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FEATURE: The SRV Experience is Coming to the Valley

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If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to see the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan, you’re unfortunately out of luck. Vaughan, who passed away in a tragic helicopter crash in 1990, did leave a legacy. Although he’s considered one of the most influential guitarists of all-time, you don’t see many Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute shows out there. That’s how I started my conversation with Dave Ryan who is coming to the Wilno Tavern this Saturday with his show; The SRV Experience – A heartfelt tribute to guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Ryan says there are only a handful of Stevie Ray emulators that can actually call themselves a tribute act. He mentions there’s one guy in Quebec and a few of them south of the border but as he points out, “it’s kind of hard to be Steve Ray Vaughan”.

There are a few things that makes Stevie stand out he says, the first was his ability to improvise. Ryan says “a lot of pro players write their musical piece and play songs and there’s a smaller group of players who play music”. He continues by quoting what another great axe player said on Stevie “Clapton said “music just flows through him””. When it comes to his sound and technique, Ryan points out that Stevie wasn’t ordinary.

As for Ryan’s act, he says it’s not an improv show. “I don’t think you can get up and jam Stevie Ray Vaughan” and says he actually tries to learn what SRV does note-for-note. After performing Vaughan’s songs for over 15 years, Ryan says he’s put over twenty-five thousand hours into the project. He says his favourite SRV song has to be the song he calls one of the greatest pieces of music he ever recorded.

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When it comes to blues musicians today he says “anything after Stevie Ray for me is boring”. He threw Joe Bonamassa’s name out there saying “he’s a great player” but also adds that “I think he’s overrated, he’s a mechanical player”. He did, however, give John Mayer props and says “he took things up a level, he’s an amazing player and worthy of taking the torch from the greats”.

Ryan will be coming with this longtime drummer and bass player. Their set list will, not only cover every Stevie Ray Vaughan hit, but also songs from musicians who inspired SRV or who got influenced by him. He says they will be playing some Jimi Hendrix, Colin James and ZZ Top as well.

Before our conversation came to an end, I had to ask Dave to pretend he had a crystal ball on his lap and have him tell me what he thinks Stevie would be doing if he were still a

live today.

Ryan promises a great show. He says he’s gotten hats made from Texas (the same ones Stevie would wear), he has the kimonos, guitar and even has the same peacock tattoo Stevie had on his chest. He does also say that on top of the look, the band has very respectable chops.

The show is at the Wilno Tavern this Saturday January 19th at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $20. For more information call 613-756-2029.

To get a glimpse of Dave Ryan performing The SRV Experience, click here.

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