After the first release of the blues rock classic Texas Flood, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble needed to keep the fans happy and delivered their second album the year after. Couldn’t Stand The Weather is another classic album by the group, and just goes to show how much the world of music misses Stevie Ray Vaughan’s mastery of guitar. After all, he was deeply inspired by likely the greatest of them all: Jimi Hendrix (although that is subject to debate). Let’s take a listen and see how it stands up today.
We begin with Scuttle Buttin’ which begins with a semi-rockabilly/blues riff played in an insane way. The group very much has a great rhythm and blues sensibility about them, and it is a fantastic listen. Sure, the Fender Stratocaster tones remind us of Jimi Hendrix, but Stevie Ray Vaughan plays in a world of his own. Move over Eddie Van Halen, a new cat is in town.
Next is the title track Couldn’t Stand The Weather with its subtle intro, before launching into a good rock groove which is very suspenseful and reminiscent of Black Sabbath. It’s an interesting, fresh and inspired listen. The singing is a reminder of past blues greats but overall, this is a wonderful musical piece. This album will change the way that you perceive music. A great effort. The guitar solo is a great and beautiful listen itself. A very consistent effort.
The Things (That) I Used To Do comes next and is a slower blues based jam sort of piece. It’s a great piece for fans of blues rock music. An intense, yet soothing listen. The guitar solo is out of this world. Side note – Stevie Ray Vaughan played guitar for a ridiculous amount of hours every day. Given that, it goes to show how wonderful he sounds here. Brilliant, there is an organ in the background, too. Another great listen.
Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is yes, a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song, in an SRV way. It is a brilliant and original interpretation of the legendary song by another legend, and the tone of the guitar playing is terrific. Stevie Ray Vaughan plays in a loud, beautiful, melodic and above all, bluesy way. He takes a great tune here and makes it even greater. Few artists could do that, but Stevie Ray Vaughan does. An energetic and inspired listen. There is almost a call-and-response with his playing and singing. It goes straight back into the main riff after a long solo piece, and then ends with a crash.
Next is Cold Shot which is a slower and more straightforward musical piece which is another good listening experience. It’s a soothing listen, and is deeply steeped in blues tradition. An excellent listening experience with an authenticity of soul in it, unlike most synth pop of the 1980s. That is the point though, Stevie Ray Vaughan made real music for people with an ear for it. Brilliant effort here. A refreshing and interesting listen. The outro, again, is awesome.
Following is Tin Pan Alley (AKA Roughest Place in Town) which begins with a suspenseful feel about it, before SRV plays like a legend on a Fender Stratocaster. The phrasing of the whole piece is simple and amazingly beautiful. It has a semi-shred feel about it, but not in a fast way. Stevie Ray Vaughan plays melodic, beautiful and wonderful guitar parts here. His tone also is wonderful here. When SRV begins singing, he adds a level of urgency about the story at hand. Brilliant stuff. A suspenseful and chilled listen, close your eyes when you hear this brilliant song. Although it is a lengthy listen at around nine minutes long, it is never boring, not for one second.
Honey Bee is a devotion to love in an old school blues way. It is a lot shorter than the previous song, and noticeably faster. This is such a great musical experience to hear, and makes you want to dance along to this really great guitarist. An uptempo and fun listening experience. A good rocking number.
Stang’s Swang has a surprising jazz feel to it, complete with jazz horns in the background. Unsurprising, given the musician Stevie Ray Vaughan was. A short and interesting instrumental to complete this wonderful listen. Hats off to you in heaven, mate.
This album is more varied than the first effort, and in some ways, more ambitious and a little more consistent. It was a very sad day when we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan from the music world. One of the greatest guitarists of all time is here, and this record is near perfect listening.