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Stevie Ray Vaughan

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    A friend gave me a bag full of cassette tapes a couple of weeks ago. There were 2 Stevie Ray tapes in there. I never really listened to much electric blues before, and I surprisingly liked it a lot. Left the 1st tape in the player for a week straight. Finally decided to pop the 2nd one in - and something occurred to me.


    They're great musicians, obviously. Why did they continually put out the same damn recordings. IT'S ALL THE SAME!!!!!!!!! Seems they almost even acknowledge the triteness of their own crap by singing Mary Had a Little Lamb (how lame yet appropriate). How come these guys didn't just say, been there, done that, and move on to something else? How did they keep on selling albums??? Did they EVER stray from blues formulas and play something poppy, metal, punkish, danceable, upbeat, unique???? Were they afraid of their "reputation" or something.

    Sorry blues fans, but unless he did a lot of other stuff that I'm not familiar with, I think that guy had a whole lotta wasted talent on his hands. Seemingly couldda done so much more.
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    This is how I feel about G3 and a lot of that super shred guitar stuff. I dig it...for about 2 tracks, but they all sound the same after that. amazingly talented musicians, very interesting arrangement sometimes, but it just...doesn't do anything for me.

    I mean, inherently, there is nothing wrong with having the majority of your songs sound the same, and there's nothing wrong with liking that, but personally, I *really* dig musicians that aren't afraid to take massive departures from their norm, even if it doesn't sound that great, it's always neat to hear people who have played blues their whole life, play...salsa :p

    Maybe I'm just unwashed to some styles of music, can't tell the finite differences between tracks :p
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Well, he did do that David Bowie album.

    Stylistic leapfrogging isn't as admired in the guitar community, where showmen and guitar gods still receive more attention than the best/most versatile studio guys. As a guitarist, you gain respect by finding a particular sound or style and sticking to it.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    unless you are pat metheny :)
  5. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I dunno Joe - SRV was barely even hitting his stride when he died. You gotta think about where he came from and how he developed. His major influence was Albert King - Albert does (did) one thing but did it very well and it served him well. Same with SRV. They were both bluesmen.

    You could look at the span of his recording career (1983-1990) and say that the Beatles did more experimenting in thier short career than SRV did and you'd be right. But SRV wasn't a pop star, he was a bluesman.

    Where would SRV have been if he was still kicking? Who knows? But after his unsavoury experience outside of the blues (doing an SRV blues lick on that Bowie tune), I doubt he would have branched out into anything too different. Why not? He was a bluesman, plain and simple. SRV as a hip-hop producer? I shudder to think.

    Now, look at what Double Trouble has done without SRV - faded to obscurity for a long time, backed up Jimmie, backed up a variety of other blues lesser-knowns and went on tour and is now backing up Gordie Johnson (formerly front-man for Big Sugar). They didn't stray too far from the blues at any point. Why not? They're bluesmen!!!

    You've gotta consider SRV's legacy - he basically kickstarted the blues renaissance in the '80s and '90s and allowed all those who came before him to be recognized by a fan base that never had been exposed to the blues aside from English blues (myself included). I really doubt that I would have had the Robert Johnson or Muddy Watters or Lightnin' Hopkins box sets in my collection if it weren't for SRV.

    As a blues player (bass and guitar) and a big SRV fan, I wouldn't have wanted him to do anything different.

  6. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    There's a lot of musicans that stick to just one style, and do it well.

    If you want to know why he was so popular, watch the video of "Stevie Ray Vaughn And Double Trouble: Live At The El Mocambo (1983)". You'll understand

  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Normally, Joe, I agree with your posts. But, this one just smacks of not knowing what the hell you are talking about.

    Why the heck would a BLUES GUITAR PLAYER want to play anything poppy, metal, or punkish?!? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. He played blues. Heck, he REVIVED blues music and brought it back from the dead commercially.

    You are going to jump to the conclusion that he wasted his talent based on listening to two cassettes for less than a week?

    Gimmie a break.

    Now, I'm going to go and play my Bongo. :p
  8. JSCHRO7376

    JSCHRO7376 Commercial User

    Feb 23, 2004
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Owner, Schroeder Cabinets
    SRV = pretty good.

    JIMI HENDRIX = genius. That man was 25 years ahead of any one's style. SRV was definitely heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix. Even though Stevie was a very talented and really devoted guitarist, he and Jimi IMHO were and are still worlds apart.
    If you really want to listen how blues/rock should sound and how to take it to the next level, check out Jimi Hendrix' albums, and you will see how he developed.

  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I had to learn this stuff, (Tommy Shannon), note-on, when I played in a blues-based band. Having experienced them live and studying their recordings, the studio stuff seems pretty stiff in comparison.

    Like many blues bands, they don't record well......the live shows are a whole different enchilada. Double Trouble, among others, were most comfortable improvising onstage in front of live audiences. Try playing Shannon's stuff note-perfect........he turns scales inside-out 99 different ways, line after line.

    Moreover, tone-freaks like SRV and Shannon, who were deeply into which tubes they used, cabinet design, etc., had to be heard live to be truly appreciated.

