Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We Are Family: The Vaughan Brothers

The Vaughan Brothers: Tick Tock


I have to confess, I was never a huge Stevie Ray Vaughan fan. I appreciated him, but never went out of my way to get his music. Same with his older brother, Jimmie. And Family Style, the only album they recorded together, is not a particularly great album.

Don't get me wrong--there's some fine guitar playing, for sure. But overall, it's a little to slick for the blues, and the songs for the most part are forgettable.

Except one song. "Tick Tock" has mesmerized me since the very first time I heard it. With its "time's tickin' away" refrain, it became painfully poignant when Steve Ray was killed in a helicopter accident a month before the album's release. But even outside of that context, it's a fantastic song. Musically, it's a slice of retro-soul blues. The lyrics are a simple plea for world peace, a slightly desperate '90s counterpart to the '60s' "Get Together". Every year, that plea seems a little more desperate.

Tick tock, people.

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