Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan – 25 Classic Performances

StevieRayVaughanDoubleTroublePublicityShotThe world lost Stevie Ray Vaughan 25 years ago today. We lost a man, a musician, a legend, and a shining light in world full of darkness. Stevie overcame his personal demons and set about helping others do the same, both directly and indirectly. He was open about his experience and inspired people to change through not just his music, but his words and his actions. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of his horrific death, we shall celebrate his life. We put together a Spotify playlist of 25 Classic Performances. Granted, we were limited to the available music on Spotify which luckily includes most of his recorded output for CBS/Sony. Strangely enough, the SRV box set is missing and if possible I would have included some incredible live performances on there including “Rude Mood” and “Testify” from MTV Unplugged. Stevie Ray Vaughan played those two songs on 12-string acoustic guitar and when I saw it live on TV I was stunned and still am. Simply amazing. Anyway, here’s what we have lined up for you. Some it is off the beaten path but I hope it gives you a full picture of the man and his life in music. My notes are in italics.

1. Scuttle Buttin’ – Live At Montreux 1985
2. Say What! – Live At Montreux 1985
This is the wicked 1-2 punch Stevie used to open many shows. This was a great way to declare he was back to take no prisoners after a lukewarm reception at Montreux 3 years earlier.
3. Couldn’t Stand The Weather – Couldn’t Stand The Weather
All time favorite Stevie Ray Vaughan tune. I can see his wrist flying in my mind’s eye as I listen to that rhythm guitar part. Damn!
4. Little Wing/Third Stone From The Sun – Archives
SRV transforms this Hendrix beauty into an instrumental excursion beyond the Sun.
5. Texas Flood – Live At The El Mocambo
Incredible performance of the song that started it all for SRV & Double Trouble. Listen close and see if you can tell where he switched to playing behind his back.
6. Change It – Soul To Soul
The first few bars of this one shiver my spine every time!
7. Satisfy Susie – Lonnie Mack – Strike Like Lightning
Stevie as sideman and contributor on this tune that features a main riff that Stevie borrowed from time to time. Here he trades solos with Lonnie while simultaneously lifting Lonnie’s career out of obscurity. Stevie was kind to his predecessors.
8. Telephone Song – The Vaughan Brothers – Family Style
Funky track from the only album with big brother Jimmie Lee. This one will get you movin’! Stevie displays his incredible rhythm chops on this one too.
9. Blues At Sunrise – Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session
Albert talks way too much on this whole album but in between is some of the most incredible string bending you’ll ever hear from either of these two giants of the blues.
10. Travis Walk – In Step
This killer instrumental is not as blustery as “Rude Mood” or “Testify” but it’s bouncy and happy and will make you smile until your face freezes that way. Be careful!
11. Collins Shuffle – Live At Montreux 1982
Another Albert influenced SRV quite a bit too. Albert Collins. This is a terrific tribute to the Master of the Telecaster.
12. The Sky Is Crying – Essential
When I first heard SRV’s studio version of this I wasn’t impressed and I didn’t like that there was no slide guitar. This live version still has no slide guitar but he pulls out all the stops. It completely changed my mind about his choice to cover this song.
13. Give Me Back My Wig – Archives
I just love that Stevie liked Hound Dog Taylor and chose to cover one of his songs. I love Hound Dog too. This one DOES have slide guitar from Stevie Ray Vaughan.
14. Look At Little Sister – Soul To Soul
A blistering Texas Shuffle that he played so well. I love the trilling on the low strings and Double Trouble’s confident Strut.
15. Boot Hill (1984 Version) – Couldn’t Stand The Weather (Deluxe Edition)
An earlier version of the song found on The Sky Is Crying posthumous album. Now you can play a game of “Spot The Differences”! Exciting isn’t it?
16. Tin Pan Alley (aka Roughest Place In Town) – Live At The Spectrum, Montreal, August 17, 1984, Late Show
I had this bootleg for years before they added it to Couldn’t Stand The Weather. This is a blistering version of this great tune from Texas Flood.
17. Pride And Joy – Texas Flood
It’s just a classic and couldn’t be excluded.
18. Mary Had A Little Lamb – Live At Montreux 1985
If possible I would have included a post-rehab version of this song but there wasn’t one. This is an excellent substitute. Messed up or not, SRV was firing on all cylinders during his return to Montreux.
19. The Things That I Used To Do – Live At Carnegie Hall
Stevie got to play Carnegie Hall and he brought along his friends and big brother. He shared his success with the people he loved. We should all try that.
20. Crossfire – In Step
A Double Trouble composition and it’s a corker! Follow that bass! Stevie lights this one up like a Christmas tree.
21. Tick Tock – The Vaughan Brothers – Family Style
I hardly ever listen to this song but it features a great vocal performance by Stevie Ray Vaughan that cannot be denied. It’s also a direct reminder of our limited time here and that we need to make the most of it.
22. Lookin’ Out The Window – Soul To Soul
A little under three minutes of pure fun from Stevie and the boys.
23. Tightrope – In Step
Another example of Stevie’s talent in the rhythm guitar department. He was more than just incendiary solos and Texas shuffles. He was a tremendously well-rounded musician and showed it often.
24. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Live At The Spectrum, Montreal, August 17, 1984 Late Show
No one did Hendrix like Stevie Ray Vaughan and no one ever has. Stevie Ray Vaughan seemed to inherently understand Jimi’s playing and could expand on it or deconstruct it at will.
25. Riviera Paradise – In Step
We close with this beautiful piece of music from a beautiful person. You are missed Stevie Ray Vaughan, you are missed.

