Jimmie Vaughan – Baby, Please Come Home
After a release in 2011, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan went six years before releasing his Live At C-Boy’s project, done as a trio with Mike Flanigin on organ and Frosty Smith on drums. Now he follows that up in relatively short order with a killer new album that celebrates the music that inspired Vaughan back in the day, before he formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds with Kim Wilson, and still resonates with him all these years later. The playlist is full of memorable tunes from the likes of Antoine “Fats” Domino & Dave Bartholomew, T-Bone Walker, Chuck Willis, Jimmy Reed, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and even country legend Lefty Frizzell.
Vaughan’s razor-sharp guitar licks dominate the title cut, which opens the disc in fine fashion, a hearty shuffle set up by Billy Pitman on rhythm guitar, George Rains on drums and Ronnie James on bass. Further enhancement comes courtesy of Doug James on baritone sax and Greg Piccolo, who honks his way through a top-flight tenor sax solo excursion. “No One To Talk To (But The Blues),” is a standout due to Vaughan’s weathered voice wringing every drop of emotion out of Frizzell’s lamentation on crushing heartache.
Revisiting “Baby, What’s Wrong,” a song he covered on the On the Jimmy Reed Highway with Omar Dykes, Vaughan offers a stirring take full of his exemplary guitar picking, which has inspired other guitarists for decades. Also included is a live cut from C-Boy’s club in Austin, with Vaughan holding court on “Hold It,” a Clifford Scott/Billy Butler composition that also gives Flanigin a chance to showcase his skills on the Hammond organ, while Rains lays down the back-beat.
One reason this album makes such a deep impression is that Vaughan nails every vocal. His unrushed and warmly understated vocalizing on Walker’s “I’m Still In Love With You” gives listeners a wistful reflection on romance, cushioned by subtle riffs from a full horn section consisting of John Mills on baritone, Kaz Kazanoff on tenor sax, Randy Zimmerman on trombone plus Al Gomez and Jimmy Shortell on trumpet. (Kazanoff, Gomez, and Mills together are the Texas Horns.)
“Just A Game” sports a laid-back Louisiana groove. Vaughan once again connects with all of the anguish and grief in the Huey Meaux tune, then plays a short, jagged solo in an attempt to keep the pain at bay. “What’s Your Name?” cruises along in fine style, with Vaughan and Doug James turning in gritty solo passages. James and his big horn are featured again on “So Glad,” but Vaughan steals the show with his deft, playful rhythm guitar work. “Gatemouth” Brown, and even Johnny ‘Guitar” Watson, will certainly come to mind while listening to “Midnight Hour”. Vaughan’s playing on the track carries on the Texas blues guitar tradition, accompanied by a walking bass line and spot-on piano fills.
Take note – Jimmie Vaughan’s latest is a sure-fire cinch for numerous awards nominations. Listeners would expect his guitar playing to be first -rate, but his fervent vocals will stick with you on every track. The guitarist is relaxed and totally at home with the material, thanks to an outstanding of veteran musicians who share the leader’s passion for the music. They don’t come much better than this highly recommended recording!