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Monday, July 26, 2010

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Couldn’t Stand the Weather—Legacy Edition (Epic/Legacy)

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It’s been two decades since Stevie Ray Vaughan, a swaggering blues revivalist with a thick and recognizable style, played his final concert at Alpine Valley on Aug. 26, 1990. He then jumped into a helicopter that crashed minutes after takeoff and killed everyone onboard.

Despite several posthumous releases, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s catalog has never received the multi-disc “Legacy Edition” treatment until now. This version of the trio’s second album, 1984’s Couldn’t Stand the Weather, restores (and remasters) the original eight-song, 38-minute album—including “Cold Shot” and  “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”—and then stretches it to nearly 79 minutes by adding 11 bonus tracks. Among the three previously unreleased songs, a sax-free version of “Stang’s Swang” is most revealing. The second disc features an edgy 76-minute performance at The Spectrum in Montreal on Aug. 17, 1984.

That’s a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan to digest. But it serves as a timely reminder of who we lost 20 years ago in that early-morning, southeastern-Wisconsin fog.

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