The Best Of The Blues box set


Artist: Various
Genre: Blues
Title: The Best Of The Blues
Released: 1973
Label: Sin Qua Non
Format: Vinyl

Yes, this is a box set on vinyl, one of my infamous pickups at record fairs. You guys know me, I struggle to resist a $3 box set and the like. (I’m actually a bit picky, but still….)
Anyway, what we have here is a three record blues set encompassing the blues and the subsets therein such as Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Piano Blues, East Coast Blues, Harmonica Blues, etc.
The artists on this collection include: James (Jimmy) Witherspoon, Richard Holmes, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Ray Charles, Johnny Lee Hooker, Brownie & Sonny, Big Joe Williams, Leadbelly, Josh White, Big Bill Broonzy, Jimmy Reed, Memphis Slim & Otis Spann.
There are very early recordings as well as somewhat later recordings. Some portions of the set though were electronically re-recorded to simulate stereo. I wish they would have left things alone, some things sound their best in mono. Usually, “electronic enhancement” or “electronic stereo” sounds absolutely awful, but in this case somehow it did not do too much damage, it sounds o.k.

I gave it 5 stars for music because it’s the blues and you can’t go too wrong with Blues.
I gave 4 stars for sound even though there are portions that are electronically simulated stereo, because in this one case it is not real bad.

MUSIC:
SOUND:

 

Stevie Ray Vaughn – Couldn’t stand The Weather

R-2036535-1337640602-8651.jpeg

Artist: Stevie Ray Vaughn
Title: Couldn’t Stand The Weather
Genere: Blues, Electric blues
Released: 1984
Label: Epic
Format: CD
Musicians:Stevie Ray Vaughan – Guitar/Vocals, Tommy Shannon – Bass, Chris Layton – Drums, Jimmy Vaughn- 2nd guitar, Fran Christina – Drums, Stan Harrison – Sax
Producer: John Hammond, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, Richard Mullen, Jim Capfer
Engineer: Richard Mullen, Rob Eaton

Couldn’t Stand the Weather is the second studio album by American blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Recording sessions took place in January 1984 at the Power Station in New York City.
Stevie Ray Vaughan wrote half the tracks on Couldn’t Stand the Weather. In 1999, a reissue of the album was released which contains an audio interview segment and studio outtakes.
In 2010, the album was reissued again as the Legacy Edition containing two CDs with a previously unreleased studio outtake and an August 17, 1984 concert at The Spectrum in Montreal, Canada.

During January 1984, Vaughan and Double Trouble spent 19 days at the Power Station in New York City.
Vaughan’s brother, Jimmie Vaughan, played rhythm guitar on “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” and “The Things (That) I Used to Do”.
For “Stang’s Swang”, drummer Fran Christina and saxophonist Stan Harrison recorded parts for the track.

Not only could SRV play guitar like no other, but he also had a great blues voice. The CD I have is from 1984 and manufactured in Japan. I think this CD was well produced as the album was well recorded. It really sounds good for a CD from the 80s. In fact, I’m not certain the vinyl version would sound any better, but it may. Everything is right with this LP CD or otherwise. One can hear every detail as it is mixed well.
Couldn’t Stand the Weather is the second studio album by American blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. It was released on May 15, 1984, by Epic Records as the follow-up to the band’s critically and commercially successful 1983 album, Texas Flood.
Stevie Ray Vaughan wrote half the tracks on the album. In 1999, a reissue of the album was released which contains an audio interview segment and studio outtakes.
In 2010, the album was reissued again as the Legacy Edition containing two CDs with a previously unreleased studio outtake and an August 17, 1984 concert at The Spectrum in Montreal, Canada.
I have the Epic release which is what I am reviewing here.

This is one of my favorite SRV albums.
“Scuttle Buttin” – Bang out of the gate, this opener is one of the most thrilling songs by SRV. It’s an instrumental and short at a minute 49 seconds, but when you hear it you’ll know why it’s only under 2 minutes. How long can you play at that speed? The bass work is also very good on this song.

“Couldn’t Stand The Weather” – This is the title track. Great drum work on this as well. You can tell how well produced and recorded the CD was by this track.
“The Things (That) I Used To Do” – This  is a twelve bar blues number written and originally performed by Eddie Jones aka Guitar Slim – It just feels like you want to settle in and listen and appreciate it when you hear it.

“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” – This is a song recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968. It contains much improvised guitar and a vocal from Hendrix, backed by Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell on drums. The song is one of Hendrix’s best known; it was a feature of his concert performances throughout his career.
After his death in 1970, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, using the title “Voodoo Chile” was released in the UK. Several artists have performed or recorded versions of the song. SRV is one of those artists that do the song justice and then some. His version is one of the best I’ve ever heard. I might even say its better than the original in a way.

“Cold Shot” – (originally credited to Michael Kindred and W. C. Clark; later incorrectly credited to only Michael Kindred). If I had to have a least favorite track on this album, this one would be closest, but it’s still good.

“Tin Pan Alley” – This is the first track recorded for the LP and is the old blues standard, which was done in one take. This is the longest song on the album. It’s a slow, mellow blues number and another good settle in and listen song like the third track previously. This is recorded so well you can hear even the lightest touch on guitar and drums.

“Honey Bee” – This track kind of brings the energy back in a fun way. It’s more of a groove, blues/rock sound.

“Stangs Swang” – A little swing jazz number to finish off the LP. This one features  drummer Fran Christina and saxophonist Stan Harrison both whom recorded parts for the track.

Music = 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars
Sound = 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Scuttle Buttin live (electric)

Now trying doing that solo on 12-string acoustic!


Voodoo Chile Live (The best version is live at the El Mocambo, but I can’t get that one, so you’ll have to settle for this).

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Texas Flood

SRV Texas Flood

Artist: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Title: Texas Flood
Released: 1983
Label: Epic
Genre: Blues
Format: CD
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

Sound:5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Music: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars