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Morning Song – Crossfire

November 2, 2016

Some musicians, when they get clean and sober, settle into a safe, reliable and comfortable groove.  (Think: James Taylor, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash.) There’s not only nothing wrong with that; it’s far better than the alternative of living on the edge and falling over, back into the haze and insanity of addiction.

Nevertheless, what makes Stevie Ray Vaughan’s death-by-plane-crash in 1990 all the more tragic is that his playing and singing grew more, not less, adventurous after he quit cocaine and alcohol.

For proof, here’s “Crossfire”, his only #1 hit, off his last album, In Step. Listen to the way his guitar takes the song (and the listener) into the hallucinatory confusion of a world gone mad…and then, at the end, breaks through to the other side.

I need some kind of kindness, some kind of sympathy;
We’re stranded, caught in the crossfire… Help me!

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