Stevie Ray Vaughan is rightly recognized as one of the greatest, most creative blues musicians ever.
Today is the anniversary of his tragic death after a 1990 concert in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin.
He perished, along with several members of the Eric Clapton tour, when their helicopter crashed on its returns to Chicago.
An incredibly beautiful and song, “Six Strings Down,” commemorates that death and that of other blues greats who went before him.
Written by Art Neville and others and originally sung by SRV’s brother, Jimmie (himself a fine guitarist), its lyrics remember not only Stevie Ray but many other blues greats now departed:
In the middle of the night
Six strings down
On the heaven-bound flight
Got a pick, a strap, guitar on his back
Ain’t gonna cut the angels no slack
Heaven done called
Another blues-stringer back home . . .
Lyrics to Six Strings Down
The lyrics mention the Voodoo Chile (Jimi Hendrix), Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Albert King, Freddy King, T-Bone Walker, Guitar Slim, Little Son Jackson, and Frankie Lee Sims.
The best rendition was recorded at a 1995 tribute to Stevie Ray and begins with Jimmie singing about his brother. After that, you’ll hear Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, BB King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John and Art Neville–true greats and moved to be part of this memorial.
If you love blues, you’ll love this:
A hat tip to Tim Favero for reminding me of this sad anniversary.