Song of the Week – Crossfire, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

Back in the early ‘80s, I tuned in to Austin City Limits one night to see an episode featuring a guitarist named Stevie Ray Vaughan.  At the time I hadn’t heard of the guy.  But I was really impressed with his guitar playing even though I wasn’t familiar with most of his repertoire because, as I’m ashamed to admit, I didn’t yet know who he was.  But when he played the familiar cover of Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” I was blown away.  I knew immediately this guy could play guitar.

From that point I began to follow Vaughan and became a big fan.  Too bad his life was cut short in a helicopter crash in 1990, at the age of 35.  The real shame of it is that after many years of drug and alcohol abuse, Vaughan was finally getting straight.  In fact, his last studio album with his band Double Trouble, In Step (1989), was a reference to the sobriety he reached through a 12 Step program.

So, today’s SotW is my favorite track from In Step, “Crossfire.”

“Crossfire” opens with a funky baseline and solid beat that leaves room for an organ riff and a few nicely placed guitar stabs.  Vaughan gives an impassioned vocal performance and whips off some tasteful guitar solos.  In the last 30 seconds, Vaughan plays a very cool, staccato run of notes that lifts the song to another level just before it ends.

The “Crossfire” writing credit was given to the full band – Vaughan, Tommy Shannon (bass), Chris Layton (drums) and Reese Wynans (keyboards).  The cut also has a horn section made up of Joe Sublett on sax and Darrell Leonard on trumpet.

Enjoy… until next week.

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