JIMMIE VAUGHAN’S BABY, PLEASE COME HOME IS NOMINATED FOR A GRAMMY® IN BEST TRADITIONAL BLUES ALBUM CATEGORY
For four-time Grammy winner Vaughan, this marks his eighth nomination
AUSTIN, Texas — When it comes to the blues today, there are a handful of guiding lights to make sure the music stays true to its powerful source. The sound of pleasure and pain that first sparked musicians to create such a sound is a force that can never be underestimated. The mojo has to be there. Texas guitarist/singer Jimmie Vaughan has dedicated his life to making sure the blues not only stays alive, but remains full of life and an inspiration to all who listen. He’s held onto the spirit of the blues for more than 50 years, and he isn’t about to stop now.
Vaughan’s latest album, Baby, Please Come Home, released last May, is a rolling and righteous celebration of everything the blues can be. The songs can go up, down, sideways and even off in their own distinctive direction, but one thing is certain: each and every one of them is packed with pure feeling and striking originality. That’s because while the blues is almost as old as America itself, every time a musician lends their soul to living inside these songs, something new comes out.
The album has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. The 62nd Grammy®Awards will take place on Sunday, January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, televised globally.
The nomination follows three prior Grammy Awards for Vaughan: Best Contemporary Blues Recording and Best Rock Instrumental Performance (1990) for the Vaughan Brothers, Best Rock Instrumental Performance (1996) for “SRV Shuffle,” and Best Traditional Blues Album (2001) for Do You Get the Blues? He is an eight-time nominee.
There is a constant reinvention for musicians like Vaughan, because the blues demands it. There can be nothing less than a revelation, because that’s how the music thrives. It is almost like an alchemy exists, where instruments and voice join together to make a joyful noise. And above all else the blues, in the capable of hands of Vaughan and his musical cohorts, is a path to salvation. One that is birthed in the ability of songs to make life on Earth a better place to be.
Sometimes it takes decades to finally arrive at a place called home. When a young player starts out as a teenager to find a spot to call his own, there can be enough twists and turns to throw even the most dedicated of souls off the mark. Life can be a tricky endeavor, and between the bright lights and the dark nights, that road ahead can be full of false starts and deceiving roadblocks. But on Baby, Please Come Home, Jimmie Vaughan proves without doubt all his efforts and energy have taken him to the promised land. Maybe that’s because blues is really the art of distillation, seeking the sound where there are no extraneous notes, or unnecessary additions to the feeling of freedom. It takes years to get there, and patience is most definitely a virtue. Above all else, feeling is the most important element of all. With that, all else can be conquered.
“Playing what you feel has always been my main goal,” Vaughan says. Considering he’s had the kind of career that makes him a living legend, those are no idle words. His first group — when he was starting high school — played Dallas’ Hob Knob Lounge six nights a week, learning the kind of lessons that can’t be taught. They have to be lived. Other bands in the ’60s convinced the young man it was time to find a way to play the music he felt the strongest about: the blues. That took him in the early ’70s to Austin, where he carved out a new crew of blues players who shared his musical excitement. Jimmie Vaughan started in the lead, and has remained there.
On Baby, Please Come Home, Vaughan received expert backing from his long-standing A-team, including George Rains, Billy Pitman, Ronnie James, Mike Flanigin, Doug James, Greg Piccolo, Al Gomez, Kaz Kazonoff, T. Jarrod Bonta, John Mills, and Randy Zimmerman. They are joined by guest vocalists Georgia Bramhall and Emily Gimble. Mostly held at San Marcos, Texas’ Fire Station studio, these were the kind of sessions that benefit from musicians who’ve been playing this music for decades, who have a near-silent style of communication, where a look or a smile communicates much more than words ever could. As bandleader, singer, and guitarist, Jimmie Vaughan is a master of how everything is captured for posterity. His singing voice has grown into a study in strength. And while he might say, “Sometimes you can sing and sometimes you can’t,” as with everything else the Texan touches, Vaughan knows when it’s right and never stops until it is. He has always looked to his soul as the ultimate barometer of when the music is right, and when that is satisfied Vaughan knows the music is ready to be shared.
The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards once said, “The blues. It’s probably the most important thing America has ever given the world.” To which Jimmie Vaughan would likely add, “Amen.”