Friday, May 16, 2014

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand the Weather

Yesterday (May 15th) marked the thirtieth anniversary of Couldn't Stand the Weather, the second studio album from rock-blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. This 1984 release followed his solo debut Texas Flood (click here for that review), and it spent thirty-eight weeks on the US Billboard Album chart where it peaked at number 31.

Side one starts with "Scuttle Buttin'". My toes were instantly tapping with the beat of this instrumental track.

The title track "Couldn't Stand the Weather" is next. Some of those early pauses threw me off on first listen; I was worried that my Spotify streaming had issues.

"The Things (That) I Used to Do" is a cover of the 1953 blues tune from Guitar Slim.

"Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" is a cover of a track from Jimi Hendrix's final album in 1968. I can pick up the Hendrix guitar style here; Vaughan does a great job at adding those nuances to his own playing. The eight minute track gives him and the band plenty of room to jam.

Side two opens with "Cold Shot". This is a song that sounded very familiar to me; either I had heard Vaughan's version in the past or one by someone else.

Things slow down a bit with the next track. "Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place in Town)" is a cover of a Robert Geddins' blues tune. Clocking in at over nine minutes, it is the album's longest selection.

The up-beat "Honey Bee" is a blues love song. It reminds me a bit of the early days of rock and roll in the 1950's.

The original vinyl release ends with instrumental track "Stang's Swang".

In 2010, a legacy edition of this album was released as a two-CD set, featuring demos, live cuts from the August 7th of 1984 concert in Montreal, and so much more.

This was my first listen to Couldn't Stand the Weather. Once again, I am blown away by Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar skills on this record. I do not listen to the blues that often, but when I do it makes sense to listen to one of the best.

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