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Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand The Weather (Legacy Edition)

Epic Records

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of his death, Epic records sees fit to release an expanded edition of Stevie Ray Vaughan's landmark album Couldn't Stand The Weather.

Moving into the 1980's, the musical landscape was overrun by the likes of hair bands like Quiet Riot, Ratt and Twisted Sister. MTV was emerging as the music medium to turn too. The age of the guitar hero appeared to be dead.

When Vaughan emerged on the scene, he brought guitar playing to the forefront. And he made the world aware of the blues.

The first disc is of course made up of the classic album. Bonus tracks, studio outtakes, unreleased gems are an added bonus. Epic's music closet cleaning of the vaults is admirable. Though some of these cuts turned up on releases after Vaughan's death, they are still a healthy glimpse on what made the guitarist tick.

While Vaughan was superb at blasting originals like the Lonnie Mack rocker "Scuttle Buckin," or trying his hand at jazz in the West Montgomery inflected "Stang's Swang," you just had to love his take on covering the songs of others.

And you see that in the additional tracks. Stevie puts his indelible stamp on Freddie King's "Hideaway" and injects Hendrix attitude into turning Earl King's "Come On" into hard rock candy. Drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, who were Vaughan's long standing rhythm section, hang tight and stoke the coals when Vaughan mean shuffles through "Look At Little Sister," painfully extracting notes from "The Sky Is Crying" and hyper-boogieing through "Give Me Back My Wig."

The second disc made up of Vaughan's live performance from the Spectrum in Montreal, Canada. From tearing into Hendrix material "Voodoo Child" or ripping through the slow boil of "Texas Flood," we are reminded of guitarist who stood out like a beacon in an era stifled by dull musicianship.

With liner notes by Associate Guitar World Editor Andy Aledort that include interviews with Stevie's rhythm section, this package is reminder of an individual who made guitar playing fashionable again. If kids are covering your songs in blues jams around the world, you left your mark. Vaughan's legacy is testament to that.

Reviewed by Gary "Wingman" Weeks. 

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