One year after the legendary SRV album[URL=http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133262]Texas Flood (link)[/URL] was released, the world saw Stevie and his trusty strat, 'Number One', pull out another epic and highly anticipated follow-up album, Couldn't Stand the Weather
(1984). If anyone had any skeptism or doubts of this virtuoso's ability, they were soon thrown out--a new blues messiah was here and there was nothing they could do about it. Playing with even more skill and musical prowess than their previous album, SRV and Double Trouble were ready to get back into the studio after extensive touring the months following Texas Flood
's success. Stevie also earned his second Grammy Award nomination for this album. In addition, his interpertation of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) was cited in the Best Rock Instrumental category. In an interview with magazine, Down Beat
, Stevie Ray Vaughan told of his goals for the future, stating that "We're going to keep playing our hearts out. We hope we can get a lot of people to listen but if they don't--well, we're still going to go all-out anyway. You know, I love the blues. What else is there?"
Length: 54min 59sec
No. of Tracks: 13 (w/5 previously unreleased bonus tracks)
Executive Producer: John Hammond
Produced By Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Richard Mullen, and Jim Capfer
Extras: Pamplet include photos of the band, and an interesting article on Stevie Ray and the band by Bill Milkowski. Also contains 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks.
Couldn't Stand the Weather
(1:52)- A crowd favorite, this short but very speedy instrumental show boats the Texas Bluesman's technical skill and speed on the guitar. Though not his fastest instrumental, it is fun to listen to and quite impressive.
Couldn't Stand the Weather
(4:41)- Title track. Texas blues with a very funky beat. SRV and his brother joined forces to create the song, Jimmie being second guitar and SRV playing lead of course. Generally a good song, but some hard core blues fans may shy away from its rock oriented beat and funky feel. However, the solo was definitly they best point of the song, very bluesy and lots of feel.
The Things (That) I Used to Do
(4:55)-One of the best songs in the album, and definitly one of the best blues songs ever performed. Stevie starts the song with roaring vocals, but a moderate tempo beat. Solo definitly amazing, one of the longest ones in the album, and masterfully done. Stevie is joined by his brother Jimmie (second guitar) in this song. And impressive song played impressively well. Imagine a powerful BB King growl (though not that intense or deep of course) with an agressive blues guitar and you got The Things I used to Do.
Voodoo Chile(Slight Return)
(7:59)0-Stunning, aggressive, and guitarist that could make any other humble. This masterful cover on Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child (or is it Voodoo Chile? Both sides seem to contradict one another), possibly the best Jimi cover ever done, and definitly the best on this particular song. SRV does a terrific job of approaching Jimi's fuzzy tone, but more clear and that texas tone. SRV also plays this song with MORE technical skill and clarity (neatness) than Jimi had. Vocals were excellent, but SRV did lack a bit of intensity and rawness that Jimi had as far as singing is concerned, but he did a darn good job. Still, terrific vocals. SRV playing was definitly light years away from Jimi's as far as techincal skill goes, most notably when at around 1:40-1:50 where starts bending his strings LIKE A MADMAN, and just goes off and plays an INSANE SOLO. Seriously, he went off and just started busting out. What was interesting was that although he did start playing fast, he did not over do it, as he never does, but just pushes the limit of his playing while retaining feel and that certain bluesy quality. Clocked at just under 8 minutes, watch out, because you are for a heck of a ride. EXCELLENT SONG.
(4:01)-After rocking out to Voodoo Chile, the album tones it down a bit with Cold Shot
. A great song and extremely well placed, as it served as a way of toning down the album especially after that insanely good cover on Voodoo Chile, and leading into one of most legendary SRV songs ever, Tin Pan Alley. Good song, very smooth, with a take it easy solo. Be sure to catch the music video of this song, as it is very funny.
Tin Pan Alley (aka Toughest Place in Town)
(9:11)- Lord, have mercy. Song played with so much feel and grace that it overwhelms you. Classic blues feel to it, if you ever wonder why the blues go its name, listen to this song. Beauty and perfection; a masterfully done blues song. Easily one of the best blues songs in the history of blues. Over 9 minutes in length, be prepared to get so bluesy that you'll shudder. If you don't get chills listening to it, you shouldn't be listening to the blues.
(2:43)-Think after Tin Pan Alley that another blues song will give ya frost bite? Don't worry, as Honey Bee is definitely is the most upbeat, feel good song in the album. Cheery and a bit rocky, this is the a good remedy for when ya got the blues.
(2:55)-Jazzy finish to the original album, this swingin’ instrumental will leave you full and satisfied. SRV is accompanied by jazzy tenor sax playing of Stan Harrison.
(1:08)- Excerpt from "In Step with Stevie Ray Vaughan" edition of ROCK LIVES: THE TIMOTHY WHITE SESSIONS. Originally taped in 1989, about a year before SRV's untimely departure from this world.
(4:04)-Pure texas blues! Instrumental with bluesy feel and the certain special influence of Texas R&B. Very well done. As a bonus track, this was not released with the original album. This bonus track was originally an unreleased song from the Couldn't Stand the Weather
jam sessions, along with the next three songs after it.
Look at Little Sister
(2:46)-Yet another bonus track from the '84 jam sessions. Upbeat and well played, this the an earlier version of a song that would later be released on SRV's third album, Soul to Soul
. This particular version, in my humble opinion, was superior to the one in Soul to Soul
Give Me Back My Wig
(4:07)-Fun song that with a strong Texas R&B feel. This shuffle surely will get ya tappin' your foot and singin' along with Stevie. Song was originally by T.R Taylor.
Come On (Pt. III)
(4:33)- Don't ask me why it is "Part 3" because I don't know. This song would later appear in Soul to Soul
, just as Look at Little Sister
did, and just like that song, I personally find superior to the version on Soul to Soul
. Why? I suppose Stevie was on the verge of collapsing from drug abuse, which really showed up one Soul to Soul
, but I'll get into that more extensively when/if I review that album. Anyway, this song is pretty quick, and with a pretty fast solo. Pretty good, but the lyrics were pretty repetitive, and I found Chris Layton's drum work a tad off at times, but the superb guitar playing on SRV's part brought the song up. Good song, great guitar and solo.
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Guitars, vocals
Tommy Shannon: Bass
Chris "Whipper" Layton: Drums
Jimmie Vaughan: 2nd guitar on "Couldn't Stand the Weather" and "The Things (That) I Used To Do"
Fran Christina: Drums on "Stang's Swang"
Stan Harrison: Tenor Saxophone
Stevie Ray Vaughan had been invited to play Lead guitar in David Bowie's band prior to [URL=http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133262]Texas Flood (link)[/URL]'s release.
Good album. I'd recommend this to someone who wanted to get a good feel for Stevie's music but also wanted to compare his skill to other guitarists, such as Jimi Hendrix. Personally, though I couldn't find any major flaws, I think that SRV should of wrote more of his own songs and maybe of added another instrumental. Overall, excellent, grammy nominated album, 5/5 stars