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Things To Do: Jimmie Vaughan At The Heights Theater


The tones, sound and beat of the blues always drew in legend Jimmie Vaughan. Asked why, he says, “I think about it as American music. It’s very similar to country music, it’s very similar to pop music. I don’t know what it is exactly but it’s American music and it’s just what I always loved as soon as I heard it.”

Blues king Vaughan will be returning to Houston for a performance at The Heights Theater on Saturday, June 4, joined  by his full band including a horn section and his long time Hammond B3 Organ player Mike Flanigin during his stop in Houston. Fellow Austin based blues duo Lindsay Beaver and Brad Stivers will open the show.

“We’ve got shows through October on tour with different people and by ourselves so we’ve got quite a schedule coming up. It’s good to go out and play,” says Vaughan from his home outside of Austin where the sound of his rooster crowing almost takes over the conversation. “I can’t make him stop,” laughs Vaughan.

Vaughan and his band plan to tour all over the United States and hit Denmark and Norway this summer as well in support of his impressive 2021 released box set The Jimmy Vaughan Story.

“I’ve really got a great band that I’m proud of. It’s fun to get out on the road and play with your band. I’ve been doing it a long time and I don’t want to stop. I’m ready to go and here we go.”

They will also once again join Eric Clapton on the road later this year. He and Clapton made a stop in Houston last year at the Toyota Center but so far no Texas dates have been announced. “I’ve been playing, or trying to play, since I was 14 so I’ve been coming to Houston for a long time. I’ve been all over Texas,” says Vaughan.

“When I say trying to play because when I was first starting, you’re trying everything out, you’re getting going and you’re learning stuff every day. I still try to play and learn things every day and stay warmed up so it’s a journey and I’m still on it.”

“I still try to play and learn things every day and stay warmed up so it’s a journey and I’m still on it.”

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Vaughan’s long journey in the blues began as a young man in Dallas where he and his little brother Stevie Ray Vaughan became overtaken by the blues sounds coming out of their small transistor radio that Vaughan describes hiding under his pillow so he could listen secretly at night when he was supposed to be asleep.

He went on to Austin and is a main player in the story of Austin blues along with his Fabulous Thunderbirds and Antone’s records. Vaughan has gone on to release several solo albums and most recently compiled the 2021 box set.

“I’m proud of it,” says Vaughn of the gorgeously packaged eight disc collection which includes five CD’s with many rare and previously unreleased tracks featuring collaborations with other giants of music including Bo Diddley, Albert Collins, Dr. John, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Art Neville and Bonnie Raitt.

“I’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of my heroes and it was a good thing that there was a recording going on or somebody had a cassette,” says Vaughan of some of the non studio tracks.

The limited number box set also comes with an autographed poster and three vinyl records including Vaughan’s 2001 release Do You Get The Blues and seven inch singles of “Roll, Roll, Roll” and “Out Of The Shadows.”

Vaughan also wrote out his own story for the box set with a 240 page book complete with personal photographs including some by Houston’s own Tracy Anne Hart.

“It was a long time coming,” he says of the project. “When you record over the years you have a lot of stuff that you think would be good maybe but you didn’t put it out for some reason or another so I had all that stuff and I had stuff that I’d recorded with different artists that seemed like a good reason to put it out someday.”

Naturally Vaughan included some tracks with his sorely missed and beloved little brother Stevie Ray. Vaughan described how as kids he would leave his guitar on the bed instructing his little brother not to mess with it only to return to Stevie strumming his strings.

“We had the same room and the same record player,” says Vaughan of the brothers’ shared love for the blues and combined efforts to figure out the sounds of their heroes.

The Vaughan brothers were surrounded by music as children. “My parents were dancers. They would dance in the living room and all over the place. They would play big band mostly, all that Glenn Miller kind of stuff that was popular. My dad loved it and he wanted to be a musician. I heard he played piano but I never heard him play,” says Vaughan.

Despite having decades of experience, Vaughan continues to take the approach of his rooster and just doesn’t stop — admitting that he is always searching for new sounds and pushing himself.

“You want to exercise that part of your playing because it makes you feel good. It’s like you never get there so you’re always trying to get there but you never do so you’ve always got that carrot out in front of you.”

Jimmie Vaughan will perform with Lindsay Beaver and Brad Stivers on Saturday, June 4 at The Heights Theater, 339 W 19th. 7 p.m, $28.

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