Stevie Ray Vaughan was a fine singer and an outstanding guitar player, achieving his peak popularity during the 1980s. After much publicized problems with alcohol and cocaine, he went to rehab in 1986 and stayed clean and sober for four years until his tragic death in a helicopter crash in 1990.
Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of those artists who arrived on the national scene as a fully realized talent. I purchased his first album and was thrilled with his unique talent and sound, especially during an era where synthesizers and electronic beats were the prevailing popular sound. But his following albums sounded very similar, as there was very little room for improvement. Often, artists first enter the major studio with much of the best material they will ever have. Vaughan continued to have great success for years, and was a regular staple on album rock FM radio stations, with the occasional excellent song. His talent is undeniable, but the breadth of his recorded work has some limitations.
The same week I picked up his first major label release, Texas Flood, I was invited to a small bachelor party for a work acquaintance of mine. In fact, it may be the only bachelor party I was ever invited to. Anyway, I showed up with the Stevie Ray Vaughan album, which I was very excited about, and played it a couple of times during the evening. Around midnight, after a few hours of drinking and yelling, a stripper showed up at the small apartment in south Palo Alto to “perform”. Anyway, once again, I suggested the Stevie Ray Vaughan album, and then proceeded to find a floor board to lean up against. So I have this once in a lifetime remembrance of being 24 years old, laying on a floor, and looking up at a naked stripper dancing almost directly above me, as one of my friends commented, “Yeah, she likes John.”
Stevie Ray Vaughan has many excellent YouTube performances to choose from. He collaborated with many different artists. One gets the impression that he was a humble man devoted to the craft of guitar playing. Here he is playing the instrumental “Lenny”:
My favorite songs are “Pride And Joy” and “Love Struck Baby”. His first major release, Texas Flood is the place to start learning about this fine musician.
Pride And Joy, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭✭✭
Love Struck Baby, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭✭
Life By The Drop, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭✭
Lenny, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭✭
Testify, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭✭
Cold Shot, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭✭
Look At Little Sister, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭
Little Wing, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭
The House Is Rockin’, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭
Shake For Me, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭
Texas Flood, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭
Dirty Pool, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ✭✭
Little Wing, Jimi Hendrix Experience ✭✭✭✭✭
Little Wing (Alt), Jimi Hendrix Experience ✭✭✭✭
Little Wing (Alt) (Instrumental), Jimi Hendrix Experience ✭✭✭
Little Wing (Live), Eric Clapton ✭✭✭✭
Little Wing (Live), Derek & The Dominoes ✭✭
Shake For Me, Howlin’ Wolf ✭✭✭✭
Shake For Me, John Hammond ✭✭✭
NOTES: Little Wing (Live) by Eric Clapton can be found on Slow Down Hand. Shake For Me by John Hammond is found on Duane Allman, An Anthology.