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Archive for Stevie Ray Vaughan


Reach Out & Rejoice

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As a society, we used to hold each other up, without questions, without judgment, without any kudo’s needed at the end of the day.

There are a few things that lead me to this post and I am not quite sure the direction it will end up in, but look at Stevie over there.. opening his arms and his heart towards the end of his life, celebrating what?

We all live on different railroad tracks of life, but there are times that those tracks intersect, for reasons that you should not question so deeply, because in the midst of those questions, the true meaning of the intersection get’s lost.

I got a surprise phone call from someone with an apology that was long overdue, and the conversation rejuvenated my faith.

I heard about a father who lost his 6 year old son, 2 days before Christmas, that sent chills up my spine.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, remember 9/11 and the courtesy that strangers offered?

Is our time best spent on….

if Michael Jackson’s doctor is guilty?
if Fergie is wearing a bikini?
if there is something on TV we don’t like?
if people have different interests than our own?
if we don’t agree with the next person?
if we pray to our God with only the difference of his name?

We are human and we may not agree, have a like for, or understand what the person next to you is thinking, doing or saying or feeling, but we can reach out and rejoice if it is what is making them happy and we can reach out and give  support when that is what is needed.

Selflessly and  unconditionally……..

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Practicing What You Preach

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Martha Vaughan And Stevie Ray VaughanStevie & Martha Vaughan, in progress.  We are all works in progress, and recently I found myself in a situation where, I did not practice what I preached and forward progress stood still in my brain!!

What happened you ask?

A site I worked on got Hacked! This isn’t a tech site by any means, but there is a lesson to be learned.

Back Up.. Back UP and BACK UP! I sat wondering.. and did used several tricks that were in the bag o’ goodies, but to no avail.

My first bit of advice if you are working on a blogging platform, keep a good copy of the theme, actually keep two copies, one locally and one on an external hard drive.   Don’t rely on the wordpress back up’s completely dump your site and it’s contents onto that external drive.

It couldn’t possibly have been in the theme I saved a month ago.. WRONG.. it can be.  After realizing the errors of my ways, I put my plea’s for help to some friends that are guru’s – some help was received but not a complete fix… it forced me to sit, and concentrate on that fix.

I got myself miffed that there was no one to come to my rescue… I finally sat down and mentally got myself into the problem and began the rebuild.  I knew it was going to be tedious, and I was being lazy…I wanted someone to fix it for me… bwahhhh (as my nephew says)

Well the fact of the matter is, I learned a few lessons! When we put our mind to things, we can figure them out.  When we call out for help and perhaps it’s not there, maybe there is a lesson to be learned, I re-honed some of my skills and was not allowed the easy way out! I walked away with a sense of accomplishment, I knew I could do it, but I was taking the lower road! Oh yeah.. and back up your data!.

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For some reason, at the time of Stevie’s death, I was unfamiliar with his music, yeah, I heard him on the radio, but did not pay much attention.

I will tell you though, I remember exactly where I was and who I was with.  The who I was with, I’d much rather leave out of this post, but I was at Kelsey Road House in Lake Barrington having lunch.

I heard the breaking news, and said, “wow, my husband always talked about seeing him at Poplar Creek, and he was phenominal, Buck will miss him.

After that, his music and his soul came into my life in a powerful way.  My passion for drawing Stevie is something I doubt will ever die.  I have become friends with someone who knew him personally and the guy opened his life and his generosity to me in more ways than I can tell you about.

If you haven’t spent the money, go check out – You Can’t Stop a Comet by Cutter Brandenburg. This is by far worth the money and it’s written in Texas hick and chaulked full of awesome pictures.

Thanks Cee !

Watching Stevie video’s you will see the passion he had for music and playing guitar, I understand that he had this passion about life and people as well.  Dedicated to friends and family and dedicated to his fans.

Would Vaughan have continued on a course of fame? Some say no, I have to believe for some reason he was leant to us for the short amount of time to impact us.  19 years later and local radio stations here in Chicago on a daily basis play his shattering blues tunes.  19 years later, his name is known worldwide, 19 years later people still debate if he was better than Clapton – The answer to that last question is – by far in my opinion as a musician and a person.

19 years after his demise, Stevie Ray Vaughan and his legacy are still alive and well in many hearts.  To quote Cee – “Stevie knows your passion for music”

In June of this year, another Vaughan went to heaven to hear the angels sing, his mother passed away.   4 years prior to Stevie’s death in 1990 – his father died on the same day of August 27th..

Pump up the volume and listen to what Stevie has to say, his spirit lives within each of us through every cord recorded..

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The Never Ending Quest To Play The Blues

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The following article has been provided to me by Reed Terry and as I sat and read his words the passion for blues came screaming through as if there was a line up of musicians sitting behind me.

