Tommy Shannon was Stevie Ray Vaughan’s musical partner for a decade, and gold records and Canadian platinum discs line the hallway. Like Vaughan, Tommy Shannon’s ego remains modest in light of his legendary past, Shannon may indeed be a wonderful bassist, but his special place in music history boils down to the uncanny fact that he was in the right place at the most right of times. He was the primary bass player for both Johnny Winter and Vaughan—Texas’ two most celebrated rock guitarists—during two distinct and separate eras. Shannon accompanied both from obscurity into their prime—in the case of Vaughan, through his entire recording career.
Shannon forged a rhythm partnership with Chris “Whipper” Layton. At present, Shannon and Layton are like road warriors in twilight, trying to make Storyville ignite beyond its fanatic Austin base. Thirty years after playing with a white albino, Shannon’s current band is fronted by black albino, Malford Milligan.
“I don’t like being on the road anymore,’ declares Shannon. “Been there, done that, seen that, so to speak. My whole idea of enjoyment is different. I’d like to do studio work. But I’ll never quit playing as long as I live, that’s like breathing.”