Jimmie Vaughan returns to “The Cliff” before a big crowd at the Kessler Theater
By Chuck Cox
A little more than a year after suffering a heart attack, Jimmie Vaughan was back in his natural element on Friday night.
Playing in front a huge Kessler Theater crowd that included friends, family and people influential on his career, the Oak Cliff-raised blues rock guitarist brought it like a musician who is half of his age. Even at 62, Vaughan hardly stopped to take a breath during a set that was north of two hours long.
He had some help, of course. The seven-piece Tilt-A-Whirl Band, which included a horn section, was spot on. And Fort Worth’s Lou Ann Barton joined Vaughan for about 12 songs, much to the delight of the enthusiastic, capacity crowd.
And the longer the show went on, the more Vaughan appeared to be enjoying himself. Dressed all in black, he primarily stuck to old-school classics, including “Texas Flood,” which his late brother Stevie made into one of his standards and the title of his debut album.
To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with about 90 percent of the songs Vaughan played. Guess what? It didn’t make one bit of different to me. Getting to see Vaughan — especially in Oak Cliff, where I live — was something I’ll always remember and treasure.
I got to meet Vaughan after the show. He must have walked off stage and then immediately to the merchandise table in the lobby since he beat me out there. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any artist come out to meet and greet fans so quickly. Vaughan was also very obliging to everyone, which was extremely cool.
Opening act Jason Elmore, a Dallas guitar virtuoso, more than held his own. He took full advantage of his 45 minutes by treating the crowd to some absolutely amazing guitar licks.
An interesting side note to the show was there was a fight in the crowd near the stage during the encore. I’ve been to probably 20 shows at the Kessler, and I’ve never seen that before.