At 70, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan is a living link in the Texas blues legacy chain that also gave us T-Bone Walker, Lightning Hopkins, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Zuzu Bollin, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Johnny Copeland, and Jimmie's younger brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Jimmie arrived in Austin from Dallas in the late 1960s. He developed an original playing style that relies more on feel, groove, and swing than flash. The Jimmie Vaughan Story, curated by Last Music Co.'s Malcolm Mills, contains 96 tracks spanning five discs with more than six hours of music; 29 selections are previously unissued.
The lion's share of the material on the first two discs is drawn from Vaughan's influential tenure with the Fabulous Thunderbirds between 1979 and 1989, alongside vocalist/harmonicist Kim Wilson, bassist Keith Ferguson, and drummers Mike Buck or Fran Christina. Disc one's 27 tracks are drawn from the band's first seven albums on the Benchmark, Chrysalis, and Epic labels -- from 1979's Girls Go Wild through 1989's Powerful Stuff. It's essentially a fine best-of containing all the hits and near misses including "She’s Tuff," "How Do You Spell Love?," "Wrap It Up," and more. Disc two kicks off with four unreleased 1979 T-Birds cuts co-produced by Doc Pomus and Joel Dorn. Also included are five previously unreleased tunes from a 1979 Antone's performance and late catalog tracks. It also reveals the beginning of Vaughan's solo career with "Cold, Cold, Feelin'" with Albert Collins, and "You're Sweet" with Jimmy Rogers. It concludes with two tracks from the Vaughan Brothers 1990 album, Family Style. Disc three contains tracks from Vaughan's early solo outings such as 1994's Strange Pleasure and 1998's Out There, compilation and soundtrack material, and guest spots on albums by Doyle Bramhall, Bo Diddley, Lou Ann Barton, and others. Its closing jam is 1995's unreleased "I Don't Live Here Anymore" with Delbert McClinton. Disc four offers tunes from Vaughan's later solo outings such as Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites, and collaborations with legends including John Lee Hooker, Lazy Lester, James Cotton, Susan Tedeschi, and Charlie Musselwhite. Among its highlights is the previously unreleased "What Am I Living For?" with longtime collaborator Barton. The final disc here includes live, studio, and guest spots, and three unissued cuts with Vaughan's pre-Thunderbirds band, Storm. The highlights include a scorching "The Pleasure's All Mine" with Bonnie Raitt and "Wine Wine, Wine" with Billy Gibbons. The 12" x 12" box also includes two 7" singles, a vinyl copy of 2001's Do You Get the Blues?, a hand-signed cover placard, and an issue of Rodder's Journal featuring Vaughan's car collection. In a slipcase with the discs is a hardbound book containing dozens of rare photos, a long autobiographical essay by Vaughan, and another essay by Bill Bentley. The Jimmie Vaughan Story is an historic document: It offers a detailed view of the guitarist's long career as a sideman who emerged as a truly original stylist, and provides an intimate, first-person overview of the Texas blues scene during a seminal period.