Review Summary: Texas Flood puts Stevie Ray Vaughn's uncanny talents on display for the masses. This album will attract everyone from the hardened bluesman and casual fans of guitar and the blues.
Texas flood is a tremendous achievement for a new artist at the time of its release. By now everyone knows about Stevie Ray Vaughn and his impact on modern music and his inspiration to many six string enthusiast. But at the time of Texas Flood’s release Vaughn was relatively unheard of except to the local club scene and a couple of high profile collaborations. To someone new to SRV and the blues the album’s sound is extremely polished. This lack of grit however does not take away from the emotion of SRV and his music. I also believe the polished sound lends itself well to Vaughn’s soulful voice, which sometimes goes unnoticed held up next to his guitar playing.
Now to what put Vaughn on the map his guitar. That is his claim to fame and probably is the reason you are even checking Vaughn out in the first place. Vaughn not only shows his playing ability but also his talent for arranging and choosing his songs. This mixture of songs is deeply entrenched in the tradition of the blues, but they also have a mainstream sound. “Love Struck Baby” and “Pride and Joy” are perfect examples of this radio friendly pop sound. The album as a whole contains a wide collection of soulful and grand guitar solos and Vaughn’s trademark blues turnarounds. Double trouble provides excellent rhythm to allow Vaughn to explore what sounds and feelings he can create with his guitar. The album also includes a few covers from Howling Wolf and Buddy Guy that help tie it to some classic blues players. For me the highlight of this album is the track “Lenny”. Vaughn’s use of solos and different tempos truly stands out among the other tracks.
Overall the album is easily accessible to new listeners and the non blues listening crowd. Though some the instrumental and heavier blues themed songs may be skipped over by the casual listener it is still a must listen for people who enjoy musician's at their best. Overall Vaughn shows that the modern generation still craves and respects the blues and can continue to add to the traditions.
[L]Stevie Ray Vaughn[L]