Stevie Ray Vaughan: Couldn’t Stand the Weather (Legacy Edition)

RIYL: Indigenous, The Arc Angels, Eric Johnson

Couldn’t Stand the Weather was Stevie Ray’s second album and many fans consider the 1984 classic to be his best work. It’s full of the pioneering Texas blues virtuoso playing that made Stevie Ray famous. Now the new Legacy Edition expands the album with a slew of additional tracks, plus a second disc featuring most of the songs performed live in Montreal during the band’s 1984 tour.

The live disc absolutely smokes, making this package a big winner. Adding this to the remastered album makes this release the go-to disc for any newcomers who might wonder where to start with SRV. From the scintillating “Scuttbuttin’” opener to the epic title track to the smoldering cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” the album is just one classic after another. Then you have Stevie Ray branching out with a variety of blues styles throughout the rest of the album. Another cover, “Come On (Part III)” updates Hendrix’s cover of the blues classic and it plain smokes.

Then you get into the live disc where Stevie Ray was in his true element. But it’s also here that the Double Trouble rhythm section of drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon demonstrate what a lean, mean rhythm machine they were. They’re tight in the studio, but they really step up in the live setting. The band comes out guns blazing on “Testify,” which immediately conjures visions of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, where not only was Jimi ripping it up, but Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding were often going for broke as well. There’s a reckless yet focused abandon that Stevie Ray and Double Trouble display like perhaps no other power trio has since the Experience.

“Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” gets an almost 12-minute workout here that is worth the price of admission, as does the 10-minute “Tin Pan Alley.” The latter is more of a straight blues, but features Stevie Ray delivering some of his finest old-school playing. The gorgeous ballad “Lenny,” that SRV dedicated to his lady, also receives an epic 11-minute workout. The entire release is a worthy expansion of this classic album. (Sony Legacy 2010)


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