[12 September 2010]
Jimmie Vaughan Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites marks only the fourth solo album for Jimmie Vaughan since he left the Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1989. There have been other projects, though, such as 1990’s Family Style album with brother Stevie Ray Vaughan and two recent albums of Jimmy Reed covers with Omar Kent Dykes. Still, Vaughan hasn’t seemed particularly rushed to release material, which fits his playing style. As a guitarist, Vaughan always displays a fluid ease that makes it a pleasure to hear him play. If there’s any disappointment to be found in ...Favorites, it’s that the only Vaughan original is the energetic instrumental “Comin’ & Goin’”. However, that leaves more room for Vaughan’s skills as an interpreter, and he continues to mine his deep knowledge of blues and R&B, with hidden gems from the likes of Roy Milton, Little Richard, Jimmy Reed, and even Willie Nelson (“Funny How Time Slips Away”, sung here by Bill Willis). Lou Ann Barton guests on several cuts, trading brassy, spirited vocals with Vaughan. Add plenty of horns and you have one of Vaughan’s smoothest, most swinging albums to date.