This CD contains some tunes that could be described as masterclasses in the art of blues guitar. Apart from the modern classic "Scuttle Buttin'" ( which by now must have taken over from Smoke on the Water as the most heard riff in guitar shops) there are four stand-out pieces which are all different in their own way.
"The things (that) I used to do" would not be out of place in any country road house or late night urban blues bar. Its a standard vocal line and guitar reply format but the treatment is straightforward, solid and brilliant. Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" is a great vehicle for SRV's Stratocaster mastery, but what makes the track really drive is the tightness of Chris Layton's drumming. Most bands who are happy to start together and finish at more or less the same time could learn from this,it gives a new meaning to the term rhythmic gymnastics.
"Cold Shot" is simply an easy groove blues. Uncomplicated and very effective.
The guitar settings are in the "delicate " mode and the phrasing is lyrical in "Tin Pan Alley" and all are underpinned by an object lesson in blues bass playing. Ths sustained coolness of Tommy Shannon's playing is a pleasure to listen to.There's a feeling though, that the lyrics don't quite match up to the quality of the musicianship ( aopologies to J.Reed fans). With a stronger narrative this could have been an all time great.
All other tracks are highly enjoyable but a bit mixed ( "Stang's Swang" is interesting but somehow ingongrous here ). All SRV fans will have this material, but with the bonus tracks it is a very good introduction for new followers.
...but to suggest he wasn't a great singer?? That's just crazy! Just like Hendrix, Stevie has always been an extremely underrated vocalist. Granted, he can't sing like Skip James and knock off a falsetto at the drop of a hat - but he sang with one hell of a lot of soul and guts that I think definitely shines through on this wonderful album.
"Couldn't Stand The Weather" is another fantastic Stevie and Double Trouble record, and full marks to Legacy for doing a first class job on this remastered version. I've always been of the opinion that the guys were never really served well in the studio - the production techniques used always made them sound too polished (the live albums are always better), but this reissue goes a long way to try and correct that.
Above all though, just by this album!
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