    Buddy Guy is another good example of someone who has to be experienced live as opposed to TV/video/recordings. Everytime I've seen him on TV he is stone cold and was very minimalist....live, he's usually on fire and stretches out, big time.
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    i could take everything you said, like a man, right up to the end. but then slap me around with bongo stuff? kick up bongo envy? i owe you pal! wait.
  11. I absolutely adore SRV's work (I do love hendrix's stuff much more of course). Yes he does do blues a lot, and if you listen to Texas Flood then Couldn't Stand the Weather, they are very similar, but in each of the different blues styles he played, he excelled. His emotion and power are hard to compete with, and his killer style of playing was sweet. He was seriously jimi influenced (check out his instrumental "Little Wing" one of the best and most emotional guitar instrumentals ever!). I love that texas r and b shuffle (although i also have occasion to listen to cannibal corpse, iron maiden, and not so surprisingly pantera) and the energy that guy has is great...his crazy guitar style was also cool. I love the simple but fantastic rhythm hook in Couldnt stand the weather!

    Anyway, Mary had a little lamb I think was influenced by Jimi hendrix...in an alt studio version of Foxy Lady at the end he says "and next up...Mary had a little lamb". On a mix cd I have i put mary had a little lamb right after just because it was there.

    :bassist: SRV ROCKS!!! :bassist:

    Plus: His fashion style with kimonos and hat were just as original as hendrix's!
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton--I can never tire of their music. Maybe SRV et al, just speak to me in a very special way--we connect. I especially like their slower work, the "bluesiest" blues.

    But as for moving on, the last song on the last album, before SRV's untimely death, "In Step" is a song that amazes me. That song is "Riviera Paradise." While it is a twelve bar blues, each round is different and special. I think that song may---just may-- be a hint of things to come had SRV stayed around in this mean old world.

    I think he was moving slowly toward jazz. I don't mean he was going to become another Al DeMeola or Pat Metheny, but I do think he was beginning to take his craft to another level before his work was interrupted so cruely. That direction may have been toward a jazzier blues.

    I never tire of blues, so maybe that makes me intellectually inferior to those who prefer more "creative" styles. I also prefer more realistic art to abstract art. But, remember, there is a substantial audience for traditional blues. Personally, I am grateful some bluesmen (ex.:BB King, Buddy Guy, ) remain true to that tradition. I don't expect Snoop Dog to ever compose classical music. I don't expect SRV to ever do rap or punk metal.
  13. There was just (with in the past 2-3 months) a series of interviews with Shannon, Layton, and the producer from (at least) first 2 albums. It's ironic for someone to mention that Double Trouble didn't stray from formula for the sake of their reputations. In the interviews, I guess SRV took a lot of slack for being a "non-traditional" blues player in the scene.
  14. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Either I missed it, or no one mentioned "Family Style" by the Vaughn Brothers. Produced by Nile Rodgers with a couple of session players on bass and drums, this album gets farther away from the standard blues stuff than anything else SRV did. Still blues-based for the most part, but very different takes on various blues formulas. Great album, IMHO.

    BTW, "Mary Had a Little Lamb" is, I believe, a Buddy Guy cover.
  15. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    See, I'm one of those that believes that SRV was truly THE MAN among children. Sure, JH threw down some stuff, hell,, he WROTE it... But, SRV is able to do a better JH,,, than Hendrix could do for himself...

    Anyway, sounds like JoeNerve must've gotten a copy of Texas Flood, which has some CLASSIC tracks on it, but is hardly my fav SRV... so I can see why you'd stale on it.

    Some of the ESSENTIAL SRV tracks are:
    Couldn't Stand the Weather, Voodoo Chile, Cold Shot, Little Wing, awww hell,, pretty much ANYTHING from "The Sky is Crying"...
  16. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Everybody has to have a style. Listen to Led Zepplin, Most of JPJ lines are fairly simple and riffy. That's just his style.

    Along with blues I think jazz can get pretty repititve sometimes.

    Not a huge fan of blues. because how can BB King or other artists be blue. They are probably loaded and do what they love for a living; real blue, yeah right.
  17. LouisB

    LouisB Guest

    Aug 23, 2003
    Guernsey, UK
    I think i prefer SRV's Little wing to Hendrix's, even though I'm a great fan of Hendrix.
  18. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I remember being up close on the tour SRV did with Jeff Beck. Jeff Beck, naturally, had a whole bag of different guitar sounds, which were all great. However, none of them came anywhere close to the beautiful sonic purity that came out of Stevie's amp.

    I'm with you, though, Joe. I can listen to the blues and play the blues without cringing, but I just don't fully "get" it, either. I've played behind a couple of regionally known and 110% authentic bluesmen, and frankly, I didn't get the big fuss about what they were doing. Sure, I'd like to be able to say that I can fully appreciate the form for what it is, but that would be kidding myself...


    That said, I'll bet I haven't played my last blues gig yet... :)
  19. SRV was one one of the best blues guitarists's ever - Bar None. The man was everything blues is suppost to be and will forever be remembered for bringing back one of the best things to ever happen to guitar. The Blues....
  20. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Joe, I am not a blues fan much either, and think much like you do. SRV does the thing that he does, which is fine, but that doesn't resonate with me much. If you want a blues-ish guy that is more versatile, check out Jeff Beck or Taj Mahal. Now there's some blues I can dig.

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