The Pleasure’s All Mine
The Last Music Co.
While his younger brother Stevie was forming Double Trouble, Jimmie Vaughan was founding The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The T-Birds released their debut album “Girls Go Wild” in 1979, and Vaughan stayed with them for ten years. In 1990 he partnered with his brother to record “The Vaughan Brothers Family Style” and they won Grammy Awards for both “Best Contemporary Blues Recording:” and “Best Rock Instrumental Performance”. Vaughan didn’t release his long overdue solo debut “Strange Pleasure” until 1994, resulting in a Blues Music Award nomination for “Song of the Year” for the tribute “Six Strings Down”. Over his career Jimmie has won four Grammy Awards, and a 2020 BMA for “Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year”.
Between 2001 and 2010 the only album Vaughan recorded was 2008’s “On The Jimmy Reed Highway” with vocalist Omar Kent Dykes. In 2010 Vaughan decided to record the Great American Blues Songbook and he assembled a band that leaders can only dream about. Vaughan has since been content with making his “Tilt A Whirl Band” the best it can be and his repertoire was completed in 2019 with the release of his latest studio album “Baby Please Come Home”, the third in the trilogy. “The Pleasure’s All Mine” is a re-issue of those first two albums; 2010’s “Plays Blues, Ballads, & Favorites”, and 2011’s “Plays More Blues, Ballads and Favorites”.
The band remains relatively unchanged for all three albums. Vaughan utilized the rhythm section of George Rains, drums; Ronnie James, bass; and Billy Pitman, rhythm guitar. They are joined by the horn section of Greg Piccolo, tenor saxophone; and Kas Kasanoff, baritone sax, on the 2010 album; and Doug James, baritone sax, on the 2011 album. Guesting are guitarist Derek O’Brien; trumpeter Ephraim Owens; keyboardists Bill Willis and Mike Flanigan, and featured vocalist Lou Ann Barton whose role was further acknowledged on the 2011 album. This re-issue is spearheaded by Malcolm Mills.
On the 2010 disc The Great American Blues Songbook includes fabulous covers of Johnny Ace’s “How can You Be So Mean”; Roscoe Gordon’s “Just A Little Bit”, Lonnie Brooks’ “Roll, Roll, Roll” first recorded in 1959; Little Richard’s “Send Me Some Lovin’’, and Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” with a vocal from Willis. Vaughan and Barton share duets on Jimmy Reed’s “Come Love”; on Don and Dewey’s 1970 “I’m Leaving It Up To You”; and on Ted Taylor’s “I Miss You So”. These are some of the songs that first inspired Vaughan and his soulful vocals are laced with emotion. As a guitarist his short solos are always in support of the song.
The 2011 disc includes Vaughan’s interpretations of the Mel Tillis and Webb Pierce co-written “I Ain’t Never” recorded by Pierce in 1959; “Teardrop Blues” written and recorded by Jimmy Liggins & His Drops of Joy in 1948; and Amos Milburn’s “Bad, Bad, Whiskey” recorded in 1962. Duets with Vaughan and Barton include “No Use Knocking” written by Bobby Charles Guidry and Paul Gayten, and recorded by Charles and Laura Lee in 1956; “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” recorded by Jivin’ Gene and The Jokers in 1959; and “Shake A Hand” written by Joe Morris and recorded by Jackie Wilson and Linda Hopkins in 1963. Splendid horn arrangements further adorn these wonderful versions; and I love Barton’s voice as she harmonizes with Vaughan.
The 2010 and 2011 albums are no longer available so it’s wonderful to have them re-released as “The Pleasure’s All Mine”.