Whilst many in this era obsessed with Van Halen and other similar types of heavy rock shred based artists, arriving early on in the 1980s was Stevie Ray Vaughan, most likely the quintessential hard blues-rock artist.
This album is really very good. In fact, it’s superb. For any people who want to hear blues music in a different way, start here. Being primarily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan was hard to beat at this time. He was surely one of the greatest guitarists in rock history as well.
Love Struck Baby is a fantastic song to begin this album with. Bluesy? Yup. SRV’s voice and guitar playing are truly captivating here. Even in retrospect, this sounds very good. There is something strangely unique about this music, it’s just a great listen for sure.
Pride and Joy has the blues cranked well over 10, and is a nice sounding piece. It talks about a lover being a pride and joy. It has a traditional structure, yet Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar playing is rapid-fire in approach, making you want to never to miss a note. Excellent for sure. The rapid-fire guitar approach emerges and re-emerges until the end of this song.
The cover title track Texas Flood is captivating. Apparently, Stevie Ray Vaughan practised the guitar, a lot. We are talking around 14 hours a day. Still, it paid off here. He sings in a traditional way about a flood in texas making things difficult between a lover and himself. It’s great to hear, and a nice effort here. SRV sure had the blues, a very good thing, he does well here. The string bends here are terrific during the guitar solo.
The following track Tell Me is a more uptempo number. It just flows nicely. A great variation, surprisingly so, in the music is here. There is a great number of brilliant techniques and playing in this music. It really does make one want to hear more and for good reason. SRV sings about trouble knocking at one’s door, and it is never boring.
Testify is really great, brilliant and bluesy. It has some great guitar playing on this number, and the rest of the band give a pace that is manic. By far one of the more memorable numbers here from Stevie Ray Vaughan, even though it’s an instrumental. Kick back and enjoy listening to this one, it’s magic. Proof that one can remain simple and traditional musically, and still rock out.
Rude Mood is next, it’s super-duper ultra fast. It will bring you into the music, and blow your mind. SRV had many great elements in his guitar playing, and surely is an inspiration to guitarists around the world today. Do yourself a favour, and crank this one up. None of this music is at all dull. Brilliant stuff. It has a semi-shuffle groove in a bluesy way in the middle of it, nice to hear.
The next number is a bit slower but still rocks hard. Mary Had A Little Lamb may sound like a lame title, in actual fact, it’s a raw and rocking blues piece. It’s an interesting take on the nursery rhyme, yet still sounds original. It seems more subtle, a good indicator of the variety of styles and ability that Stevie Ray Vaughan had in him. A good effort, once again.
The next song, Dirty Pool, has some nice hammer-ons and guitar work from SRV. He truly was a guitar great, singing gently over the top of the music at hand. It refers to love as a dirty pool, and is something great to listen to, and relax by. Some great guitar picking towards the end here is majestic. Nice stuff. “I won’t be the one to pay for your mistake…”
I’m Cryin’ is a slow blues-rock romp. It’s about being disappointed by a lover. Stevie Ray Vaughan talks more about lovers specifically than perhaps even The Beatles ever did. Still, although both those artists are great, SRV takes off into the blues much more than The Beatles ever did. It’s great stuff here. This is dirty blues territory.
Lenny starts off with some subtle, yet beautiful guitar parts. It’s a gentle chilled-out listen after the other music faster songs prior to it. A very good way to finish this album, yes. A beautiful instrumental. A variety of sonic textures is here, too.
Put simply, if you want to hear electric blues at its finest, this is a great place to start. Stevie Ray Vaughan was, no doubt, a legend. This is by far one of the greatest representations of the blues, and Stevie Ray Vaughan nails every note here. Be sure to see out the Expanded Edition, which is remastered and has extra tracks as well.
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God. I. Love. This. Man. Exceptionally talented.