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CD REVIEW: Jimmie Vaughan's Plays Blues Ballads and Favorites

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THE DEAL: Jimmie Vaughan's greasy, back-porch blues rock makes you want to move to Austin, eat BBQ and soak up this stuff by the bucketful.

THE GOOD: Texas guitarist Jimmie Vaughan started the Fabulous Thunderbirds in '74 with vocalist/harpist Kim Wilson. The T-birds became the quintessential bar band, twisting up gut-bucket blues with twangy rock backed by a heart-punching rhythm section. Going solo, he won a Grammy for 2001's Do You Get The Blues, but had not released a solo album in a decade. Coupled with original T-Birds singer Lou Ann Barton, Vaughan's return is a bluesy twangwfest that has Little Richard, Jimmy Reed and Willie Nelson rubbing elbows with Johnny Ace and Roscoe Gordon. Barton's wildcat yowl scratches Vaughan's back on Dale and Grace's "I'm Leavin' It All Up To You," and transforms Jimmy Reed's "Come Love" into a throbbing lovefest with her sexy, deep-ditch drawl. The grizzled road dawgs in Vaughan's Tilt-A-Whirl Band are perfect for Vaughan's style, which blends the three Kings; Freddie, Albert and B.B. with his own Texican bar band grit. It's Vaughan's simple understated guitar that drives this project, speaking straight from the heart with blues and soul.

THE BAD: Unless you live in Texas, you just don't get to hear this stuff much anymore.

THE VERDICT: Vaughan makes it sound easy and laid-back, but the twangy rhythm gets under your skin. You'll be twitchin' and moanin' along before you know what got hold of you.

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