Various Artists

A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan

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Unlike most tribute albums from the '90s, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan isn't a lifeless collection of piecemeal studio performances -- it's a fiery, living tribute, which is only fitting for a guitarist who shone intensely and brightly during his brief life. Recorded live in Stevie Ray's hometown of Austin, TX, the album features many of Vaughan's idols, friends, and admirers ripping through his most famous numbers. Many of these musicians -- including his brother Jimmie, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and Buddy Guy -- played with Stevie the night he died, which makes the record all the more poignant; also on hand are superstars like B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, and Art Neville. Although the memory and occasion remain bittersweet, the music on the album is simply teeming with life -- everybody plays their heart out. Best of all are the collective jams at the end and the two new songs, "Six Strings Down" and "SRV Blues," which were written in Vaughan's memory. In short, it's what a tribute should be -- a celebration of life, not death.

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