This is a continuation of Kathleen’s Adventures in Texas. She discovered this vintage Chevy Truck at her Uncle Richard’s expansive spread during a recent visit. Chiggers, grasshoppers, and rattle snakes did not impede her in search of her photographic vision! When I saw this, I was immediately struck by how sad the Pickup looked and then I thought of the wonderful tradition of Texas Blues! Perhaps the Chevy would appreciate a bit of Stevie Ray to cheer her up?
Texas Blues began to appear in the early 1900s among African-Americans who worked in oilfields, ranches and lumber camps. In the 1920s, Blind Lemon Jefferson innovated the style by using jazz-like improvisation and single string accompaniment on a guitar; Jefferson’s influence defined the field and inspired later performers, like Lightnin’ Hopkins and T-Bone Walker. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, many bluesmen moved to cities like Galveston, Houston and Dallas.
Later, in the late 1960s and early 1970s the Texas electric blues scene began to flourish, influenced by country music and blues-rock, particularly in the clubs of Austin. The diverse style often featured instruments like keyboards and horns, but placed particular emphasis on powerful lead guitar breaks. The most prominent artists to emerge in this era were the brothers Johnny and Edgar Winter (I recall the song, “Frankenstein”, one of my High School “when the Parents are out crank the Stereo” faves), who combined traditional and southern styles. In the 1970s, Jimmy Vaughan formed The Fabulous Thunderbirds and in the 1980’s his brother Stevie Ray Vaughan broke through to mainstream success with his virtuoso guitar playing, not to mention the long bearded trio, ZZ Top! I had the fortune to see Stevie in Edmonton, Alberta when he opened for, of all bands, Iron Maiden. I swear it was like watching Jimmie Hendrix (didn’t care too much for the Metal Show that followed but the animatronics puppet was creepy fine). www.kerstenbeck.com