Interview with Jimmie Vaughan

Jimmie Vaughan plays at Blues Festival

Bluesfest  |  9–13 April

Brother of the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan is an American blues-rock guitarist and singer, coming to Bluesfest this year.

From an early age Jimmie fell in love with the guitar.

‘I was actually trying to play football when I broke my collarbone in a pile up. I got tackled, a bunch of guys jumped on me, and so I had to go home because I was injured. I played drums a little bit, but I fell in love with the guitar. I had a broken collarbone – and I’ve been playing guitar ever since. That was in about ‘63, ‘64.’

It was probably the injury that turned him from jock to rock.

‘From that injury I was at home for a long time, and my dad said, “Well, I don’t know what we’re going to do with you.” So he gave me this guitar that I had been fooling around with and he said “Here, play this. Maybe it’ll keep you out of trouble.”

‘I thought, I’ll just really practice good, and get good on this, and then I can buy a car and split. So I didn’t really think it through, and here we are, 50, 60 years later. But now I actually really do love playing guitar and I’m very excited and grateful that I get to do it all the time.’

Jimmie Vaughan has played guitar with some of the most impressive players in the world.

‘Well, I’ve got to play with Buddy Guy, and Eric Clapton. I saw Hendrix when I was a kid and I opened the show for him when I was 14 or 15. I’ve seen a lot of [the] great ones, and got to play alongside them. And then what can we say about Stevie? We miss him every day.

‘So, I’ve had a great time. We’re still going though, we’re still having fun, and we’re still out playing, and making records, and riding in the bus, and doing it.

‘I have a beautiful life, and a nice family, and I have children, teenagers, and we have a nice life, so I’m grateful for that.’

There’s still pressure to make records, but Jimmie does it in his own time.

‘The record company would like it if I made a record every year I think, on time. But I’ve never been able to do that. So what I do is, I pretend that I’m making 45s, you know, like a single? And that way I don’t have to worry about a whole entire album at once. If you have to come up with 15 songs all at once, that’s a little bit daunting. But if you just have to come up with two or three, it’s not so bad, you know? So I do – I pretend that I’m cutting singles, like 45s in the old days, and then next thing you know, you’ve got an album.’

Jimmie Vaughan plays Bluesfest 9–13 April. For tickets and more info go to

More Bluesfest 2020 articles:

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