The Legacy of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Listening to the blues can be deeply satisfying. Although I am incredibly keen on heavy metal and hard rock music, the blues are my favorite.  Much of my passion for the blues  developed through hearing the music of the great guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn (SRV).

One day I plan to go to Austin and check out the statue of him while listening to The House is a Rocklin’ on my headphones.

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My introduction to SRV was in the early 1980’s through a music video.  When I saw the video for “Cold Shot” I was hooked. The video cracked me up. I loved his guitar playing, the music and his sense of humour. I developed a crush, which is common for a 13-year-old girl, but this one never went away.

Over time, I’ve become familiar with the artists that influenced SRV and have added the music of Jimi Hendrix, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins and T-Bone Walker to my collections which further enhanced my passion for the blues. SRV could take a magnificent piece like “Little Wing” and enrich it. He was such an amazing artist. Watching him play is something to see and if you watch this video, you can see how intense and enraptured he was while playing.

Although SRV left this realm in August of 1990, his style and passion for playing the guitar lives on. A young boy named Kenny Wayne Shepherd (KWS) met SRV when he was just 7. KWS stated in a 2011 interview that he began playing guitar in earnest about six months after meeting and being “pretty mesmerized” By SRV.

The impetus to write this occurred when the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band came to Calgary earlier this year. Once we scored tickets for the show, we booked a room at the Deerfoot Casino so we didn’t have to drive and could have a few drinks.

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The concert started at 9:00 and we checked in around 6:00. We brought some beer to drink in the room before the concert. After a couple of beer, we went down to the casino, played slot machines and got our wristbands for the Chrome Showroom. We went back to the room about 8:00, finished off the beer. Doug left to have a cigarette and we would meet up in the lobby.  I fixed my hair, left the room and pressed the button for the elevator.

I got in the elevator went and it went up. The door opened and two gentlemen got in, politely I asked “Are you going to the Kenny Wayne Shepherd show?”. They laughed and replied ” Ya, we are in the show.” I laughed and apologized as the elevator went down.

My mind was racing as I realized that I was in the elevator with rock and roll legends. ACK!! I should say something! My poor drunk little mind couldn’t think of a bloody thing. “Well, I look forward to seeing you at the show.” I said and smiled, they replied  “thanks, enjoy the show” and got off the elevator.

With my heart racing, I ran toward Doug. “I was just on the elevator with two guys from the band!” I squealed. We walked down the long hallway with me babbling about how I was two feet away from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s drummer and I was too daft to comprehend it at the time. D’oh. Another celebrity encounter to add to my re-do wish list along with Slash, Johnny Chan, Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Gibbons, Joe Satriani..and so on.

We took our seats, Doug got us another beer and we laughed because the beer came in stubby bottles and I settled down. The show was terrific.  We loved it all. The vocals, drums, bass and Kenny is a spectacular guitar player.

The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is in my top 5 bands and climbing higher as I enjoy the music. It is wonderful to experience guitar greatness in person, it makes me very happy and I am hopeful  that I will see them again.