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Styles: Modern Electric Blues, Blues-Rock, Electric Texas Blues, Texas Blues, Modern Electric Texas Blues, Album Rock
Number Of Tracks: 13
Couldn't Stand the Weather feels a bit like a holding pattern.
Couldnt Stand The Weather
GD_GC, on october 04, 2007 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Filled with scorching licks and smoldering slow blues, even a Hendrix cover, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble's sophmore alubm "Couldn't Stand the Weather" has it all. My choice of album to review may seem a little cliche, but it appeals to a wide range of listeners, and contains a lot of rock based material. So it's a good starting point for a new blues fan. The album was released in the '80s as a follow up to the outstanding "Texas Flood," and it really showed us who this Stevie Ray was. A hot video on MTV for the title track, and he was here. A blues god had arrived, in the form of Stevie Ray Vaughan. "Couldn't Stand the Weather" has many striking differences to the trio's debut, "Texas Flood." First off, they had plenty of studio time, as opposed to the quick, one day recording of "Texas Flood." This resulted in a slicker, more studio-ish feeling album. There were more production tricks here, several of the tracks have 2 or 3 guitars, an organ was added, and it just has a different feel. "Texas Flood" was recorded in the style of a club show, and most of the tracks were recorded live, with only a few vocal tracks overdubbed. This time, you can tell it is a studio album, and it has less of that "true blues" club show feel to it. But don't get me wrong, it still has some fine, fine blues. Secondly, the band at this point was pretty deep into drugs. And according to some behind the scenes, this was taking quite a toll. It was harder to get the band to focus, since they had all the time, and drugs for that matter, in the world. Although the effect of the drugs were felt, the band had yet to reach their low point, and all in all, a great album was released. It continues to sell to this day and live on in the collections of blues lovers everywhere. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are classic blues, with Stevie belting them out like there's no tomorrow. Of course sometimes blues lyrics aren't the most poetic sounding, but, hey, that's the blues! A couple blues standard covers here, and a Hendrix cover, but when Double Trouble did write the lyrics, they tunred out pretty well. // 7
Overall Impression: Next up is a track by track review of this blues classic.
01. Scuttle Buttin' - scorching licks, and some of the faster blues we've heard Stevie, Tommy, and Chris pull off. Centered around a 12 bar blues in E, SRV lets off a fury of blues licks at a frantic pace. The track starts with the theme, following the chords in blues lick insanity, and you think to yourself, "can it get any crazier?" Oh but it does, and Stevie launches into a solo, and you are thrown backwords out of your seat in a whirlwind of blues fury. Cheesey analogies aside, a great track that showcases some great playing, and is over way too soon.
02. Couldn't Stand The Weather - the title track, featuring brother Jimmy Vaughan, shows us a more rock oriented, even funk-like side of the trio. A great track, but not my favorite track on the album. Although it is an amazing song, I do prefer Stevie's more "true blues" stuff to this, and I listened to this song way toomuch when I first got the album, and I got sick of it The lyrics are a little hard to understand, but the playing in the solo is fantastic, with a great tone achived via tubescreamer. The main riff involving the tritones is fantastic as well. This is much different than previous SRV material, but one of his bigger hits, and a must listen.
03. The Things That I Used To Do - a cover of an old blues song, this is one of my personal favorite songs on the album. It features an organ, something different. Some listeners looking for more of a rock edge may not enjoy this track as much, but it is a solid slow blues. The licks in the solo are decent, a little differnt from normal SRV. But during the verses, the licks he lets loose are nothing short of astounding. Another must listen on this album.
04. Voodoo Chile - the infamous Hendrix cover. Good? Bad? You can make the call. The playing on the song is great, with more of a blues feel than the Hendrix original, while still staying true to the real song. Voodoo Child has never been a personal favorite of mine, but Stevie's Voodoo Chile does not dissapoint in terms of guitar skills. You can make the call on your own about wheather or not you think a Hendrix cover belongs on an album, though.
05. Cold Shot - another hit track, getting the band some radio airplay. This one features the famous roatary effect, and was recorded in a single take at 4 in the morning. I enjoy this track, although it isn't my all time favorite on this album. This is an example of the studio feel this album gives as opposed to "Texas Flood." You don't hear anything like this on that album, and I think it adds a great touch to "Could'nt Stand the Weather." The solo is classic Stevie, and the band is rock solid throughout. Check out the music video for this track, it's quite humourous.
06. Tin Pan Alley - ah, here it is. My favorite track on the album, and perhaps my favorite SRV song in general. Again, those who are not slow blues fans might want to stay away, because it is a smoldering slow blues clocking in at over 9 minutes. The playing in the intro is very tasteful, and the storyline in the lyrics will keep you captivitated throughout. Another must listen, in my opnion, but be prepared for the slow blues!
07. Honey Bee - in the style of "Pride and Joy," this track is more reminecent of "Texas Flood." It has the same chords, but does not follow the structure of a 12 bar blues. This gives it a different feel, and I really like this track as well. Some fantastic fast blues playing by Stevie, and Tommy's bass really jumps out at you on this one. A great track, and a little bit of a return to what the band have done in the past.
08. Stang's Swang - wow, this one is different, in a very good way. This one, as the title may imply, swings, and it is great. The drumming by Chris is great, and Stevie's jazz tone is refreshing. The sax adds such a cool element to the song, and SRV provdes some great jazz licks. A different track, and if you like this, check out Chitlins Con Carne, another SRV classic in this style. A great way to close a great album in my opinion.
So that's it, "Couldn't Stand the Weather," by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tommy "Slut" Shannon, and Chris "The Whipper" Layton, AKA Double Trouble. A great album by a great trio. Thanks for reading, RIP SRV, and any comments or suggestions, just contact me. // 9
Couldnt Stand The Weather
>>AlbiN<<, on june 01, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album was recorded with the band Double Trouble and features a great range of instruments. It has your standard blues band set-up (drum kit, bass guitar, rhythm guitar, piano) and occasionally includes brass instruments and reed instruments. With Mr Ray Vaughan's guitar and heavy vocals over the top, who could imagine a better sound? This album could be summed up as blues, but is really blues/jazz/rock all stirred up into one - the swung jazz beats and jazz instruments combined with the rock/blues guitar sounds are what make this album so individual. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are very typical of artists from the 1960-1979 period. Well structured, sensible and with a lot of rhyme, themes mostly about love or hard times. Very bluesy, I would say. The singing is nothing spectacular, but blends in well with the music and does the job in emphasizing the lyrics. We all know this album is all about the guitarist. // 8
Overall Impression: An extremely individual album, with a wonderful combination of genres and some great musicianship. Top songs have got to be "Stang's Swang," "Couldn't Stand The Weather" and the cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child." I love the blues/rock/jazz fusion - in Stan's Swang there is a wonderful drum beat that kicks the piece off and the music is joined by the bass and then the other instruments. Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar solos and licks are also absolutely awesome. Definitely worth buying, awesome album. // 10