Sat Mar 22 2014 8:00 pm
Jimmie Vaughan & The Tilt-a-Whirl Band
Lou Ann Barton

When Jimmie Vaughan says “I have the best job in the world,” he isn’t kidding. For more than four decades, the guitar-slinging Texan legend has been earning his living rockin’ the blues, and nothing makes the man happier. But now, Vaughan is even more excited about his gig than usual—for his newest release he’s consulted the vast blues encyclopedia that resides deep inside of his head and come up with a nearly all-covers set best described by its unambiguous title: Blues, Ballads and Favorites.

Self-produced and recorded in Vaughan’s hometown of Austin, the newest offering by the co-founder of the iconic, still-missed Fabulous Thunderbirds spotlights a wild array of tunes originally recorded by the likes of Roy Milton, Jimmy Reed, Roscoe Gordon and Little Richard, with a Willie Nelson favorite tossed in. No particular criteria were used in selecting the tracks to include; Vaughan simply narrowed down a long list of songs he liked and Blues, Ballads and Favorites was the ultimate result.

“I just wanted to do these songs and that was it, really,” says Vaughan. ‘”And like all of my albums this one is 100% totally selfish. I want people to like what I do but at the same time I have this strong feeling that if I don’t like it, I can’t expect them to. These were just songs that I liked for one reason or another. Some of them were a little scary to me because I hold them up high, but I just did them anyway. These are the ones that made it.”

Recorded with a solid group of mostly local musicians, with longtime cohort Lou Ann Barton lending her vocals to a handful of tunes, Blues, Ballads and Favorites is Vaughan’s first new release in nearly nine years. “I got married and had twins, and a lot of things happened in between,” he says, but as soon as the music emits its mighty roar, it’s clear that nothing has dulled Jimmie Vaughan’s mastery of his axe or his powerful vocal delivery. “I’m just about to turn 59 years old and I’m having a good time,” he says. “I’ve got my second wind here.”