Reed knows his players and knows the music scene, check out his link at the bottom of the article for concert news and tickets.

The first time I can remember hearing a guitar lick, in my parents car most likely, I knew that I had to learn how to play. From that moment on, anytime I heard a great guitar player I would become obsessed with having to know what they were doing and how they were doing it. alpine-valley-sketch-guitaristsInstantly after hearing a guitar solo that would stand out as exceptional I would record it in my mind and try to think about where on the guitar it was being played, then rush home to my guitar and spend hours trying to figure it out. Great guitarist just have a way of standing out from the others, you hear them and it is like they are one of the best storytellers writers or painters, there is just something magical about those who play the instrument the best.

Coming from the “Generation X” age group I certainly do not have stories of rushing around to find vinyl 45’s and wearing the grooves out as some of my favorite guitarists tell, but with the great technology of the generation it was easy to hop on the computer and quickly have access to all the best blues albums and guitarists at my fingertips. This lead to endless hours spent finding the best albums and playing them over and over again till I could play every song as perfect as possible. This seemed to have caused an overload because there was no end to the great guitar players and albums that had to be learned, each day I was discovering more and more and just had to learn them all. To say guitar is addictive is an understatement but reading the interviews with my favorite guitarists they all had done the same thing to learn their instrument, lock themselves in a room with their guitar and favorite guitarist’s albums.

Over the years I have developed a certain love an respect for the Blues. From the different styles, guitars, pick ups and techniques. There have been a handful of what I would consider the most influential and important Blues albums for any guitar player to listen to and study. I know for my playing just learning these albums was the best teacher I could have had.

To learn the Blues and all of it’s history one must start at the beginning and perhaps one of the most important blues albums ever would be King Of The Delta Blues by Robert Johnson. The influence of the album is still heard today in most guitar players and one listen should provide an instant lesson into the history of the Blues, a must have for any Blues guitarist’s collection!

Another album which made me fall in love with the Blues would be Born Under A Bad Sign by Albert King. Albert King has had huge amounts of influence on many great blue guitar players including Jimmy Hendrix. King played a Gibson Flying V through a solid-state Acoustic amplifier which was unorthodox for the era but is considered today to have produced one of the greatest blues tones of all time.

When it comes to amazing Blues guitar then Buddy Guy certainly comes to mind. The amazing album “A Man and The Blues” has enough lessons within it to last a lifetime. Long considered the best Blues guitar player among his pears such as Eric Clapton. His influence runs deep into many of the greatest guitar players on earth and though considered mainly a “Chicago Blues style” guitar player his techniques, sounds and playing go far deeper then such a stereotype.

Probably the most important album for me personally as well as the most influential guitar player to me personally would have to be Texas Flood by the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Considered to be the album which saved the Blues, Stevie was able to bring the heart of Blues Rock to the mainstream at a time when it seemed the Blues would never get mainstream attention again. Heavily influenced by Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix all one needs to do is listen to the title track to hear and understand the true beauty of the Blues. Texas Flood is still today my favorite song to play on the guitar, a true masterpiece from a man who could make a Stratocaster sing, cry and moan at will.

Probably not in most guitar players top 5 but for me Roy Buchanan is one of the greatest and most underrated Blues players of all time. When I throw in the self titled album around friends they always ask “who is that?” and when I reply with “Roy Buchanan” they have never heard of him. After a listen I do not believe one person I know has not run out and bought the album. A true master of the Telecaster with some of the most beautiful, soulful and just downright amazing guitar songs ever recorded. For any one who has not heard Roy Buchanan I would have to insist that you take a listen to “The Messiah Will Come Again” as well as “Sweet Dreams”.

One final note on great guitarists and great albums would have to be Jeff Beck, not a Blues player and more of an all around guitar virtuoso his impact on guitar playing is not to be understated. Today I would have to put Jeff Beck in my top 3 guitar players of all time and perhaps he gets the number one spot. Beck’s abilities to truly understand the instrument and music are amazing. His understanding that less is more on the guitar is a lesson that most guitar players need to learn, myself included. The first time I heard “Blow By Blow” I realized I discovered something very special and twenty years later that album still blows my mind. The sounds that Beck effortlessly pulls out of his Strat (with heavy use of the whammy bar” are definitely some of the coolest and most beautiful ever to be played on the guitar and many of his latter albums still push the evolution of great guitar playing further.

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Let's Put Some Laughter In The Day

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Think about that good old  belly laugh the one that makes your face hurt.   Do you remember the last time you laughed like that?

Let’s put some laughter in the day, share your stories of gut busting laughter! (mine is below)

Just Smile! It increases your face value and releases endorphins.

We go through life with the weight of the world on our shoulders, and forget that we need to laugh and make others laugh.

