Tag Archives: El Paso

My review of the documentary about Stevie Ray Vaughan posts to Elmore magazine

5 Apr

The DVD documentary, Lonestar: Stevie Ray Vaughan 1984-1989, delivers in 108 minutes a roller coaster of emotions about Texas’ beloved late blues guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan, beginning with his debut, Texas Flood, and ending with his death at 35 years old in a helicopter crash August 27, 1990 outside East Troy, Wisconsin. The disc features photos and rare film footage recorded during concerts and behind-the-scenes interviews with friends, former band members, and those within Vaughan’s inner circle including his last girlfriend, Janna Lapidus LeBlanc. In archival videos, Vaughan himself gives a painful testimony about how he overcame an addiction to drugs and alcohol and began to live a sober lifestyle.

Following the success of his Grammy-award-winning album, In Step, Vaughan began his fateful final tour on May 4, 1989, performing 147 shows over 18 months. This writer had the privilege to see Vaughan perform live along the shore of Mountain Shadow Lakes in El Paso on May 29, 1989. That desert hot day, without a spot of shade to be found anywhere within a 20-mile radius, fans responded to Vaughan and his musical entourage with near hysteria. The Dallas native opened with his first mainstream hit single, nominated in 1984 as the best song of the year, “Cold Shot,” off his Couldn’t Stand the Weather album.

Vaughan and his band, Double Trouble, recorded three studio and several live albums, earning them a controversial mix of both praise and criticism over a tumultuous five-year career. In Austin, his legacy continues. At Auditorium Shores Park in 1994 the Austin Parks and Recreation Department erected a life-size bronze statue created by artist Ralph Helmick in the musician’s likeness, complete with his signature hat and trench coat created. Most often Vaughan performed on his hybrid 1962-63 Stratocaster nicknamed “Number One,” also referred to as “First Wife.” Those who remember the bluesmaster, will weep in sorrow at his tribute; newcomers may find inspiration. This film, the sister to Sexy Intellectual’s documentary, Rise of a Texas Bluesman—Stevie Ray Vaughan 1954-1983, makes widows of us all anew through archive songs and images. 

Please also see my article as it appears on Elmore magazine’s website at: 



My Dirty River Boys CD review posted to Elmore today

7 Apr

Elmore Magazine | The Dirty River Boys – The Dirty River BoysAn El Paso quartet that now calls Austin home, the Dirty River Boys, deliver 13 country rock songs that cover a wide range of topics from drug war violence along the Texas/Mexico border to unrequited love.

Country singer Ray Wylie Hubbard co-wrote “Down By The River,” the opening track off the band’s self-titled album released by the Thirty Tigers label in October. The song tells a few bold adolescent tales about crossing the Santa Fe Street Bridge with fake IDs to party in Juarez; fast-forward to present day, times have changed along the Rio Grande River.

Colton James adds a bass line like a heart beat, while Nino Cooper and Marco Gutierrez swap impressive electric guitar leads and vocals. Drummer Travis Stearns wages rapid-fire attacks on the rhythm section accented by clap tracks.

The catchy “Thought I’d Let You Know” demonstrates the Boys’ impressive four-part harmony and “Teenage Renegade,” with its feel good lyrics creates a tune that already sounds like a hit single.

Named “2012 Band of the Year” by Austin City Limits, the Dirty River Boys will leave fans helpless to refrain from singing along on the choruses to their songs.

Here’s a link to my review of the Dirty River Boys CD on Elmore magazine’s website: 



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