Stevie Ray Vaughn did a lot of material that fans of "traditional" Classic Soul would like, if they were to hear it. The two most famous examples of that are the work that he did on the hit songs:
- "Livin in America" - James Brown
- "Lets Dance" - David Bowie
I believe that many Classic Soul fans would also like the album "Family Style" which features a "partnership" on record for the first time between Stevie Ray and his brother Jimmie (who was a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds). Most "hard core" Stevie Ray Vaughn fans consider this album (which was released shortly after his death) to be lightweight because of the involvement of Jimmie Vaughn, who while a fine artist is NOWHERE in the class of his brother.
Family Style is not a "serious" album (Nile Rogers of Chic fame is the producer), however it's one of my favorites by Stevie Ray, because the relationship that he had with his brother comes thru loud and clear. They obviously had a lotta fun during the making of it and the love that they had for each other is really there.
I also think that it represents the kind of music that they both liked the best and quite possibly played together as kids (Jimmie taught his younger brother Stevie how to play the guitar). This album sounds to me very much like a tribute to the soul/funk music that two white kids from Dallas grew up listening to during the 1970's as teenagers. For that reason, it's probably the most accssible of Stevie Ray's albums for fans of traditional Classic Soul.
Here are a few key songs that i think that many folks here will instantly fall in love with from this album, if they listen to it...
Track #4 - Good Texan
This song is very humerous and features as much boasting about sexual prowess as ANY late 70's/early 80's rapper did. I think that this tune is actually inspired by rap music that the Vaughn brothers were probably listening to in Dallas during the late 70's/early 80's.
" So I can do it to you baby like a Texan should..."
Track #5 - Hillbillies from Outerspace
Here on Soul Patrol, we have discussed the historical connections between Blues and Country music many times. Stevie Ray Vaughn thruought his carrer placed those connections front and center in the way that he dressed, spoken and in his music. This particulair song is perhaps the ultimate in his desire to "fuse" the two together. With Jimmie Vaughn on organ and Stevie Ray on guitar they create an instrumental song that can best be described as "Wes Mongomery/Charles Earland On Crack after being held captive on a Dude ranch for 30 years". People here who are fans of P-Funk/Sun Ra will love this song. One other thing about it, most everyone here has already heard this song before. During the mid 1990's it was used as part of an American Express commercial!
Track #7 - Tick Tock
This song was the first single that was released from "Family Style". It's quite possible that if you have never heard any other Stevie Ray Vaughn song in the past, you may have already heard this one. It's a song which is VERY clearly influenced by the Philadelphia International "message songs" of the 1970's with a "Motown style" 1960's kinda beat to it. The key message of the song is something along the lines of "We are running out of time, so we had better start learning to live together". Very similar to the message of the Philadelphia International message songs. The song, which started being played on the radio at almost the same time that Stevie Ray died, takes on a whole different meaning than it was originally intended as you listen to Stevie Ray softly sing the refrain: " Remember that Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock people, Time's ticking
away..." With the full knowlege that his own "time", had just run out. Whenever I hear this song it brings a tear to my eye.
Track #9 Baboom/Mama Said
That is the terminology that i have used in the past to describe the music of the Meters. The song Baboom/Mama Said, sounds like it fell off of a Meters or JB's album. It's actually one of the FUNKIEST cuts I have ever heard and features the MIND BLOWING SOUL SHOUTING of an unknown (at least to me) Chaka Kahn/Lyn Collins/Rosie Gaines style "bold soul sista", doing a SERIOUS "call and response" with the Vaughn brothers.
Anyhow, those are the key cuts, here is the rest of the track listing for the album. I think that fans of traditional Classic Soul will like this album and it will serve as a very nice introduction to this young man from Dallas, whom i belive was the single most talented artist to appear on the music scene during the 1980's (yes even more talented than Prince :-))
1 Hard to Be 4:41(Vaughan Brothers)
2 White Boots 3:50(Vaughan Brothers)
3 D/FW 2:49(Vaughan Brothers)
4 Good Texan 4:22(Vaughan Brothers)
5 Hillbillies from Outerspace 3:35(Vaughan Brothers)
6 Long Way from Home 3:15(Vaughan Brothers)
7 Tick Tock 4:57(Vaughan Brothers)
8 Telephone Song 3:28(Vaughan Brothers)
9 Baboom/Mama Said 4:29(Vaughan Brothers)
10 Brothers 5:05(Vaughan Brothers)
Pick up on Family Style, you will be glad that you did...