Let your hair down, and take off your hat.  This moment in time can never be relived.

No wasted time, we’re alive today
Churnin’ up the past, there’s no easier way
Time’s been between us, a means to an end
God it’s good to be here walkin’ together my friend.

By: Doyle Bramhall

stevie-ray-vaughan-with-no-hatStevie sang these lyrics on The Sky is Crying, no wasted time, we’re alive today.

Stevie had one of the most vibrant smiles and facial expressions – so I decided to share this image of him, with his hat off, the sparkle in his eye and a huge smile.  If you are not aware of his crazy alter ego – Brady – I will have to share that some day as well.

I don’t recall the latest gut buster – but hope you enjoy the story

I was 17 – drove a car with no air conditioning, came out of work, got in the Sunbird, and wiggled – at that time I could easily wiggle out of my upper undergarment, and the girls were free.  I threw the undergarment in the passenger seat, and was off on my errands.  The local grocery store was the first on the list.

What an ego boost when a bunch of guys whistled at me onto my way in the store – I strolled through the grocery store, and as I went to pay for my purchases.. just guess what was hanging off my purse straps.. yeah..that easily wiggled out of undergarment, how do you explain that to the cashier!.


Pride and Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan

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pride_and_joy_stevie_ray_vaughan1Well you’ve heard about love givin sight to the blind

My babys lovin cause the sun to shine….

Well who would have guessed there was a picture of Stevie that I hadn’t seen..this was a commissioned piece for Barry in New Jersey, and after doing the pre-lim concept, I realized that I was drawing the wrong dang picture.

Getting so fired up because I found a fellow SRV lover, I didn’t read the fine print.. if I would have, I’d have realized that the Album “In Step” was re-released and held other photo’s.. after running to the library, Best Buy, Walmart,  and countless other stops along the way, I have to thank to my friends at Musician’s Plaza & The Stratocaster Forums, for sending me the picture from the re-issue of In Step…Barry sent one, but it was to grainy to see the detail.

This drawing was a pleasure to do, In Step has the song  “The House is A Rockin”… one of the best lines is…

Walkin up the street you can hear the sound
Of some bad honky tonkers really layin it down

Not knowing the man, but knowing some that did,  we could all learn from him the lesson of love.. he says in Pride and Joy…

My babys lovin cause the sun to shine…

Put into perspective that we all are here on loan, not knowing when that loan will expire.  There are little annoyances that happen to us on a day to day basis, there are struggles and issues, no matter who we are.

If we learn to live within our means, and within our boundaries, we will be a much better person and the music that we create from being here, will cause the sun to shine.  It will make an impact on someone, you may not get instant gratification from it, but your memory, kindness, legacy and the music that you created within someone’s heart and mind will forever “dance across their soul” .


When It Just Ain't Right

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I’ve got wood..but not the type Frank is talking about over at Tech Jaws.

This is a piece that I knew was BAD.. and just wasn’t right. I beat myself up for 24 hours, knowing I totally missed the deal on this as well it being an unjust to my favorite subject.

This is a piece of work that will be auctioned off at a charity event coming up in February.  My husband did not understand my angst over it not being correct, but graciously spent several hours sanding it off for me.

I even asked my brother-in-laws opinion, and he said if I had to ask him, I knew it was not right! He always has an opininon.. most often times one that’s larger than he is.   I am not proud of this one, and it just pissed me off.. reworking pencil on natural wood is a pain in the ass.   I erased, re-drew, erased, re-drew and nothing, I just could not connect this time.

I highly suggest number one, if you are going to sketch on wood, as I have in the past, go lightly.  I mean that literally, it would have saved me time as well as Buck, but determined to get the darker shades down, I laid it on thick.. and the wood just soaked it up..and no matter how I tried, the mistakes could not be corrected.

There has to be a lesson in it right?  What makes us good? Going back at it and trying again.  Not wanting to butcher another guitar biting sketch, I opted for another favorite pic, really which one of them is not one of my favorites.  To many pictures of Stevie, too little time!

Walking away from a project or re-grouping early on is the best way of fixing something that is not going as you had planned.  We can all be off our game on any given day, I took a breather and with wood had clean fresh slate which is now turning into something that I can with confidence sign my name to.

Not all the work we do is perfection, not all the projects we are involved in can be “spectacular”, walk away with a lesson & a plan for the next one..


Music & Nature – A Path to Peace

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Music & Nature can well be a path to peace.  Mt. Bonnell is the highest point in Austin, Texas and has been a tourist attraction dating back to the 1850’s.   This was on my list of to do’s while I was in Austin, knowing that it was a hippie hang-out and one of Stevie’s favorite places in the wee-hours of the morning.  A place to get lost and remove yourself from the everyday world.

