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.

Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar tab, video song lessons, video lessons, and jam tracks

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.


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Goldtop on September 6, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Blues is really an American thing. It's hard to really see it until you leave the country and then come back. He brings the blues across nicely.

cwimberly1 on September 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I was lucky to see him 3 times. October 1985, February 1986 with the Fabulous Thunderbirds and November 1989 with Jeff Beck. All three were great performances. What a great talent. All the good ones go too early!!!

Lucky fan on August 30, 2012 at 1:01 AM

I saw him that summer, maybe two months before he died. I was stunned when I heard the news of his death since he was the first musician I liked that died in my lifetime.(I was 19 at the time.) I feel fortunate to have seen him that night.