum-selling album and a hit single with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and the respect of his peers, including his brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan, who frequently called him the best guitar player in the family.
That legacy unfolds on “The Story,” a massive career retrospective released earlier this year, and Vaughan bring his The Story tour to the Robins Theatre on Saturday.
The five-CD, 98-song set is filled with previously unreleased tracks and rarities, including live recordings by his pre-Fabulous Thunderbirds’ band The Storm (one of the drummers for The Storm was Doyle Bramhall, whose son, Doyle Bramhall II, is a well-known blues guitar player and regularly tours in Eric Clapton’s band).
“There’s three tunes from a live recording that someone did back then before the Thunderbirds,” Vaughan said last week during a telephone interview. “People would bring a reel to reel and record us occasionally.”
The expanded box set includes vinyl and a special edition of Rodder’s Journal that highlights Vaughan’s other obsession besides music — his vintage automobile collection.
“When I was a kid, the first thing I was into was cars,” he said. “I thought I was going to be an artist. I drew cars, I had model cars, I was crazy about cars, way before I could drive and before I played music. When I started having a little success with the Thunderbirds, I started building my dream cars with some very talented people.”
When asked what was his bigger vice, cars or guitars, Vaughan answered. “I think they’re the same thing. I love them both. I can’t imagine a world without both.”
Two days before this interview, Vaughan participated in the dedication ceremony of a mural at Kiest Park in Dallas, just blocks from where he grew up. The mural honors the Vaughan brothers and other musicians from the region, and the dedication took place on what would have been the 67th birthday of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who died in a helicopter crash in 1990.
“It was a great honor,” Vaughan said. “It doesn’t sink in right away or I don’t know if it ever does. I still can’t believe Stevie’s been gone for 31 years, but I feel that my mother and father and Stevie and all my uncles were there in spirit anyway. It was a nice thing. All my kids came and a lot of people I went to school with and music fans from around Dallas … It was a wonderful thing.”
The Vaughan brothers made one album together, “Family Style,” which won two Grammy Awards, and there’s no shortage of videos of them playing together on YouTube. Imagine if you could go on a website and stumble upon a video you’d never seen before of a deceased sibling or parent. It’s hard to fathom.
Vaughan said he occasionally goes down that rabbit hole, but most of those crowd-shot videos are of such poor quality that they’re unwatchable (remember, folks didn’t have HD video cameras that fit in their shirt pocket in the 1980s).
Better footage is sure to be found in the documentary. “From Nowhere: The Story of the Vaughan Brothers.” It was completed by director Kirby Warnock in 2019, according to its IMDb page, but Vaughan said a distribution deal finally is close to completion.
“All of the other films about Stevie, I didn’t have anything to do with,” he said. “This is the first one I’ve participated in, so we’re excited for it to come out.”
And despite that career retrospective, Vaughan doesn’t consider it the end of his story. He’s been working on new music, and he plans to do more writing after the current tour.
“What I do is pretend I’m making 45s, so you only have to do two or three songs, you don’t have to come up with an album, come up with 20 songs at once. I just pretend I’m making 45s like back in the old days.”
If you go …
WHO: Jimmie Vaughan
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Robins Theatre, 160 E. Market St., Warren
HOW MUCH: Tickets range from $29 to $49 and are available at robinstheatre.com