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Chad Thorne

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I can certainly see peoples aversions to JV's playing, he doesn't sound polished like most modern blues players. He doesn't fill every single space and generally plays behind the beat. But there are just so many big name players that dig him that he must be doing something right. I just read the recent Steve Miller GP interview and he was praising Jimmie.

 

 

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I'm with you A String... never was very impressed with Jimmy's playing. I think being Stevie's brother doesn't help... it's hard not to compare, but he never did flip my switch.

Interesting thing about that interview though is the glaring absence of any mention of Stevie. It's almost like Jimmy said I'll do the interview as long as it's not about Stevie.

 

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The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FovbfsgyuA This is a great album..."it's hard to be" in the shadow of a famous brother, but Jimmie is not only a pro guitar player, he's also a pro singer...he could easily be booked everynight if he wants to and front a band in your home town...he may not be a famous star, but I think the guys a pro...IMHO
Take care, Larryz
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I still can't stand the guy's playing. He never did rise to "professional" levels, IMO.
Not a challenge, a question to understand where you're coming from, Craig: What would he have to do, in your view, to rise to "professional level?"

Please note that he says - and I've read this before - that he made a conscious decision not to fill every space with lots of notes. When I was living in Austin, just after Stevie died, people who knew both the brothers consistently said that JV can shred with the best. He deliberately chooses a more minimalist approach - sorta like, e.g., Miles Davis.

 

 

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Interesting thing about that interview though is the glaring absence of any mention of Stevie.
I think that's fair. This interview was this year, 20 years after Stevie's death, and, well, Stevie's dead. Jimmie is on record lots of places talking about Stevie. But he's still alive and trying to run his own career.

 

 

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the worst part is that there's probably 15-20 other guitar forums out there watching this vid and discussing how he's trying NOT to talk about Stevie.

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I still can't stand the guy's playing. He never did rise to "professional" levels, IMO.
Not a challenge, a question to understand where you're coming from, Craig: What would he have to do, in your view, to rise to "professional level?"

Please note that he says - and I've read this before - that he made a conscious decision not to fill every space with lots of notes. When I was living in Austin, just after Stevie died, people who knew both the brothers consistently said that JV can shred with the best. He deliberately chooses a more minimalist approach - sorta like, e.g., Miles Davis.

 

It's not about the amount of notes. David Gilmour is one of my favourite guitar players and it's because of his use of notes. The way he uses a very limited number of notes, but makes every one count.

 

For me, Jimmy's playing has that "beginners" sound to it. Like a guy that has only been playing for a year or two. I'm not sure why some folks can't hear, but it seems wildly obvious to me. But, to each his own. If we all liked the same stuff, it would be a pretty boring world.

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I hear exactly what you are talking about A String, but that's what a lot of the old blues guys sounded like. At times it is hard to listen to but again, he has made a choice to sound like that. It can sound like a beginner I suppose ,and I don't really need to convince anybody to like him.

 

As far as him following Stevie, if you grew up in Texas you knew about Jimmie way before Stevie hit the scene, Jimmie was a regional hero already, and fairly well know nationally in the T-birds. When SRV first came up he was sometimes criticized as playing too flashy while his brother was still very well regarded by the blues guys.

 

Everyone now recognizes how great SRV was but to always compare the two gets old. In fact it is refreshing to hear an interview after 20 years that doesn't focus on his brother. I think Jimmie has been very gracious as lots of people think he was overshadowed by his brother, yet have never heard him say anythng to try and compare himself to Stevie.

 

Everyone has a right to their opinion, that's why we have forums. But there are a lot worse popular guitar players with a lot less taste and talent than Jimmie Vaughan.

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It's not about the amount of notes. David Gilmour is one of my favourite guitar players and it's because of his use of notes. The way he uses a very limited number of notes, but makes every one count.

 

For me, Jimmy's playing has that "beginners" sound to it. Like a guy that has only been playing for a year or two. I'm not sure why some folks can't hear, but it seems wildly obvious to me.

 

I hear exactly what you are talking about A String, but that's what a lot of the old blues guys sounded like. At times it is hard to listen to but again, he has made a choice to sound like that. It can sound like a beginner I suppose ,and I don't really need to convince anybody to like him.

 

Hmn; would you guys say it's in his timing, phrasing, and feel, then?

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Well, yeah, the timing, phrasing, and feel is part of it. I think he plays behind the beat so much it can sound off. He can do a nice vibrato, but mostly just lets the end notes just hang there. It just sounds like authentic Jimmy Reed to me, look up Jimmy Reed on YouTube. This isn't my favorite blues music by any means, but I can see why someone would be enamored with this early style and want to emulate it.
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Hmn; would you guys say it's in his timing, phrasing, and feel, then?

 

I suppose it's the timing...

 

I don't think he's like the old blues players at all. Old blues players had a "raw" feel to them. But everything they played, sounded deliberate. They still had the sound of someone who had been playing for years.

 

With Jimmy, his playing sounds strained. Almost like he's just barely getting by. His timing is often out, as though he wasn't quite able to get the notes in. Again, it's very much the sound I equate to a beginner. You can tell how long a person has been playing, by listening to them play. Jimmy always sounds like he's been at it for about two or three years. He's never progressed past that point in his abilities. (again...IMO.)