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For April 14, 2015

Recently, the record industry decided to give new release day worldwide consistency and they went with Friday. So, sometime soon all new releases will be available and in your greedy little hands a few days earlier, or a few days later depending on your point of view. It hasn’t happened yet, so until then we’ll keep putting up our list of bluesy new releases on Tuesdays.

Tuesday April 14, 2015 brings us a mishmash of blues related releases. Slam Allen delivers a stellar album, Feel These Blues. Sherwood Fleming brings you Blues Blues Blues, and classic rocker Randy Bachman serves up some Heavy Blues. Somehow this reminds me of the joke wherein you add the words “in bed” to any fortune cookie fortune. Maybe we should add “blues” to every album title. Beth Hart’s new album can be Better Than Home Blues, and the probable Albert King bootleg out today will become the Dylanesque title The Purple Carriage St Charles, IL 02-02-74 Blues. By now you’ve probably figured out that having Blues in the title of your album irritates me a little. I can’t really pinpoint why. Maybe it’s cheesy marketing, maybe it’s a throwback to the 30s and race records where blues songs all had blues in the title so people knew what style they were getting. I don’t know. Just stop. I’ve got the Blues In The Title Of Your Album Blues.

Two reissue/archival new releases this week are of particular interest. Omnivore Recordings has remastered James Luther Dickinson’s Beale Street Saturday Night project. For more info on this interesting historical document click here. The other is Canned Heat with John Lee Hooker Carnegie Hall 1971. This one is available on both CD and limited edition green vinyl and features liner notes by Dave Thompson with a brand new interview with Canned Heat drummer Adolfo Fito de la Parra.

Slam Allen

Slam Allen Feel These Blues

Sherwood Fleming

Sherwood Fleming Blues Blues Blues

Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker

Canned Heat and John Lee Hooker Carnegie Hall 1971

Beth Hart

Beth Hart Better Than Home

Beale Street Saturday Night

James Luther Dickinson Beale Street Saturday Night


Bachman Heavy Blues

Albert King

Albert King The Purple Carriage St Charles, IL 02-02-74

Hump Day! Risque Tunes For Your Midweek Blues 12/3/14

BluesBiscuitsHumpdayChristmasHo ho ho! What’d you call me? Hey! It must be Hump Day again. Christmas is coming and it occurred to me that the man with the bag sees a lot of action this time of year, if you know what I mean…

Santa Claus apparently gets a Hall Pass from Mrs. Claus every December. If the songs are to be believed, Kris Kringle is spreading more than joy at Christmas. I’m not sure if he’s a jolly old elf or a dirty old man. He certainly has an eye for the ladies and the ladies are more than willing to wait for Santa under the mistletoe to barter for bigger and better presents.

Blues men and women of all eras have fallen under Santa’s spell. Some have even gone so far as to impersonate Santa for the nefarious purposes of re-gifting beef logs, unwrapping presents, and removing stockings.

Albert King is playing Santa this year and he makes one thing clear: “Santa Claus Wants Some Loving.” He’s been working all year and needs to cut loose a little. C’mon ladies, Santa loves your cookies and he likes his milk straight from the tap!

B.B. King takes a slightly different approach. Skip the chimney, Santa’s coming in the back door. Either way, that sounds dirty. I get the feeling B.B.’s Santa is spreading love and joy the whole year. Swiss Colony was made for this Santa. They’ve got beef logs, meat sticks, and summer sausages, and Back Door Santa’s giving it to everybody he can. As B.B. King sings, old St. Nick don’t come but once a year. No wonder he makes it last all night…

Shemekia Copeland has the cure for Santa’s Christmas Blues but she can’t get him to stick around to sample her goodies. She wants to get her jollies straight from Mr. Kringle. Her tree is trimmed and she’ll deck his halls real good, wink wink nudge nudge. Christmas Eve is on Hump Day this year so maybe she’ll get her wish this time around.