I trekked the tough climb of over 200 or so limestone steps and found myself in a place I found similar to a “comfortable song”  What is it about music and nature that bring us peace of mind and can calm a restless soul, as well as bring memories flooding back as if they happened yesterday?

Great Musicians and Scenic Places bring us to a place where we fit in, where we are comfortable and the worries of the world can be shut off for a brief moment in time.  When you turn on the Ipod, or crank up the turntable to hear your favorite oldie,  you become part of that sound a part of the music, it’s the great musicians that draw you in and you become part of the music, your inner soul begins to dance and that sound is branded within your subconscious.

It’s a place where you can be home, it’s a place where you can re-charge your batteries and the dam can be opened to release the rising waters of thoughts that well up in of our daily minds,  if those thoughts are not released from time to time they can drown us.

Living with two musicians, I have a greater appreciation of music and I don’t just hear the it anymore, I see it and feel it and become a part of it.  Nature also has a way of provoking a peace of mind, as I stood at the top of Mt. Bonnell, closing my eyes and listening to the screech of a distant hawk, I could smell the mist of the Colorado River and feel it’s touch deep within my senses.  Tuning out the world around me, and feeling the energy of Nature and those that came to this place long before me, was refreshing and it was an brief escape.

We are not meant to be in overdrive all the time, and finding ways to remove the chaos that depletes the natural order of our mind, body and souls should be a part of our daily routines.  Take a moment this weekend to listen to the music around you,  whether it’s the music of a great musician or the music of the screeching hawk you may find that missing cord…..


Bringing People Together

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I sit in amazement how the “information highway” brings people into our lives, I recently got an email from someone looking for of all things a picture of House of Texas Music – In Austin, Texas to add to a Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Video of – I’m Crying.

Funny thing is, my husband wanted to take the picture outside of Ray’s Hennig’s store of the Marquee, and I wondered why, well, I suppose a greater power was at work and Stevie knew Connie had been searching for a picture of Ray’s place for quite some time.

Connie contacted me again for another project she is working on and she will be featuring some of my sketches.  She asked if I had any of Reese Wynans – I did not, so I whipped this up to send to her as well as some others.  Connie has some wonderful Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Video’s and has given me some fantastic pictures that I have never seen of many of my favorite’s.

If you are a fan – these video’s are a must see, there’s several with interviews and pictures that she cherishes.  There is little information out there about Reese Wynans that I could find,  he added something to the already great Double Trouble, they were blazing and a strong threesome, and with Reese’s energetic and solid keyboard playing Double Trouble continued to thrive and create music that will be coursing through blue’s lover’s ears, minds & souls for years to come!.


A Message from Cutter Brandenburg

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April 25th, 2009 – For those that are worried about Cee/Cutter – He is alive and fielding many phone calls from folks that received an email yesterday that he died in his sleep.

This email was a cruel joke and had many saddened.  Cutter wants everyone to know he woke up this morning, he is breathing and he is okay.

Thank you Cutter for sending the following message – your friendship has enlightened my world….

To all of Stevie’s family (Fans). We all still miss Stevie in so many ways. I think I tried to share some of my memories in my book. Note from Susie: Well worth the money

I still say that Stevie was such a Comet that passed our way. I don’t really believe his light is out. I believe that because of his music here on this planet he lives on. Stevie continues to influence yougins and that is such a great testament to him. He always wanted to reach people with his music.

I know he continues to do that and I feel he knows that. Stevie was a very special and spiritual man. Some wish they knew him personally. I understand that and still say that by listening with your heart to his Music you do know the man. I was so lucky to be a part of Stevie, Tommy and Chris (Whipper) . I hoped I helped them. I always wanted to do only that.

As time moves on I see and hear the joy for Stevie each year at the Next SRV Ride & Concert. I meet so many old friends and meet so many new ones. I listen still today to the radio and hear Jimi Hendrix & Stevie like they will never be truly gone.And they are not. Those that can make plans to someday come to the SRV Ride. It’s easy. It is always celebrated on the 1st Sunday in October. I

t was Gov. Ann Richards who proclaimed October 3rd as Stevie Ray Vaughan Day in Texas. We chose to celebrate that day with the SRV Ride on eash 1st Sunday. Sometimes it does fall on his birthday, But no matter again Stevie lives on and will. I see the many great thangs being done each year in his name with the support of the Music Scholarship Program. I just wish all could know how proud he would be of what is being done in his name each & every year.

Bless all and May the Music always fill your Hearts & Soul, Mr.Cee, Cutter & Stevie.

The Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Scholarship Fund – Contributions can be sent to the address below:

Remember to designate the SRV Memorial Scholarship Fund on memo area of your check.

The Communities Foundation of Texas
The Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Scholarship Fund
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, TX 75225


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