1/28/2013

Pride and Joy: SRV's Debut 30 Years Later

Accepting an invitation for some free studio time from Jackson Browne, the unsigned Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble (Chris Layton, drums; Tommy Shannon, drums) drove out to California in the fall of '82 to lay down their magic on tape for the first time ever. And while it was to become an important moment in rock history it surely didn't feel that way to the band at the time.

“We didn’t go out there to make a record. We just played our songs three times through, live. To us, we were just making some tapes because a cool guy said he’d give us his studio. We didn’t even bring tape. We recorded over used tape. There are old Jackson Browne songs under Texas Flood”, Layton recently told the New York Times, while reminiscing on the three decades passed since the album's debut.

A stark contrast to the mainstream pop music riding the charts and the airwaves at the time, Texas Flood, the trio's debut, was a critically-acclaimed, Gold-selling, Top 40 album that announced the arrival of a new major talent, a blazing bluesman whose love of both Hendrix and Howlin' Wolf was readily apparent. This week Epic Records will release a 30th anniversary edition, which includes a never before released October '83 King Biscuit Flower Hour concert recorded in Philly. (A vinyl box set with all 4 of the band's albums will be released later this year.)

As for the minimal amount of posthumous releases for an artist of SRV's stature, Layton is more than happy with the approach. 

“I meet young kids all the time who say, ‘My dad just turned me on to your records six months ago’. Part of me thinks it’s the same old thing, a record we made 30 years ago. But I want a new generation to hear it. To me, it’s not an effort to sell the same record to someone who’s bought it three times before. I want to sell it to the kid that’s never heard us.”

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