Albert King Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’

B.B. King Back Door Santa

Shemekia Copeland Stay A little Longer Santa

Throwback Thursday – The Doors With Albert King CD Review

AlbertKingJimMorrisonI’ve been in an Albert King mood recently and even went so far as to re-string a guitar upside down, tune it to E minor and attempt to play it. Yeah, attempt. It’s not as easy as it sounds. So when I was looking through old stuff to post for Throwback Thursday I came across this CD review from 2010 for The Doors Live In Vancouver with the man himself, Mr. Albert King.

Let’s fire up the Wayback (WABAC) machine and revisit those heady days of 2010 and 1970 when King Albert held court with Messrs Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, and Mojo Risin’…

…This year fans of The Doors and blues fans alike will have something extra for which to be thankful. On Tuesday, November 23, 2010 Rhino Records in conjunction with Bright Midnight Archives will be releasing an oft-bootlegged performance from June 6, 1970 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Doors Live In Vancouver 1970 presents a full recording of the band’s show from that evening which includes a four song jam with blues legend Albert King.

DoorsLiveInVancouver1970Although Albert was probably completely unfamiliar with their music, The Doors were no strangers to the blues. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison were avowed blues enthusiasts and many of their songs featured call & response style arrangements. The Doors music was an amalgamation of original American musical styles. Manzarek, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger were all fans of jazz music, particularly Miles Davis’ and John Coltrane’s bands. Ray grew up on the South Side of Chicago and was intimately familiar with the city’s greatest export: Muddy Waters. The Doors combined the improvisational aspects of jazz with tight arrangements of Chess recordings of the 50’s, added some California psychedelia and lyrics by the Poet Laureate of the Apocalypse to create their own inimitable sound.

Live in Vancouver 1970 finds these influences profusely swirling around the band as they created the music on stage, cradled comfortably in the eye of the storm. The discs capture the entire show, including five minutes of pre-show stage noise and tuning. The musical portion opens just like their previous album, Morrison Hotel, with one of the most recognizable stuttering blues riffs of all-time in “Roadhouse Blues.” The riff continues on for a several extra bars as Morrison escalates the crowd’s anticipation by delaying the opening lines. Is he out of it tonight? Is he going to sing it at all? This tour was on the heels of the infamous Miami incident and the band, particularly its mercurial lead singer, was considered dangerous and unpredictable. Morrison eases his grip on the audience ever so slightly as he sings the first line; from there it’s a wild ride through the doors of perception.

The fitting “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)” segues into a blues staple in The Doors’ repertoire: “Back Door Man.” As Jim Morrison channels the immortal Howlin’ Wolf there is no doubt whatsoever that the little girls understand. This abbreviated yet blistering version stops almost imperceptibly before Robby Krieger starts churning out the riff of “Five To One.” The two songs meld perfectly like two Vulcans in an orgasmatron.

“When The Music’s Over” continues the all-out attack on the senses with lulls and crescendos of its hard-rock psychedelic soundscape. Manzarek and Krieger create sheets of sound so disquieting they would stupefy John Coltrane. When Morrison unleashes the banshee wail of “NOW!” the pair seems to create in unison its demonic musical equivalent. Jim Morrison may have been the mouth and face of The Doors but Ray, Robby and John Densmore provided the relentless soundtrack keeping it fresh and interesting even as Jim’s antics grew tiresome. Here, these musicians are at the top of their game, and thankfully Jim is also on his best behavior. Maybe it was the presence of the King.

Albert King joins the band on stage after “Love Me Two Times” and a short American music history lesson from Jim to the audience while the crew sets up Albert’s rig. The jam starts with “Little Red Rooster.” Robby Krieger plays slide while Albert sends flurries of notes into the ether. Albert and Robby are in the same channel because of the recording set-up; it was recorded by then tour manager Vince Treanor using two AKG-D1000E stage microphones and a Sony T630 reel-to-reel tape machine. Their tones are similar and Robby uses the slide to great effect as he imitates Albert’s deep bends and they go toe to toe for several bars of rousing head-cutting action.

At the beginning of “Rock Me”, Ray can be heard calling out chord changes. Even without rehearsals, the band and King play like they did this every weekend and twice on Tuesdays. Ray Manzarek recalls in the notes “What a funky night. Jim singing his ass off with a prod in the butt by a legendary old blues man.” Albert King brought out the best in all the musicians of The Doors. They closed the jam with an exhilarating rendition of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love.” Robby again adorns his finger with the slide and slithers through the verses like a desert sidewinder. Even with King sitting in, The Doors sound and style permeates this seminal rhythm and blues tune transforming it into cascading prismatic majesty. In the midst of it all, Albert King is there not merely riding on the storm but actively contributing to its power. The band and fans are duly impressed. A voice from the audience calls out “all right Albert!” and the disc ends with Jim acknowledging their guest.

