Stevie Ray Vaughn: C or D / S & D

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Nothing turned up in search except a thread about whether or not SRV killed a David Bowie album, so I think I have a fair guess that most ILMers will vote "Dud" and "destroy all of it," but here goes...

FYI, a friend of mine was into SRV when I was 17. I thought the guitar sounded more exactly like Hendrix than all the other ripoff artists, he sometimes had a very echoey springy guitar sound that I didn't like and weird little gurgly vocals. And I hated his hat and the way he looked in general.

So 15 years later, I downloaded some live torrents and I love it. His guitar sound is a welcome change from the other very typical blues tones out there. And now I'm kind of liking his voice, too. I think he probably just sounds best on live unfucked-with SBD recordings.

So now I'm turning it over to you all.

Zan Gleek, Saturday, 1 October 2005 22:50 (sixteen years ago) link

I find myself defending SRV most of the time. Most people are quick to blame him for the 80s/90s co-optation and commodification of blues, but in all reality, it's easier to blame Alligator Records for that, probably starting with Johnny Winter's "Guitarslinger."

SRV was a revolutionary player when he hit mass conciousness with Texas Flood. Lots of Hendrix and Albert King influences paired with one of the most gorgeous guitar tones in history - the second and fourth position on the Strat run through Vibroverbs/Super Reverbs.

I argue that those who discredit SRV are misplacing their disdain. It should be saved for the legion of imitators who sprung in his wake. All those 90s dorks (Kenny Wayne Shepard, Chris Duarte, Colin James, that loser in every town who dresses like SRV and can't play worth shit)who missed a key point - SRV synthesized a lot of influences, copped a lot of people's stylisms and licks, but managed to put a unique stamp on it.

So as far as the SRV catalog goes, I'm very partial to the "Texas Flood" LP. "Couldn't Stand The Weather" and "Soul to Soul" have some great moments, but both suffer from filler. "Live Alive" is atrocious, and I never really dug "In Step."

Search for his Montreaux set from 82. A version of "Texas Flood" from this set was released on an Atlantic compilation called "Blues Explosion." For all I know, the whole set has been reissued.

The pre-Columbia "In The Beginning" live album is worth checking out, as well.

The guy had a lot of passion, and the anti-rockists will always roll their eyes at his penchant for soloing, but goddamn it, he was good at it. He could phrase with the best of them - Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Albert King. Yes, his voice could great, but once again, the feeling was there.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Saturday, 1 October 2005 23:08 (sixteen years ago) link

I'll go with classic. Oddly enough I burned all my CD's of him in my iTunes today for the first time. I'm not a huge fan, but I love his guitar tone and his riffs are all enjoyable. I also appreciate the fact that for a guy who had such amazing speed on his fingers and accuracy with his picking stuck to blues and didn't try to be a guitar prodigy. He was great at what he did, and is entirely unoffensive.

Bryan Moore (Bryan Moore), Sunday, 2 October 2005 00:16 (sixteen years ago) link

The first "lost" SRV album is up on dimeadozen.org right now...

Here's the details from the txt file and cover art:

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - "In 1978 There Was..." (SRV's lost first album)

Featuring Miss Lou Ann Barton.

"The Legendary Lost First Stevie Ray Vaughn Album"

"The one and only surviving test pressing was recently discovered in a cupboard in South Austin, Texas where it had lain for the last 19 years, all other recordings of the project have been destroyed after alleged contractual disputes arose. These recording, notable for their raw energy and rare slide guitar work are essential for all true collectors. Also featuring four early arrangements of songs that later appeared on the Texas Flood album.

Due to the brevity of the Nashville '78 session the producers have added a live soundboard recording featuring Lou Ann Barton and three tracks featuring Johnni Reno on saxophone."

Notes: The above paragraph is the supposed story behind this recording as told on the cd inlay. The real story is that the band didn't like the way the album turned out and paid a large sum of money to keep it from being released. As you would expect, someone got their hands on a copy and bootlegged it.


CDR>dbPowerAMP>FLAC

I'm happy to own this! Go get it if you don't already have it.

Also, the 3 discer from an FM Broadcast (I think) titled "Stevie Ray Vaughan - In Memoriam" is fantastic!

Zan Gleek, Sunday, 2 October 2005 00:27 (sixteen years ago) link

The thread you're looking for is this one.

