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When it comes to blues, Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of those names that is pretty common place amongst blues enthusiasts and even those who are not as big of fans. I've been a fan of SRV for a long time, but I didn't really get engrossed with his music until I actually saw him play in video clips (unfortunately I was never able to see him live in person before his tragic death). He puts so much soul and effort into his playing that it becomes more than just a series of guitar licks. Instead, it's the embodiment of all the raw emotion of the song and that's one of the things that initially struck me about his guitar work, and inspired me to pick up the instrument myself.
I've written tributes to Stevie for the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll already that give a good indication of my thoughts and his talent and music, and I've shared clips of him playing with other people as well. This time though, I'd like to share some clips of an SRV standard that better demonstrate how passionate he was about his music and the blues.
The clip is divided into two sections because the song is an extended version of "Texas Flood", a track very identifiable with SRV, even though he didn't actually write it, from 1982, Live at Montreux . Special thanks to Youtube and SRVnumber1 for uploading it and letting a few more of Stevie's fans enjoy it.
Watching SRV perform, it's so easy to be drawn in as the excitement and the passion is infectious, even more so than listening to the music alone. The visuals of watching him squeeze, wrench and coax the notes from the gloriously beat up (read: loved) "Number 1", just up the intensity a thousand fold. It's so obvious that he puts in his heart, soul and passion behind every second that it's incredible.
I say that a lot about guitarists who are heroes of mine, but I find it especially true about Stevie Ray and I think these clips are a great testament to that fact, as well as just killer blues in general.
As I said, this performance is from Live at Montreux in 1982. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played Montreux at least twice, once in 1982, and once in 1985 to my knowledge. I believe both shows were captured on video and have since been released to DVD. You can pick up that DVD release directly from Amazon here: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985
There's also a live album as well. I own this album, I think it's incredible and recommend it to blues fans everywhere. You can buy that album directly from Amazon here, and it contains both the audio from 82, and 85: Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985
If you're interested in more about what I think about Stevie Ray Vaughan, feel free to check out my longer tribute article published here on the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll: Stevie Ray Vaughan: Born to be a Blues Guitar Slinger