KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Satur-debut – STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN AND DOUBLE TROUBLE “TEXAS FLOOD”

After the ’60s British blues boom, where white English musicians took that black American music genre into new, amplified directions, and then continued into the following decade, the blues fell on hard times by the end of the ’70s. Sure, there were still plenty of blues artists releasing great albums to the converted, but their appeal was limited. Other than Delaware’s George Thorogood, whose muscular blues-rock was getting significant airplay, mainstream radio had no interest in the blues until Stevie Ray Vaughan emerged from Texas in 1983 (via a high-profile gig as David Bowie’s lead guitarist on his Let’s Dance album), along with his band Double Trouble, and took over the world with his multi-platinum debut, Texas Flood. His fierce, virtuosic guitar playing jumped out of stereo speakers and grabbed you by the throat (it still does), but he was more than just a shredder and his music has held up for nearly four decades (and nearly 30 years after his life was tragically cut short). Read below for my earlier comments about that amazing record.

For more information on this series, please read the opening paragraph of the first post, which featured the debut album from Led Zeppelin.

 

 

From GREAT OUT OF THE GATE Part 2:

I don’t think I fully appreciated the enormity of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar prowess when I first heard “Pride And Joy” on the radio in 1983. There was so much good music being played on rock radio at the time, old & new, so it was just another cool song with excellent guitar work. It wasn’t until I heard his debut album that I understood how special he was. In addition to his instrumental abilities, he helped revitalize the mostly dormant “blues” genre by exposing it to the public via regular airplay and shining a light on specific artists who influenced him via cover versions interspersed among his original compositions. Larry Davis’ late-‘50s song “Texas Flood” is a highlight of this album (and SRV’s career), Howlin’ Wolf’s “Tell Me” is given a swinging shuffle groove and Buddy Guy’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb” is tight & funky, and features Stevie’s playful vocal performance. The vocal-free album closer “Lenny,” a jazzy tune with obvious nods to Jimi Hendrix’s ballads, shows another side to him and his underrated band, Double Trouble (drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon). Perhaps the only misstep on Texas Flood is “I’m Cryin’,” which is a nice song but a little too similar to the superior “Pride And Joy.” Otherwise, this is quite a powerful introduction to an incredible talent, and I consider myself fortunate that I got to see him in concert twice before his untimely death in 1990.

 

I can’t imagine any self-respecting music fan who wouldn’t at least appreciate Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music, while the majority realize that he was a one-of-a-kind talent and love listening to his music as much as I do. Are you one of those people? If so, were you a fan immediately or did you discover him later on? He’s had many imitators but in my opinion no one has come close to SRV.

 

Satur-debut will return in two weeks. Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers and their loved ones.

10 comments on “Satur-debut – STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN AND DOUBLE TROUBLE “TEXAS FLOOD”

  1. deKE
    November 23, 2019

    Yup this is a classic. Love the live feel of this album. SRV and Double Trouble opened my eyes back in 1983 that there were other fine genres of music not to be ignored. SRV is so missed!
    Nice Satur-debut Rich!

    Like

  2. Bill P
    November 23, 2019

    Stevie truly wore his influences on his sleeve, a perfect blend of the early blues legends that preceded him with an equal part of Jimi Hendrix thrown in. Yet, he played with a cocaine-fueled ferocity that was unmatched by any other. Few could make the guitar create such soulful crying as he could.

    I had “voucher” tickets good for one free lawn seat at his last show in Alpine Valley. The drive was about 1.5 hrs from my house and I decided at the last minute to not go. I woke the next morning to the sad news of his passing.

    His near-perfect covers of Kenny Burrell’s “Chitlins Con Carne” and Jimi’s “Little Wing” & “Voodoo Chile” show the mastery of his instrument. Dare I say better than the originals?

    Like

    • The first time I saw Stevie the Hendrix influence was so evident, not just via his cover of “Voodoo Child” (which was phenomenal…at least on par with the original) but also his over-the-top stage antics. He was clearly fueled by more than just talent & adrenaline. The next time I saw him, when he did a double-bill with Jeff Beck, he was clean & sober and took no prisoners. I couldn’t believe how much better he was then, which made his loss a year later that much more painful. Did you ever get to see him, or was that missed show your only opportunity?

      Like

      • Bill P
        November 29, 2019

        No, that would have been my only opportunity to see him. Now I have to settle for DVDs and random youtube videos. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your assessment of his playing clean vs. medicated.

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      • Fortunately there are so many great SRV performances on record & film for you to enjoy. I still feel the same excitement I did back in the day whenever I listen to or watch him. Truly one of the all-time greats.

        Like

  3. christiansmusicmusings
    November 24, 2019

    I’m fully with you here. Stevie Ray Vaughan is right up my alley – what a beast of a guitarist and what a kick-ass backing band!

    I was introduced to SRV in my late teens shortly after I had joined a blues cover band as a bassist – the beginning of my relatively short band “career.” One of the tunes we played is “Scuttle Buttin'”. We also covered “Tin Pan Alley.” Our lead guitarist did a pretty decent job with these tunes. Both songs made me buy “Couldn’t Stand The Weather,” SRV’s sophomore album and still a killer record, in my opinion.

    And, boy, what a tragedy of losing SRV so early. It’s really crazy how many top-notch music artists vanished in airplane crashes, or in this case a helicopter accident!

    Like

    • Hi Christian. I’m glad we’re on the same page with SRV as well as his band. The fellas in Double Trouble probably don’t get the recognition they deserve but they were killer musicians and more than just Stevie’s backing band. I think I’m with you on Couldn’t Stand The Weather, which might be my favorite Stevie album. The title track is a monster.

      Stevie’s death hit me hard. Having seen him for the second time the previous year, it was obvious that he was re-energized and more great things were ahead for him. I remember the early reports coming over the radio about a helicopter crash involving musicians, possibly including Eric Clapton (who had played the same show, along with Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy(?) and others), but for an hour or so there was no mention of Stevie…until the sad news became available. I couldn’t concentrate on work the rest of the day. Very few celebrity deaths have made that kind of impact on me. Only John Bonham’s death in 1980 was more upsetting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. christiansmusicmusings
    November 27, 2019

    I can only imagine how great it must have been to be at a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert. Unfortunately, I never saw him!

    Like

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