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Watch the Stevie's Blues online guitar lesson by Tommy Emmanuel from Certified Gems, Vol. 2

Stevie's Blues is a song I wrote the same day that I heard that Stevie Ray Vaughn had been killed in a helicopter crash. I was devastated, like many, and very sad that his life had been cut short, but he left an amazing legacy. He did so much to further the guitar, and to point young people back to blues guys like Albert King, Albert Collins, and B.B., of course. If I ever wanted to get fired up and feel inspired, I used to put Stevie's music on. It would just touch you in a deep, deep place and stir you up. I think Bonnie Raitt said some wonderful things about him, that she felt that what he played came from such a deep place, and she's absolutely right.

I wanted to write something that could be dedicated to him, but I didn't grow up a blues player - I'm a country player who grew up to rock n' roll and pop music, and some jazz. I didn't really discover the blues until later in my life in my mid-20's. Many players try to bring in other genres into the blues, like blues or country. I personally don't try to label what I do, but I feel that there are elements of blues, jazz, rock n' roll, and country in this song. So, I tried to write something that was like a typical Texas shuffle but had my own kind of twist on it. Basically, "Stevie's Blues" is just the head of the song, I play it around twice, and the rest I just improvise. So, what I'm going to do is play the head around twice, then I'll improvise a little, and then I'll go back to the head and take it out. After that, I'll break down the head of the song so you can learn the licks. So, here it is for Stevie Ray.