Review: Rise of a Texas Bluesman, Stevie Ray Vaughan

In April of this year, the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Previously, he had been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014. Rolling Stone ranked Vaughan as the twelfth greatest guitarist of all time.

Appropriately, Rise of a Texas Bluesman hit Amazon Prime recently. Yes, I'm a SRV fan, but I think anyone who loves great music will enjoy this documentary. Stevie Ray Vaughan was a virtuoso with guitar and an innovative musician who married blues with the many musical influences in Texas.

Most people consider his music as blues or jazz with a rock heart or vice versa. Whatever you call his brand of music, it made Stevie Ray Vaughan an international star and created legions of loyal fans. Even today, his music has the power to raise chill bumps on my arms.

The documentary begins at the beginning and shows Stevie Ray's growth from childhood to adulthood--physically and musically. Stevie Ray began playing guitar at the age of seven. Told by the musicians and friends who knew him well, this is a journey that shows his struggle and triumphs and his passion for music that carried him through the peaks and valleys of life.

The focus is on his contribution to the musical world, not on the demons to which he fell prey. In the end, he defeated his drug addiction and came back better than ever. Sadly, he was killed in a helicopter crash after performing at the Alpine Valley Resort in East Troy, Wisconsin.  He was only 35 years old.

On the morning before that fateful crash, Stevie Ray had told his band and crew members about a terrible nightmare he'd had. He was present at his own funeral and saw thousands of mourners. During the dream, he said, he was terrified yet oddly peaceful at the same time.

If you're not familiar with Stevie Ray Vaughan and his music, just listen to some of these tracks.

Pride and Joy * Texas Flood * Cold Shot

Takeaway Truth

If you fancy yourself a music aficionado, you must see Rise of a Texas Bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan.

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