Disc two has only two songs but at nearly 18 minutes each, “Light My Fire” and “The End” finish an already dynamic show in a grand manner. Jim’s spoken word piece “Petition The Lord With Prayer” starts off “Light My Fire” and so begins a dazzling display of The Doors improvisational abilities. Ray and Robby build their solos to fever pitch; Robby even throws in Coltrane quotes like “My Favorite Things.” Morrison takes a turn, improvising lyrics based around “St. James Infirmary” and fever. John Densmore’s agile percussion pulls everything together and pushes it to the edge of the precipice. His connection to the music is mesmerizing. It is intuitive and telepathic. He builds the dam and then crashes through it like the cresting Mississippi. Set the night on fire indeed.

With its minor key Eastern melodies and rolling tabla-style drums “The End” gives the crowd a few moments to rest and catch their breath before it too furiously builds to a glorious climax. It’s the end of disc two and the end of the show, but hopefully it is not the end of these archival recordings that have been released almost yearly for the past decade.

Although there are sonic limitations from the original tapes, the sound is clear and robust. The mics on stage capture banter between songs and calls from the audience, all adding richness to the atmosphere of the show. The recordings have been cleaned up and balanced by long-time Doors engineer and producer Bruce Botnik and this set is far superior to the bootlegs in circulation. It makes an excellent addition to any Doors fan’s collection and appeals to curious blues fan as well.

Remember, please support the artists and Blues Biscuits by shopping at Amazon through our links. Thanks!

Fresh Biscuits! New Releases For June 24, 2014

There are several blues releases this week. At Blues Biscuits we are striving to be your go-to resource for new release information, dates and itineraries. We hope you’ll check in every week and see what’s fresh from Blues hearth.

This week’s batch features new music from Janiva Magness, Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, and a trio of vintage live recordings, including two Kings of the blues and the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, presented by Rockbeat Records.

There are also a handful of blues related releases on vinyl, so dust off the turntable, replace the stylus, set a course for 33 1/3 and you’ll be ready for some hot wax.

Fresh Biscuits  –  6/24/14

Eric Johnson Europe live

Eric Johnson – Europe Live

Otis Clay Truth Is

Otis Clay – Truth Is

Kenny Brown Going Back To Mississippi

Kenny Brown – Goin’ Back to Mississippi

Rod Piazza Emergency Situation

Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers – Emergency Situation

Deanna Bogart Just A Wish Away

Deanna Bogart – Just a Wish Away

Mark Massey One Step Ahead

Mark Massey – One Step Ahead of the Blues


Janiva Magness – Original

Freddie King Live & Loud 1968

Freddie King – Live and Loud 1968

Albert King Live In The 70s

Albert King – Live In The 70’s

Roy Buchanan Live At My Fathers Place

Roy Buchanan – Live At My Father’s Place


Blues On Black

Vinyl New Releases6/24 Vinyl

Eric Johnson – Europe Live

Walter Trout – The Blues Came Callin’

Keb’ Mo’ – Keb Mo

Eric Clapton & B.B. King – Riding With The King

Recent Vinyl Releases
Seth Walker – Sky Still Blue
Lucky Peterson – The Son of A Bluesman – with extra tracks
Eric Clapton – From The Cradle (2xLP 180 Gram Vinyl)
Eric Clapton – Me and Mr. Johnson
Canned Heat – Vintage
Eric Bibb – Natural Light
Hillstomp – Portland, Ore


By shopping through our links, you help Blues Biscuits and the artists.


Friday The 13th Hoodoo Moon Playlist Re-cap

This past Friday the 13th, with the Honey Moon about to loom large in the night sky, we hosted a Facebook Blues Jam. We jammed your news feed with thirteen songs of superstition, bad luck, and trouble. 

What blues songs had you moaning in the moonlight? 

Here’s a quick recap of ours:

1. Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign

2. Albert Collins – The Moon is Full 

3. Beck, Bogert & Appice – Black Cat Moan

4. R.L Burnside – Bad Luck and Trouble

5. Samantha Fish – I Put A Spell On You

6. Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child

7. Willie Dixon – Seventh Son. I just realized “Seventh Son” was the seventh song.

8. Matt Hill – Hellz Bellz. Matt now plays in his wife Nikki Hill‘s band.

9. Moreland & Arbuckle – The Devil And Me

10. Robert Johnson – Me And The Devil Blues (Take 1)

11. Gov’t Mule with Derek Trucks & Oteil Burbridge – Superstition

12. Muddy Waters & Junior Wells – My Mojo Working 

13. Howlin’ Wolf – Evil