And here's what I myself wrote on it, lo these many moons ago:

For a player of his post-Clapton-Allman-Hendrix generation -- i.e. raised on blooz and rawk -- I thought he had a nice combination of chops and, you know, feeling. Passion, whatever. I don't love him, but I think he's...nice. And way more tasteful than some of the haters are making him out to be. Less pretentious too. I'll take ZZ Top over him, sure. But if I walked into a bar with a rabbi and a priest and Stevie Ray was on the jukebox, I bet we'd all have a reasonably good time.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Sunday, 2 October 2005 00:59 (sixteen years ago) link

That old SRV thread got downright fugly.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Sunday, 2 October 2005 01:43 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...

listening to srv now ('in step')

it's pretty solid, even if i don't particularly fancy the vox or those drums that do nothing but just sort of chug along

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 12 July 2007 18:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Mighta helped if the person who started the thread actually knew how to spell SRV's name. Oof!

Gorge, Thursday, 12 July 2007 18:30 (fourteen years ago) link

I dig him. I own most of his records, too, though the only one I ever bought was Soul to Soul.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 12 July 2007 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

classic

chaki, Thursday, 12 July 2007 23:52 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Died 20 years ago today, btw.

StanM, Friday, 27 August 2010 13:36 (eleven years ago) link

six years pass...

Not sure why but this 82 show is pretty mesmerizing: https://youtu.be/GEl0yXTsCrA

calstars, Wednesday, 25 January 2017 02:16 (four years ago) link

Amazing show! A lot has been written about SRV's technique, chops and tone but what makes him great, that elevates him above other guitarists, is his inventiveness and good taste. Although they're very different, you could probably say similar of Kevin Shields - what makes him special isn't actually the volume, effects pedals and alternative tunings.

Supposed Former ILM Lurker (WeWantMiles), Wednesday, 25 January 2017 12:20 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Rise Of A Texas Bluesman: 1954-1983 -- Directed by Tom O'Dell

Just watched on Amazon Prime. This is a fine example of what a music-oriented documentary should look like. Extremely well-crafted; starts with a solid fundamental orientation of Texas blues and covers everything imaginable from his youth till the end.

bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, 28 September 2017 19:41 (four years ago) link

I got to see the SRV exhibit they had at the Bullock museum in Austin last summer. A favorite item on display was among some hotel 'while you were out' notes from the mid-80s, which simply read "Wife called: I NEED MONEY".

to fly across the city and find Aerosmith's car (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 28 September 2017 20:39 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

I wonder if I would hate him less if I wasn't from Texas. The law that every bar band has to cover not less than two SRV songs per hour has ruined him for me but I'm suspicious his voice would have done that anyway.
(except for "Life By The Drop" which is pretty good)

louise ck (milo z), Thursday, 25 January 2018 22:36 (three years ago) link

The more I'm exposed to Joe Bonamassa, the better Stevie Ray seems. Although this from twelve years ago is otm:

that loser in every town who dresses like SRV and can't play worth shit)

Would that there were only one...

Brave Combover (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 25 January 2018 22:49 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

I've been listening to a bit of SRV lately and - you heard it here first - he can really play guitar. One of the few cats who can do Hendrix justice. Plus at the very least I love the *sound* of his guitar.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 30 September 2021 22:23 (three weeks ago) link

There have been blues stars since, definitely some great guitarists, but has anyone new approached his stature or popularity since he died? He seems like the last one to become a big mainstream star in their lifetime.

birdistheword, Thursday, 30 September 2021 23:47 (three weeks ago) link

yah i dont think anyones gotten close.

i dont listen to him all that much but theres def an itch that only he can scratch, on occasion

That's pretty much how I feel. He has a very well-curated catalog (his estate has been very selective of what to release because they didn't like what happened with Hendrix's posthumous releases), but that two-disc The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan is mainly what I've listened to over the years. I know Sony/Legacy cranked those out, but some of them actually are definitive compilations selection-wise and this is one of them.

birdistheword, Friday, 1 October 2021 00:40 (three weeks ago) link

I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn as a teenager live a couple times and he blew my mind and he still kinda does.

As the years go by and you find out things like that Tommy Shannon was Johnny Winter's bassist early on (played Woodstock with him) and that Reese Wynans was playing in the embryonic Allman Brothers until Duane convinced Greg to come back from California. Those are pretty interesting connections in hindsight.

earlnash, Friday, 1 October 2021 02:18 (three weeks ago) link

I didn't realize the massive amount of hate that's been posted on this board for Vaughan! He doesn't figure among my favorites, but he sure doesn't deserve those other threads. I took another listen to The Essential set I mentioned above, and from a traditionalist perspective, he's very enjoyable. His Hendrix covers are wonderful, especially the extended instrumental "Little Wing," but to me he's very much a blues artist rather than a rock 'n' roll or blues-rock artist, if that makes sense. To be clear, I'm not a stickler for classifications - call his music whatever you like, and his stuff will play just fine on certain rock playlists - but even when he's diving into material outside of traditional blues or pulling in influences from non-blues musicians, I don't think he strays too far in his interpretations and approach. Like his best contemporaries (Robert Cray comes to mind), his work is strongly anchored in the blues if not restricted within blues conventions. And "Riviera Paradise" makes me wish he was able to develop and try his hand at a jazz album.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 13 October 2021 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

