If William Faulkner had played rock 'n' roll guitar instead of writing novels , he'd probably have sounded something like Stevie Ray Vaughan. Both Faulkner and Vaughan are Southern - Faulkner from the Deep South of Mississippi, Vaughan from Texas. And both enjoy deliciously long, thick passages that tend to combine many things at once.
Vaughan's guitar playing, for example, is both gentlemanly and primitive. His long, ambling blues-guitar style always threatens to break loose into harsh noise (and often does).
Sometimes he stands by the speaker, leans back, and, peering over his shoulder with a mean, ugly Texas grimace, strikes a gravelly note on his guitar. As he moves closer to the speaker, the feedback starts - not the accidental screech of an inexperienced performer but purposeful, sculptured noise.
It is a rock tradition that reaches back to the late '60s when Jimi Hendrix began using controlled feedback to enhance the sonic and emotional range of the guitar. But Vaughan succeeded in making it seem new.
''Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble'' began playing at The Channel in Boston about 1 o'clock last Sunday morning. They played to a standing-room-only audience which endured the heat and the cramped conditions to witness a man who just may turn out to be the most vigorous solo guitar player of the decade.