Tommy Shannon Talks About Guitar Legend Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Sound, Style and Spirit

Bass legend Tommy Shannon has been playing professionally since he joined his first group, the Avengers, at age 13. That means this towering deep-toned fixture of the Austin, TX, music scene has 51 years of road and studio work under his belt. But he’s best known for his playing during one particular decade, the 1980s, when he was part of Steve Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble.

Shannon has performed with other rock and blues royalty before and since. The list includes Gibson Firebird firebrand Johnny Winter, whose band he joined in 1968, and extends to post-Stevie turns with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and John Mayer. He’s also been a member of Austin all-star outfit the Arc Angels and currently plays in a new band of vets called 86ed. But his work with Vaughan & Double Trouble is historic. The four studio albums and live double-disc set they released while together led directly to a resurgence in the popularity of blues and set a bar for stellar live performances that only handful of artists can even hope to reach.

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