“Texas Flood” – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble (1983) [english]

I love Texas and its almost unhealthy passion for music. The mistake you make thinking about Lone Star State, however, is to think that the musical style you love and play here is just country. Well, it’s not so and today in fact the Trex Road will veer on the streets of the blues, but those of the past, those of the early ’80s. In Texas were born musicians and fundamental movements for rock, jazz and even blues, here the music is lived every second and in Austin there are clubs and festivals that shoot quality music already in the morning : it is the home of live music. The blues owes to Texas its rebirth in the early ’80s, went from being a forgotten and out-of-fashion genre, to invade the charts again and the merit was of a guitarist native of Dallas but who moved his musical steps in Austin : Stevie Ray Vaughan. Stevie Ray Vaughan began his career in the late ’70s, delighting live club audiences in Austin with his electric blues and fast hands. A name that began to circulate among the insiders, who increasingly found themselves in the audience to attend the show most in demand in the city. SRV and his band Double Trouble, name inspired by a song by Otis Rush, were on the launch pad and the spark that made them explode was finally provided first by Mick Jagger and then by David Bowie, two really remarkable names for a guy who had just begun to make his way in the music business. The leader of the Rolling Stones noticed it and was struck by the sound so damned blues but so damned original and suggested to the producer Jerry Wrexler his name and this earned him the participation in the famous Montreux Jazz Festival of 1982. It was a negative experience, the festival audience was very conservative and not inclined to the blues rock sounds of the Texan guitarist and subjected him to booing and insults. But sometimes from the negative something good is born and it was so that it was noticed by David Bowie who absolutely wanted that guitar on his album in progress : Let’s Dance. A fruitful collaboration that earned him the presence on 6 of the 8 tracks on the album and an agreement to be part of the world tour. At the last moment Stevie Ray thought about it and decided to take over his career and his music : he will no longer be the shoulder of anyone, he wants to show the world that blues rock has a new king. The legendary producer John Hammond is not begged and thanks to Jackson Browne who allows him to use his studios for free, and Epic Records, in 1983 is given to the press this his debut record, Texas Flood and the American music charts finally return to interest in blues, thanks to this guy from Texas. The album consists of 10 tracks, of which 6 are his signature while the remaining 4 are covers but played with so much passion and talent that become his in all respects for the general public. The influences that you can feel listening to this exceptional debut are many and all mixed in a personal way, the sound of BB King, Albert King and Buddy Guy, that electric blues that had in Chicago its capital, but also and especially Jimi Hendrix, of which SRV seems to be a credible and natural heir. The sound is much more classical blues and rock and roll oriented than the left-handed Seattle, but the talent, that poetic and furious improvisation seems to be the same that rocked the world in the late sixties. The work starts with a rocket and the radios and the charts that had ignored that obsolete genre, are hit in the face by Love Struck Baby, a very short blues with a lot of rock and roll, supported by the heavenly sound of his guitar; his voice is not of the highest quality but adapts perfectly to his sound from Austin to the Mississippi through the fingers of Chuck Berry. The appetizer leaves in the mouth that desire to continue listening and after a classic comes another: Pride and Joy is a blues from the unforgettable groove, of those that the Fathers of the genre played in the juke joint, enveloping persuasive and with that desire to dance that runs through your spine. The guitar has a sound never heard, fast, but never banal and the solo cuts the air in two. The world of blues would not be the same anymore and just hear the cover of a classic piece by Larry Davis that will give the title to the album to understand that this guy will become the ambassador of a genre ready to leave its mark on American culture. A dragging blues, long, melancholic and persuasive, like the greats of the past, the sound of his guitar penetrates the soul and upsets it, his touch has that magic that was missing to the blues for a long time and that allowed him to go through the worst decade for the music really played (the 80s, ed). Since the sound often recalls him, Vaughan with Tell Me uncomfortable the great Howlin’ Wolf and his version reaches and perhaps exceeds the original, fun easy-going but bloody scratchy, short, but never banal and then the solo that captures you, kidnaps you and never gives up. Only Hendrix had this ability to play classic blues and modernize it without upsetting it. Now the sound of the guitar has broken the banks and like a torrential rain devastates the speakers, Testify is an exciting ride of instrumental blues, without voice but who really notices? The mind is busy imagining his fingers flying on the six strings and the rhythmic follow his wild rhythm, a jazzy flavor, inventive free yes, but never overflowing or boring, indeed! The song is the prologue to another guitar and rhythm-only piece, Rude Mood, even more devastating. An electric burst of emotions, a demonstration of talent not end in itself, a piece that will become the cornerstone of his live performances. A series of solos that could have derailed the melody and the meaning of the song, but SRV’s talent is unique for this: the balance never fails and you never stop wanting to feel where his speed and his innate mastery will take him. Another cover, another little jewel: Mary Had a little Lamb by Buddy Guy, legendary piece that Vaughan honors by giving us a capital performance, slows down yes, but the melody that his fingers give us, make us understand how his fingers were not only ultrafast but also a harmonious combination of melody and talent. The solo is pure magic and you wish it would never end. Dirty Pool is a vintage blues, slow and sexy, but not trivial. A cascade of brilliant notes that are the prologue to the finale of an incredible record. Exciting and sad, an exceptional piece of the past. Perhaps the best vocal performance of the record, but it is the guitar that overwhelms us like a river in flood, goosebumps are mandatory while we imagine these fingers flying on the keys. The second part of Pride and Joy, the same approach, same feeling, is I’m Cryin’, another irresistible groove, that taste of dance blues, smoke and wild dances. The closing of the album is a dedication to SRV’s wife, Lenny, a long instrumental piece with romantic appeal, persuasive and sweet live will become acoustic and will often last more than 10 minutes. The piece is the demonstration of how Stevie’s talent, allowed him to master the speed, never overflowing in exaggeration, but also the slow, beautiful intensity and expressiveness. A song that in its simplicity and sweetness, is a fantastic declaration of love for his wife and for blues music, of which he had become the most famous exponent in the world, after only one record. An album that didn’t get the commercial bang right away, but allowed Stevie Ray Vaughan to start to amaze the world with his tours and slowly that world noticed that this fumigant blues guitarist was not only good, but he was also unique, one of those musicians who are born every 50 years, one of those who could safely sit at the table of the elect with Jimi and Duane Allman. From that moment the ascent was unstoppable, another 5 albums until the last in 1991, until his encounter with a fatal destiny that unites him also in this, alas, to the two aforementioned: on August 27, 1990, after a super concert at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, together with Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray, the guitarist took the place on Clapton’s helicopter, because he wanted to be the first to return to the hotel, too much fatigue. The helicopter, due to the thick fog and the poor experience of the pilot in critical situations, crashed shortly after taking off against a hill, in addition to Stevie Ray Vaughan, died in the accident the pilot and two members of the staff of Clapton. An incredible tragedy that, like many others in the history of music, took away the opportunity to continue to appreciate one of the greatest blues talents ever seen with this album had just begun to amaze the world. If you don’t know and love rock and roll and blues, or just quality music, go immediately to make amends and kneel also you adoring at the feet of one of the most fantastic guitarists the world has ever seen and now with his statue overlooking the skyline of Austin, Texas, as the pioneers of the past.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/stevie-ray-vaughan-double-trouble-texas-flood-1983-by-trex-roads/ )

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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