Artist: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Title: Texas Flood
Musicians: Stevie Ray Vaughan – Guitar/Vocals, Tommy Shannon – Bass, Chris Layton – Drums
Producer: John Hammond, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, Richard Mullin
Engineer: Richard Mullin
Mixing Engineer: Lincoln Clapp
In my opinion Stevie Ray Vaughan (Oct 3, 1954 to Aug 27, 1990) was one of the greatest guitarist overall to ever live. It was a huge loss to the music world when he tragically dies in a helicopter crash, he was only 35 years old.
His virtuosity is unmatched today. One artist that comes close is Kenny Wayne Shepherd, but still not quite an equal to SRV. He is considered one of the most influential guitarists in Blues and more, along with Jimi Hendrix.
Believe it or not Stevie Ray Vaughn was discovered or got his first big break by both Jackson Browne and David Bowie. One day at a music festival in Texas SRV stole the stage with his performance and caught the attention of Jackson Browne and David Bowie who were in the audience and were blown away by his set. Afterwards, they went to meet SRV and David Bowie had him play on his Let’s Dance LP while at the same time Jackson Browne had him record in his studio for free and SRV was born.
As most great guitarists do, SRV started playing at a very young 7 years of age. Although popular in Texas at the time, Double Trouble failed to gain national attention. The group’s luck progressed when record producer Jerry Wexler recommended them to Claude Nobs, organizer of the Montreux Jazz Festival. He insisted that the festival’s blues night would be great with Vaughan, whom he called “a jewel, one of those rarities who comes along once in a lifetime”, and Nobs agreed to book Double Trouble on July 17. Vaughan opened with a medley arrangement of Freddie King’s song “Hide Away” and his own fast instrumental composition, “Rude Mood”. Double Trouble went on to perform 3 more covers and three original compositions. The set ended with boos from the audience. It turns out though that critically, SRV and Double Trouble managed to reduce the stage to a pile of smoking cinders and afterward, everybody wanted to know who he was. The performance was filmed and later released on DVD in September 2004.
In 1983 his debut studio album, Texas Flood, was a commercially successful release that sold over half a million copies. After achieving sobriety in late 1986, he headlined concert tours with Jeff Beck in 1989 and Joe Cocker in 1990 before his death.
Vaughan was inspired musically by American and British blues rock. He favored clean amplifiers with high volume and contributed to the popularity of vintage musical equipment. He often combined several different amplifiers together and used minimal effects pedals.
You can read more about SRV here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevie_Ray_Vaughan
All the songs on this LP are great, but here are the ones I think stand out to me:
Texas Flood : Written by Larry Davis, I love the guitar work SRV does on this tune and he got tricky with it live. To me it’s that core blues song and sound.
Mary Had A Little Lamb: SRV shows how to take children’s nursery rhyme and turn it into an adult groove thing. As far as I know SRV is the only one who has ever done this.
There are two instrumental tracks on this LP “Testify” and “Rude Mood” both SRV compositions. The last song on this album, “Lenny” he wrote for his wife.
I don’t know what the SPARS is for this CD. The CD I have is a Japanese import. The sound is not too harsh for a 1983 CD, decent dynamics, bass is nicely extended and nice presence. Highs are not as harsh as one would expect and every note and word is clear. It’s unlike what one would find with an early 80’s CD. Perhaps part of the reason is the genre, I don’t know.
Here’s a bit for you to enjoy:
Mary Had A Little Lamb: https://youtu.be/G6lq0sRon0k
Here’s some more from this LP live:https://youtu.be/Fn1a4zgVzSk