The 1987 Cinemax concert special A Blues Session: B.B. King and Friends kicked off with one of the single most star-packed jam sessions ever held outside the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Phil Collins, Dr. John, Etta James, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Paul Butterfield and Billy Ocean all came together at the tiny Ebony Showcase Theater in Los Angeles to perform a supremely upbeat rendition of “Why I Sing the Blues.”
Watch the video below and read more at Rolling Stone.
October 3: Stevie Ray Vaughan was born on this day in 1954, and remains one of the most influential guitarists who ever lived.
Today, on the 23rd anniversary of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passing, our friends at Rock Paper Photo are helping us to celebrate the life of the guitar legend by inviting you to discover a collection of photographs that capture his unique talent, raw power and unmistakable style. The photographers who shot these images, which are available for sale as limited edition prints, include Robert M. Knight, Tracy Ann Hart, Chuck Pulin and Deborah Feingold. For many, Stevie Ray Vaughan was more than just another musical legend to photograph; he held a special place in their hearts too.
Robert Knight got to know SRV well after shooting many dates on the 1989 tour with Jeff Beck, which produced several magazine covers. “A lot of time, he would come into Los Angeles, give me a call and we’d just hang out and talk,” recalls the photographer who is now based in Las Vegas. Painfully, Robert snapped the last shots of SRV shortly after the band played in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, on August 26, 1990. It took the photographer two years even to look at those shots of his close friend again. In fact, Stevie had asked Robert to return to Chicago with him to see Buddy Guy play but Robert didn’t like the idea of flying at night in helicopters. Robert’s well-known image of Stevie on stage in Minneapolis was made with a special film developing process Robert developed in the late 60’s, producing the illusion of blackness around the musician. Another photograph of Stevie Ray appeared on the cover of the 2006 Sony Legacy release, The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Vol. 1.
Photo by Robert M. Knight
Houston-based photographer Tracy Anne Hart also was deeply affected by her years of shooting Stevie from 1983 until his death in 1990. Her prints of SRV have been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and also appeared in Sony Legacy CDs, on PBS Television, and in many books, magazines and DVD’s. Tracy remembers photographing SRV at a live date outside the Houston Astrodome in 1989. She describes the sound as “sweeping through the crowd like a storm in the middle of a Texas summer.” She says, “To really understand the power of Stevie’s playing you have to look beyond the equipment and into his heart, and at his strong, beautiful hands.”
Photo by Tracy Anne Hart
Working for Musician magazine, Deborah Feingold photographed the Texas bluesman in NYC in the summer of ’83 just after the release of Texas Flood. After initially shooting SRV in her apartment, the duo took a walk to a barren stretch of landfill by the World Trade Center. “He took his guitar out and we started shooting,” she recalled in a recent magazine interview. Rejected by the magazine in favor of a more “mainstream” shot, this beautiful image remains a personal favorite of hers.
Photo by Deborah Feingold
Another New York-based photographer, Chuck Pulin, who was on staff at Billboard magazine for many years, met Stevie in the early 80’s and forged a close friendship. Chuck became Stevie’s personal photographer. His photos of Stevie included jam sessions, recording sessions, and backstage moments with music legends including Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Jeff Beck and Greg Allman. Chuck’s photos of Stevie have appeared on CD covers, DVD jackets, and in television shows, books and magazines.
Photo by Chuck Pulin
Check out the great works by these and other noted photographers in the special Rock Paper Photo collection of limited edition prints celebrating Stevie’s years as one of our greatest musicians. You also can view selected images in the Stevie Ray Vaughan photo gallery.
Please share your thoughts about Stevie in the comments below and on his official Facebook page.
Nearly 23 years ago — on August 27, 1990 — blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash after a show at East Troy, Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley Music Theater. Vaughan won millions of fans and almost singled-handedly put blues back on the commercial map during his seven years as a major-label recording artist, even while transcending many of the genre’s customary limitations.
He also captivated the imagination and earned the respect of a list of ruling six-string virtuosos that includes Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Larry Coryell, Keith Richards and Metallica’s Kirk Hammett. The latter unabashedly refers to Vaughan as one of his all-time favorite players. Veteran blues artists Etta James, B.B. King and Buddy Guy directly attributed the mid-’80s revival of their previously ebbing careers to Stevie Ray. And today, new generations of guitar heroes — from established hit-makers like John Mayer to newcomers like Nashville’s Bart Walker — all follow in his stylistic path and openly celebrate his influence.
What made and still makes Vaughan and his music resonate with so many, players and laymen alike? The nut answer is this: typically great guitarists either pivot toward the intellectual/technical or the visceral/gut-level. Vaughan was among the rare masters who’ve combined both.
Read more at Gibson.com.
Radio.com’s Not Fade Away has taken a look at Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble‘s classic debut album, Texas Flood, which hit its 30th anniversary this month. Here is an excerpt:
Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton recently told Radio.com that, back then, recording in the studio tended to be a more refined musical effort than playing live. “Our philosophy was, we were the same band no matter where we were or what we did,” he said.
