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The guitarist that Stevie Ray Vaughan called great and underrated

Stevie Ray Vaughan


The guitarist that Stevie Ray Vaughan called great and underrated

Stevie Ray Vaughan released his debut album “Texas Flood” in 1983 at the age of 28 and tragically his career was cut short in 1990 at the age of 35, victim of a helicopter crash. He was one of the artists who helped the Blues music to reach the mainstream again and new platforms at the time like MTV.


He helped many incredible older Blues musicians who were forgotten at the time to get record deals and to tour across the United States. Vaughan always had a huge admiration for other players of that music genre and he even mentioned one that in his opinion was incredible and underrated.

The guitarist that Stevie Ray Vaughan said was incredible and underrated

Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas, which was the home of many other incredible artists over the decades. The state is known as the birthplace of many legendary Blues artists but there were also less known ones who were famous around that area.

Growing up and playing in the bar circuit in Texas made SRV be in touch in many other less famous artists who were a big inspiration for his own work. In an interview with Michael Corcoran back in 1989, he talked about Denny Freeman, who during his career worked with names like Bob Dylan, James Cotton, Taj Mahal and Percy Sledge.

“Denny Freeman, I know he’s got some recognition lately. But he’s still underrated. He’s just incredible. I guess the main thing I learned from him was how to really play rhythm.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan continued:

But he’s also a great example of a player who has a thread that runs through his solos. He’s always thinking ahead when he’s playing,” Stevie Ray Vaughan said.

Denny Freeman said that everyone could see that Stevie and Jimmie Vaughan had something special

in an interview with Everyone Loves Guitar in 2019 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage): “There’s always been people that even in their youth just showed, they just stuck out. Weather it was an artist, writer, singer, piano player or something. Who knows from where that comes from. I don’t know. Jimmie came up in a totally different family. He would go play gigs with older people. (His dad) would go there and he would be drinking the beer and he had some relatives that played. I think they would sit around his house when he was a kid and they would play music.”

“I never had that kind of thing. He started playing younger than me. (…) I mean, Stevie might have got started playing because Jimmie did. (…) I’ve met Stevie probably when he was 17 and I heard Stevie’s band called Blackbird at the time. He was 17 but you could tell that he had already latched on to the Albert King kind of thing. But he kind of had command of it. Stevie picked up (the influence) and incorporated into everything he did. It was just cool and just worked,” Denny Freeman said.

They were really good friends and talking with Blues GR in 2011, Freeman said he missed Vaughan. “He was very sweet, funny. Was my friend. I miss him a lot.”

He was in a band with SRV in the early days

Freeman was actually born in Orlando, Florida but spent his adolescence in Dallas in the late 50s, going to college in North Texas later on. The artist moved to Los Angeles for a small period. But he returned to Texas in the 70s, making Austin his home.

He first started his career in the band Cobras, which had a young Stevie Ray Vaughan as the other guitarist in the band. During the 70s and 80s he also contributed a lot with Stevie’s and Jimmie Vaughan’s solo careers.

He also had his own solo career, releasing his debut album “Blues Cruise” in 1986. After that he released six more records, the last one being “Diggin on Dylan” in 2012.

Besides being a praised guitar player, Freeman also played piano and electronic organ on his records and live shows. He died in April, 2021 at the age of 76 after being diagnosed with abdominal cancer several weeks before his passing.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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