Stevie Ray Vaughan - guitar, vocals; Chris Layton - drums; Tommy Shannon - bass
When it came to playing hard drivin' blues rock, Stevie Ray Vaughan certainly seems to have taken the torch that was handed off by the late Jimi Hendrix - and ran with it till his legs gave out. Hendrix obviously had a massive influence on the young musician (shortly before his death, Vaughan even aquired one of Hendrix's Stratocasters), and while it's a sad coincidence that Vaughan himself lived hard and died young, the Texas bluesman learned plenty else from his musical mentor. The fact is made wholly apparent here, on this performance, where he pays homage to the legend by playing the Hendrix staple, "Voodoo Chile." Though it's clear that Jimi's spirit was moving through his fingers, the interpretation Vaughan brings to the tune is distinctly his own.
This show, taped in Montreal, Canada, while he was promoting his first national release, Texas Flood, captured Vaughan at his creative peak. Originally recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, this extensive live show features most of the material that Vaughan would become best known for: Tunes like "Scuttle Buttin'," "Testify," "Cold Shot," "Pride And Joy" and the gritty, smoldering blues number "Texas Flood." Just listen to the slow smokin' riffs of "Tin Pan Alley"; Vaughan is playing as if his life depended on it.
Credit should also be given to his band, Double Trouble. The ultra tight rhythm section of drummer Chris Layton and bassist "Uncle" Tommy Shannon (from Johnny Winter's original group) provide the perfect backdrop to Vaughan's soaring lead guitar licks.
Stevie Ray Vaughan never played a song the same way twice, a fact that contributes to the unique significance of his live recordings; the interpretations of this classic blues material are endless. Sadly, in a matter of a few years, Vaughan would be dead from a helicopter crash occurring less than an hour after he performed at a Wisconsin blues festival with his close friends, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray and Buddy Guy. His legacy, however, remains very much alive in recordings such as these.