Stevie Ray Vaughan – “Little Wing” Live
SRV Plays With A Distinct Sound — Even On Covers!
“Little Wing” was written by Jimi Hendrix and originally performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. They recorded it in the Olympic Studios and released it on December 1, 1967.
It is a slower tempo, rhythm and blues-inspired ballad featuring Hendrix’s vocal and guitar with recording studio effects accompanied by bass, drums, and glockenspiel. Lyrically, it is one of several of his songs that reference an idealized feminine or guardian angel-like figure. At about two and a half minutes in length, it is one of his most concise and melodically-focused pieces.
Being one of Hendrix’s most popular songs, several musicians recorded their own versions including Stevie Ray Vaughan. He made the song his own during his live cover and he even did some improvisations!
In addition to using heavy strings, you also really need to attack the guitar if you want to get that big, percussive sound Stevie had. He was a super-aggressive player, and he didn’t really pick from his wrist—he picked with his entire arm!
SRV has also been influenced by several other legends and he played alongside some of them.
According to Lonnie Mack, “We was in Texas looking for pickers, and we went out to see the Thunderbirds. Jimmie was saying, ‘Man, you gotta hear my little brother. He plays all your [songs].’ He was playing a little place called the Rome Inn, and we went over there and checked him out. As it would be, when I walked in the door, he was playing ‘Wham!’ And I said, ‘Dadgum.’ He was playing it right. I’d been playing it wrong for a long time and needed to go back and listen to my original record. That was in ’78, I believe.”