The Sky Is Still Crying
Posted by Michael Mueller on August 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM
It seems hard to believe it's been 22 years since Stevie Ray Vaughan died in that tragic helicopter crash at the Alpine Valley Music Amphitheater in southeastern Wisconsin. At the time of his death, SRV was widely lauded (and deservedly so) as the greatest electric blues guitarist of all time, with guitarists across all styles frantically clamoring to cop not only his resounding licks but also that Texas-sized tone.
At the time, I was living in Milwaukee, just 45 minutes or so northeast of Alpine Valley. I recall coming home late that night, listening to the local rock station, when unconfirmed reports began streaming in that Eric Clapton was onboard the doomed chopper. Whereas that may have been "bigger news," due to Clapton's mainstream appeal, to the guitar community, the confirmation that it was Vaughan was simply devastating.
With his 1983 debut, Texas Flood, SRV singlehandedly revived the struggling blues genre. His later albums Couldn't Stand the Weather, Soul to Soul, and In Step only further cemented his distinction of greatness. Combining all the best elements of Albert King, Lonnie Mack, and Jimi Hendrix into one beastly package, Vaughan owned every note he ever played. The only thing tentative about Stevie Ray Vaughan was his acceptance of being called a "guitar hero."
Thank you, Stevie, for setting the bar. We miss you.