I really, really dislike his voice, and in 30 years of listening to his albums off and on, here and there, I have never heard him do anything original with all his talent and technique, so in a world that already has Buddy Guy, and had Albert King and Albert Collins, I see no real reason for Vaughan's music to exist. Except that back in the 80s a whole bunch of people just really, really needed their blues guitar hero to be a white guy in a hat.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 14 October 2021 00:59 (one week ago) link

I'm not sure what originality one might expect in this particular milieu. Technique/tone/talent is kind of the name of the game. Plus songs, of course, but songs are sort of last on the list. Unless you're, you know, Robert Cray, who is such a good songwriter that his playing is almost besides the point.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 October 2021 01:37 (one week ago) link

And anyway, Vaughan had songs. It's not like he was George Thorogood or something.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 October 2021 01:39 (one week ago) link

Thorp good has a song, c’mon now.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 October 2021 04:46 (one week ago) link

I appreciate that my phone autocorrected to Thorp good, that should be some dance producer’s name.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 October 2021 04:47 (one week ago) link

the only 'original'-ish thing i can recall since his death is the revelation of junior kimbrough

buddy guy took his shot with 'sweet tea' and it was incredible. i would very much like to have heard SRV's take on that, even if his vocals sucked

mookieproof, Thursday, 14 October 2021 05:14 (one week ago) link

omg mookie thank you for reminding me about sweet tea

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 14 October 2021 08:01 (one week ago) link

I can appreciate his talent, but I've never been able to get into him at all. As unperson points out, his voice is a really big hurdle for me (and believe I recognize the irony as someone who had no problem with Billy Corgan pre-1990), but I just found it obnoxious. The other reason was that I knew two huge SRV boosters in college and they were both the most annoying, pestering guys that dressed and acted exactly like the Blues Hammer dudes you might expect. Both of them just consistently refused to engage in any music outside of SRV or the artists he covered and collaborated with, although I do remember them both really getting into Kenny Wayne Shepherd towards the end of college.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 14 October 2021 13:46 (one week ago) link

Every time I've come across "I hate SRV because of these people I know..." I inevitably think of this.

birdistheword, Thursday, 14 October 2021 14:28 (one week ago) link

Now, like, Kenny Wayne Shepherd? Jonny Lang? Jeff Healy? I never heard much character in any of those cats. Maybe someone like Warren Haynes does, but he's going for something different from those other dudes.

Anyway, yeah, at the very least, if you don't like his vox Vaughan has a bunch of great instrumental stuff. Like his interpretation of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqwGkADH_GY

Or this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x1vfs_zmcw

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 October 2021 15:05 (one week ago) link

Just looking, I was surprised to see Xgau was an unabashed fan.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 October 2021 15:08 (one week ago) link

Sounds like you guys would jump on a Andrea Bocelli sings the blues album.

calstars, Thursday, 14 October 2021 15:15 (one week ago) link

Sounds like you guys would jump on a Andrea Bocelli sings the blues album.
LMAO

SRV doesn't rank among my favorite singers, but dismissing someone altogether with "I can't stand his voice" is worthless criticism, it's typically a sign of personal prejudice and not much else. Too many voices to name are acquired tastes.

birdistheword, Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:02 (one week ago) link

Ah then that shows my beautiful purity, since I hate all singers, and music, and in fact most everything. I am only interested in concrete walls.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:05 (one week ago) link

Or, y'know, sometimes people just find certain voices really off-putting. I swear to god, the amount of energy people put into assuming bad or dishonest intent when someone doesn't like a particular artist is bonkers to me.

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:15 (one week ago) link

It's kind of the Rush corollary for me: in the end, I'm really not listening for the singing.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:20 (one week ago) link

I can usually put aside voices I don't love, I mean stoner rock in particular is littered with mediocre to awful singes but they usually are sparse and/or buried enough in fuzz that they don't bother me. SRV's voice, however, seems to just cut right through everything to pierce my appreciation of his guitar playing. His instrumentals are pretty good though!

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:22 (one week ago) link

Just here to say “life by the drop” is a beautiful song

xheugy eddy (D-40), Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:26 (one week ago) link

I swear to god, the amount of energy people put into assuming bad or dishonest intent when someone doesn't like a particular artist is bonkers to me.

Oh please, it doesn't take nearly as much effort as going on and on about how everyone is wrong to like someone because THE VOICE!

birdistheword, Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:55 (one week ago) link


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