Their song selection for their debut, which included the SRV-penned classic “Pride And Joy,” along with covers of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Tell Me,” Larry Davis’ “Texas Flood” and the Isley Brothers’ “Testify,” was equally simple: “We played the songs that we had in our repertoire that we liked the best, and we recorded them all a few times, and that was, essentially, the record.” Ditto for their studio technique: “We just put some mics up and just played the songs.”
As simple as that was, the album had a huge effect, showing a new generation of guitarists that the blues wasn’t just something that old folks listened to. Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang and John Mayer, among many others, were profoundly influenced by Vaughan’s playing. Slide guitarist Robert Randolph told Radio.com that Vaughan has been his single biggest influence.
Read the complete article at Radio.com.
For a limited time and while supplies last, PopMarket.com is offering an exclusive bundle of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s career-defining albums at a discount price!
This exclusive bundle features expanded editions of Couldn’t Stand The Weather and the recently reissued 30th Anniversary Edition of Texas Flood! Also included in the bundle are rare photos, memorabilia, new liner notes, and more!
The all-new March 2013 issue of Guitar World is available now, featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan! For the 30th anniversary of SRV and Double Trouble’s Texas Flood, the magazine is celebrating Stevie Ray’s phenomenal rise, including an in-depth guide to his amps and effect pedals. The issue also covers the history of his beloved “Number One” Fender Stratocaster, complete with up-close, detailed images.
Read more at Guitar World.
The love keeps coming for Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s Texas Flood 30th anniversary Legacy Edition. Here are more reviews:
If people were already comparing Vaughan to Jimi Hendrix, he seems — on this October 1983 date at Ripley’s Music Hall — more than ready to accede to the throne of the most electrifying guitarist from a generation before. In short order, Vaughan covers not one, not two, but three Hendrix songs, beginning with “Voodoo Child” and then melding “Little Wing” and “Third Stone from the Sun” in cocky closing salvo. There’s a thunderous second pass at “Testify,” a salacious journey through “Pride and Joy,” and a crackling take on Buddy Guy’s memorable update of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” to boot. – Something Else!
The Ripley’s performance is filled with classics: the amazing rhythm-as-lead/lead-as-rhythm workouts of “Love Struck Baby;” the magnificent slow burns of “Tin Pan Alley” and “Texas Flood;” and the playful funk of “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” The night closes with one more Hendrixian workout – the grace and majesty of “Little Wing” leading into an amp-torturing “Third Stone From The Sun.” It’s hard to imagine anyone having enough energy left to work off the stage, let alone speak, but Vaughan sounds like a man sitting on top of the world as he introduces the band and himself. – Jambands.com
Vaughan’s ongoing significance is reflected in the newly released 30th Anniversary Edition of Texas Flood. His music made a difference in a lot of people’s lives. The two-disc package contains a remastered version of the original album, plus a second live CD from a 1983 performance at Ripley’s Music Hall in Philadelphia. Vaughan’s incendiary debut record has never sounded better, and the additional live material is phenomenal. …He was a master, and this set is a marvelous tribute to his talent. – Blogcritics.org
Amazing reviews are coming in for the 30th anniversary Legacy Edition of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s debut album, Texas Flood! Here are excerpts:
In this expanded reissue, Texas Flood sounds just as fresh, bold and inspired. Whether it’s the slow blues of the five minute title track and “Dirty Pool,” the caffeinated picking showcase of the instrumental “Rude Mood” or closer “Lenny”’s nimble jazz runs, Vaughan and his band burst forth like energized pros instead of newbies tentatively making their first album. This double anniversary package with excellent historical liner notes adds a previously unreleased, hour long live gig from Philadelphia in October, 1983. The show absolutely sizzles with a band firing on every cylinder as they blast through fiery versions of the album’s tracks along with searing takes of Hendrix classics “Voodoo Child (Slight Return) and a medley of “Little Wing/Third Stone from the Sun.” The attack is one of a road tested unit that is still young and hungry with plenty to prove. – American Songwriter
His debut album was recorded in a matter of days of free time donated by Jackson Browne in his Los Angeles studio. What occurred there still sounds like healing of the highest order, as the guitarist’s Stratoscaster reached for the heavens from note one on “Love Struck Baby,” and kept going deeper and harder on the next nine songs. …There’s a second disc of a live ’83 show in Philadelphia that reflects the promise of everything that was to come for Vaughan, drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon. Their world was just starting to turn back then, and would soon open up to a safe haven for the deepest music of the soul. – The Morton Report
Texas Flood Legacy Edition, which — along with the original 1983 Texas Flood album — includes a previously unreleased concert, recorded live at Ripley’s Music Hall in Philadelphia on October 20, 1983. It freakin’ smokes. That’s no real surprise, since Vaughan was the type of artist who gave his all every time he hit the stage. …His performances of then-new Texas Flood numbers like “Pride and Joy,” “Love Struck Baby,” and the title track are shiver-inducing, and his passion for Jimi Hendrix comes alive on “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and the “Little Wing”/”Third Stone From the Sun” medley. – Straight.com