Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
About Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Over just seven years—from the 1983 release of his no-frills, all-thrills debut album to the 1990 helicopter crash that ended his life—Stevie Ray Vaughan redefined classic blues rock. He embraced Albert King's gritty, string-bending sound alongside Jimi Hendrix's science-fiction supersonics, then added a virtuosic flair all his own. Born in Dallas in 1954, Vaughan was introduced to the guitar by his musical older brother, Jimmie; by nine, he was already booking gigs, and he spent his teens immersed in Austin’s club circuit. Vaughan recorded his ear-opening debut, Texas Flood—a blend of sizzling covers and heartfelt love songs—over three days in late 1982 with his band Double Trouble (drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon). His serious session-play chops helped make Let’s Dance Bowie’s most successful album, but Vaughan, ever the stubborn individualist, infamously quit the ensuing 1983 tour shortly before it began. Released in 1984, Couldn’t Stand the Weather found Vaughan fleshing out his sound, but by the following year’s Soul to Soul, he’d hit a creative wall, largely due to his addictions. The trio attempted to refocus with the self-descriptive (and liberally overdubbed) Live Alive, but Vaughan collapsed on a cut-short European tour. Reinvigorated by rehab, Vaughan recovered his voice on 1989's In Step, a bodaciously boogying tribute to recovery that should have marked the start of his next best phase. Instead, in August 1990, after an all-star blues jam in Wisconsin, Vaughan’s helicopter crashed into a ski hill shortly after takeoff, claiming all five lives on board.