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Wake of the ‘Flood’: 21 Stevie Ray Vaughan Wannabes

On January 29, Sony Legacy will reissue a 30th anniversary edition of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s debut album Texas Flood. That release is but a small part of a larger, weirder ongoing cultural campaign. Since the Lone Star State icon, who died in a helicopter crash in 1990, revived the blues as a commercial entity, there has been wave after wave of guitar-wielding dudes inspired to replicate SRV’s outlandish playing and flamboyant style. You know the type: Longhaired guys with flashy jewelry and loud shirts (often open to the waist), prone to soul patches and funky hats. Sometimes they mix it up with an old-timey nickname (“Kid” or “Smokin’,” or perhaps something geographical), but they always play hard-charging blues guitar. There can be only one? Nuh-uh.