Stevie Ray Vaughan
In Step



by K. McNichols USER (16 Reviews)
April 9th, 2007 | 14 replies

Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Effectively bridging the gap between Blues, Jazz, and Rock 'n' Roll, Stevie's final studio album brings it all home.

Stevie Ray Vaughan was undeniably one of the greatest guitarists ever to live. Along with Jimi Hendrix, he will forever be remembered as one of the most innovative blues players to grace both the electric and acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, Stevie released only four studio albums in his short musical career: Texas Flood, Couldn't Stand the Weather, Soul to Soul, and In Step.

In Step is a landmark in blues as well as blues guitar playing. Stevie's tasteful fusion of jazz, blues and rock 'n' roll reach a climax on this album that surpasses all of his previous releases.

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble are:
Stevie Ray Vaughan - guitars and vocals
Tommy Shannon - bass
Chris Layton - drums
Reese Wynans - piano and keyboards

Stevie and co.'s playing are flawless throughout. Reese's keyboard and piano playing add a jazzy feel to most of the songs, and one that was not present in Stevie's previous work. A prime example of this is Wynan's Riviera Paradise solo. Reese's contributions are noticeable on Crossfire and Tightrope, among others. I can't say there's a single song on that could have been better. Every song is a testament to Stevie's masterful fretwork and rare blues virtuosity. My personal favorite song is the instrumental Riviera Paradise, which displays Stevie's developing knack for jazzier playing, as well as his increcible technique which was at its peak. Riviera Paradise is similar to Lenny from Texas Flood as far as the amount of emotion Stevie poured into it.

As far as the band's performance as a whole, the drums are always solid and Chris doesn't lay back at all on this album. Bassist Tommy also does great job establishing the signature Double Trouble groove underneath Stevie. Vocally Stevie doesn't disappoint as usual, and much like Jimi Hendrix his vocals aren't meant to be the focal point of the music but the emotion that is put into them makes them unforgettable.

The first album I ever heard from Stevie Ray Vaughan was his debut,Texas Flood. So when I finally got In Step I had my doubts as to whether or not the band could live up to that album. In Step put those doubts to rest. Although Texas Flood is tremendously in every aspect, In Step lives up to every expectation. However, a big part of what makes In Step stand apart from SRV's previous albums is that it was released after Stevie got out of rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. An observing listener will notice that Texas Flood and Couldn't Stand the Weather are much more raw and faster paced than In Step. This album is definitely SRV's most slow, laid back, and overall most mature effort, and it seems to me that he had developed and honed his songwriting skills to create what would be come some of the most complex music he ever released.

One song that deals with Stevie's troubled past is Tightrope, a mainstay in his live performances after the album's release. It's lyrics are some of Stevie's best. The solo is an album highlight, and Reese adds a distinct and recognizable keyboard background riff which makes the song one of Stevie's most memorable studio recordings.

Afraid of my own shadow in the face of grace
Heart full of darkness spotlight on my face
There was love all around me but I was lookin' for revenge
Thank God it never found me would have been the end

Legendary guitar playing, raw vocals, amazing instrumentation, and Reese Wynans proves himself as a perfect complement to the band. The only thing missing is the full blown speed and aggression that Stevie previously employed, however this was clearly not the aim of one fully realized Stevie Ray Vaughan.

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user ratings (141)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 9th 2007


This review comes off really fanboyish, and I have no idea how it sounds. Beef up the descriptions on the songs, and not just how 'great' everyone sounds on the instruments. Detail where they sound great, etc.

I personally think that Reese' keyboards and piano playing add a really cool element to his songs, especially on Riviera Paradise.

is not an adequate description. I won't vote, but just go back and edit it by putting in more descriptions.This Message Edited On 04.09.07

April 9th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

thats a legimitate complaint i revised it a little thanks for the feedback

April 9th 2007


pretty good review. I like The House Is Rocking. Oh and funny I was at Best Buy and saw a new release of Stevie Ray Vaughan called Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan with around 30 plus tracks so I decided to buy it. I went up to the counter handed the lady my debit card and my account didnt have enough $$$ in it. Sh*t.This Message Edited On 04.09.07

April 10th 2007


(If you read this review, comment or vote if it was well written)
Don't write such things, it only looks stupid and won't help a thing.

Your review was quite good though

April 10th 2007


make the paragraphs a bit longer

great album

April 10th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

good idea hamburgerman

September 3rd 2012


I fucking love this guy so much. Crossfire is such a jam.

September 14th 2013


Album Rating: 5.0

There's always certain artist where everything they touched was magic. SRV was one of them.

October 5th 2013


Album Rating: 5.0

Pure awesome.

October 25th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album, some moments of pure magic exist on this cd.

May 8th 2016


Album Rating: 4.5

Am I the only thinks this is his best? This is so so good.

Crossfire, Tightrope, Scratch n' Sniff and Riviera Paradise are all best song ever material.

May 8th 2016


Album Rating: 4.0

First two LP's are better imo

May 8th 2016


Album Rating: 4.5

Texas has some incredible showstoppers and a bunch of variety but I'm Cryin' is basically Pride and Joy but so much worse, meh production and minor nit picks and Couldn't Stand the Weather has some songs I don't like despite Voodoo Child being the best thing ever. This is much more consistent than those 2, his best vocal work and better production imo. Overall better songwriting too, uses hooks more to his advantage. This has the worst solos of the 3 though.

Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2016


Need to recheck just to be sure which is my favorite but I remember Couldn't Stand the Weather being the album I liked most. Man I need to jam some SRV, it's been years.

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