Like The Finest Wine: TV Appearances 1985-1990 (Apocalypse Sound AS194)
JVC JazzFest, Ft. Adams State Park, Newport, RI, August 18, 1985.
Couldn’t Stand The Weather
“Saturday Night Live”, NBC Studios, New York City, NY, February 15, 1986.
Soul To Soul / Change It (with Jimmie Vaughan)
Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville, TN, September 6, 1987.
S.S. Presidente, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA, April 22, 1988.
Life Without You / Frosty (with Albert Collins)
/ Texas Flood (with BB King & Albert Collins)
“Late Night with David Letterman”, April 10, 1989.
“Late Night with David Letterman”, September 22, 1989.
Wall of Denial
“Austin City Limits”, University of Texas, Austin, October 10, 1989.
Instrumental (with W.C. Clark)
“Night Music”, Los Angeles CA, October 12, 1989.
Crossfire / Travis Walk / Sailing Shoes
“The Tonight Show”, June 7, 1990.
Tightrope / House Is Rockin’
Like The Finest Wine collects together various television appearances from the height of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s career in the late eighties. The DVD unfolds in chronological order taking us through various odds and ends all in excellent quality.
The earliest footage starts with the JVC Jazzfest in Newport RI in 1985 with the band firing its way through “Couldn’t Stand The Weather”. It’s no surprise that Stevie brought mainstream popularity to the blues with performances like this one. The track also includes a great piano solo from Reese Wynans, who had just recently joined the band.
Older brother Jimmy Vaughan joins Stevie for “Change It” during the Saturday Night Live segment. Jimmy was Stevie’s first big influence and can certainly hold his own on guitar but offers little more than rhythm support for his brother here. “Superstition”, his unique version of the Stevie Wonder classic, comes from the Volunteer Jam XIII in Nashville. This festival, organized by Charlie Daniels, also featured for the second time since the plane crash, a newly formed version of Lynyrd Skynyd.
Stevie jams with blues legends Albert Collins and BB King during the New Orleans footage. The mutual respect is evident in the way the three share the stage and compliment each others styles and is one of the highlights in this collection.
The Letterman performances are only six months apart and feature “Tightrope” and “Wall Of Denial”, two tracks from his latest In Step LP. Stevie sits in with the “Late Night Band” for both dates and while both versions sound great, it is missing the vibe that Double Trouble brought to the table. The instrumental from Austin City Limits is also a fun jam featuring W.C. Clark on bass and Chris Layton on drums. It is rather short and to the point but very exciting nonetheless.
For the appearance on “Nite Music”, SRV uses the house band again. It features the late Hiram Bullock on guitar, Omar Hakim on drums, Philippe Saisse on keys, Tom Barney on bass and Don Alias on percussion. They bring a funkier vibe to his sound and offer an interesting change from the Double Trouble sound. The finale brings out a full cast of characters for a cover of Little Feat’s “Sailing Shoes” including David Sanborn on sax, Van Dyke Parks on keys and Chaka Khan, Maria Mckee, and Rosemary Butler on vocals. At this point, the audio and video go out of synch. The audio is about 2 seconds behind and this lasts through the Tonight Show portion as well and is the only downfall to this release.
Continuing with the labels high standard for packaging, Like The Finest Wine from Apocalypse Sound comes in a tri-fold cardboard case packed with photos throughout. This is an overall excellent release which features an interesting collection of material from the blues icon worth checking out.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)