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Vaughan’s ‘Family Style’ Coming to Stores Sept. 25

TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC

All five of the albums that the late Stevie Ray Vaughan made with his band Double Trouble are available in compact disc, but the CD package that will probably be in most demand among fans of the blues-rock guitarist in the coming months won’t be in stores until Sept. 25.

That’s when Epic Records releases “Family Style,” the long-awaited project featuring Vaughan and his older brother Jimmie Vaughan, who was the guitarist with the Fabulous Thunderbirds until he left that band in June. The release date was set before the younger Vaughan, 35, was killed early Monday in a helicopter crash in East Troy, Wis.

But fans of the heralded bluesman will get a sample of the album on Sept. 17 when Epic releases a single, “Tick Tock.” The socially conscious song--written by Jimmie Vaughan, Nile Rodgers and Jerry Lynn Williams--is framed as a dream about a more caring and compassionate age.

Sample lyrics:

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The sick, the hungry had smiles on their faces

The tired and the homeless had family all around

The streets and the cities were all beautiful places

And the walls came tumblin’ down.

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But the warning in the song’s chorus adds a sad, ironic edge in view of Vaughan’s death:

Remember that

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, people

Time’s tickin’ away.

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But some of the songs on Vaughan’s last album with Double Trouble, 1989’s “In Step,” also assume an extra, emotional dimension in view of Monday’s crash.

After going through a drug treatment program in 1986, Vaughan spoke frequently about how much more he enjoyed life and music without drug and alcohol dependence. He also wrote about the years of struggle in such songs as “Tightrope” and “Wall of Denial” on the “In Step” album.

In a Rolling Stone magazine interview last year, Vaughan spoke about the years of addiction. “I was just really lost. I couldn’t keep going, and I didn’t know how to stop. I had gotten so far out that I didn’t know what was real and what wasn’t.”

The Vaughan brothers developed a love of the blues as youngsters in Dallas, Tex. Jimmie moved to Austin in the mid-'70s and started the Fabulous Thunderbirds, while Stevie Ray followed, eventually forming his own group, Double Trouble. The group’s debut album, “Texas Flood,” broke into the national Top 40 in 1983, followed by such other hits as “Couldn’t Stand the Weather,” “Soul to Soul” and “Live Alive.”

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The brothers had long spoken about doing an album together--a dream realized in “Family Style.”

“This was maybe the happiest period in Stevie’s life,” said Glen Brunman, vice president of media and artist development for Epic Records. “I saw him in New York in July when he played the new record for the company. He was completely at ease with himself . . . . There was just this big smile on his face. He was looking forward to every day.”


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