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For me, Jimmy's playing has that "beginners" sound to it. Like a guy that has only been playing for a year or two. I'm not sure why some folks can't hear, but it seems wildly obvious to me.

 

I always thought the same thing but figured maybe he just had a bad night on the cable show I saw - like Caevan mentions above - bad time, no feel, etc.

 

It isn't about the amount of notes he plays - it's about he just doesn't seem to get it...

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For me, Jimmy's playing has that "beginners" sound to it. Like a guy that has only been playing for a year or two. I'm not sure why some folks can't hear, but it seems wildly obvious to me.

 

I always thought the same thing but figured maybe he just had a bad night on the cable show I saw - like Caevan mentions above - bad time, no feel, etc.

 

It isn't about the amount of notes he plays - it's about he just doesn't seem to get it...

 

FWIW- and I'm not angered or bearing any animosity, Bartholomew, 'salright- I didn't necessarily mean bad timing or no feel, just HIS brand of timing and feel, and wondered if that was what Craig was picking up on and disliking...

 

I'm somewhat undecided on my overall like or dislike of JV's playing; I really haven't listened closely, or long enough, to a lot of his playing to have much of an opinion either way, and I've never seen him live.

 

I did like everything I heard on the Family Style album that I used to have, but I also thought that the timing of a little of what I heard in a very few things he did with the Fabulous Thunderbirds was a little different from what I might have done- for what THAT'S worth, LOL!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

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It seemed to me that early on, when he was trying to get his "fingers and capo" thing together, he struggled some. Recent vids I've seen of him, it seems his playing is more fluid and the ideas come together better. I have mad respect for the man for giving up the easy road of badass gunslinger to explore the form of his art that's closest to his heart, reaching for a more personal expression. My tuppence, Guv'nor, and a Happy Christmas to all!

 

 

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IMHO it's way more difficult to be a minimal player than it is to blow one's brains out on every solo.

 

I also believe that it isn't necessary to be a "great" player - we just need to do the right thing at the right time & place.

 

Plus it helps to have a few good connections or live in a music centre - like NY, LA, Nashville.

Been round the block but am not over the hill...

 

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Eagerly awaiting a certain PhD's totally unbiased observations....http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e397/reifspano/Animations/avatar_4437.gif

 

"Ellwoooooood!"

 

as far as blues guitarists go, he's no Zoot Horn Rollo
:D

I think Mr J Winter is the only trad blues guitarist that resembles what ZHR did in the Beefheart era ('course ZHR had a couple major drifts later---Mallard was almost like Little Feat & his recent work's oddly focused)...

...but back to JV.

 

I heard both him & SRV for years in Austin, late 70s & early 80s.

Both cats had different goals.

Jimmie was devoted to portraying the blues as it was as a tradition, with little attempt to modernize it whereas Stevie was simply a wild cat intent on taking it along the Hendrix route, although that ultimately was limited to his performance interpretations rather than compositions.

 

I think the best way to describe JV is to quote writer Lester Bangs, who once described Jimmie's stage demeanor while playing at places like Clifford Antone's blues-Mecca club or the Rome Inn, in his neon wide collar shirts & sharkskin suit (certified blues-nut stylee) as something like watching a psychopath slice up tunes like Pat Hare on a rampage.

 

He is a better player than many give him credit for but I think that what people dislike has more to do with his tone & self-imposed retro-stylistic limits than anything else, esp since most compare him to SRV's flambouant showmanship.

He's just not into the same approach & suffers by comparison (even when it's subconscious) but if you check cats like Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, Mel Brown or Texas blues-jazzer Denny Freeman, they will endorse JV whole-heartedly.

 

FWIW, if you actually go back & listen to tracks by such revered classic blues players as Sumlin & others, their tone & phrasing are often not what we think of when we think of powerful blues playing.

d=halfnote
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Thanks for sharing, d! Your first-hand observations of both brothers add a valuable element to this discussion. And I agree with you, I think JV's minimalist approach does suffer in many peoples' minds when they compare it to SRV's bravura playing.

 

And thanks for mentioning Hubert Sumlin. He has said that his playing improved, or at least he sort of discovered his style, when Howlin' Wolf made him give up his pick and play with fingers.

 

 

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my 2 cents worth..

 

music is about the song, we as guitar players seem to have our heads up our butts about shredding and technical skill. to tell the truth i don't get blues when it is 100 mile an hour masturbating. i have no hate for JV. as far as him not mentioning Stevie, why should he have? there were no questions that were about him. he spoke of his influences which were the old blues greats.

if anyone is expecting more SRV worship why check out a JV interview?

that is like expecting the guys in AC/DC to talk about Bon in every interview.

final word Music is not sport.

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my 2 cents worth..

 

music is about the song, we as guitar players seem to have our heads up our butts about shredding and technical skill. to tell the truth i don't get blues when it is 100 mile an hour masturbating. i have no hate for JV. as far as him not mentioning Stevie, why should he have? there were no questions that were about him. he spoke of his influences which were the old blues greats.

if anyone is expecting more SRV worship why check out a JV interview?

that is like expecting the guys in AC/DC to talk about Bon in every interview.

final word Music is not sport.

:thu:

 

 

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