Stevie Ray Vaughan was the first guitar player that really inspired me; shortly after buying my first SRV album in high school, I saved cash for a Fender Stratocaster and invested countless hours trying to master his tunes. By college, I was also spending countless hours and dollars trying to capture a piece of his tone through gear acquisition and endless tweaking. However, this clip of the Fabulous Thunderbirds with the brothers Vaughan reinforces the fact that it’s the player, not the gear.
SRV appears to be rocking on borrowed gear in this video, including a Telecaster (I’m guessing it belongs to his brother, as Jimmie has been known to occasionally wield a Tele). And guess what — SRV still sounds like SRV. The Tele is usually associated with treble and twang, but the tone in this clip is pure Stevie Ray. The fluid, muscular bends and hard-hitting double-stops are virtually indistinguishable from what you would hear if he were picking a Strat. Back to the woodshed friends.