Various artists – Texas Hurricane (Mid Valley MVR 332/333)


Texas Hurricane
(Mid Valley MVR 332/333)

Music Hall, Austin, TX – May 12th, 1995

Disc 1 (72:13): Texas Flood, Flamenco, 12 Bar Blues, Hot Dog, I Like It Like That, enter Robert Cray, No Love In My Heart (For You), When The Welfare Turns Its Back, enter Eric Clapton, Reconsider Baby, Third Degree, enter Buddy Guy, Sweet Home Chicago, I Can’t Quit You Baby

Disc 2 (78:08): The Same Thing, Further On Up the Road, Let Me Love You, Wee Baby Blues, Early In The Morning, I Can’t Judge Nobody, Love Struck Baby, Six Strings Down, Jam

Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Concert was organized by his brother Jimmie.  Scheduled for May 11th, 1995 at the City Limits in Austin, Texas, it featured all the musicians who shared the stage with him on August 26th, 1990, the day Stevie Ray died.  A private, invitation show only, Epic Records recorded and videotaped the event and released on A Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan.  

The party spilled into the next evening with another long concert with the same musicians.  Playing in the Music Hall instead of City Limits, this is a much more loose affair that saw the musicians play some of their own songs, covers and jam sessions in addition to Stevie Ray Vaughan songs as they did the previous night.  It wasn’t officially documented but was recorded from the audience.  

Several titles cover this event.  The earliest is The Day After The SRV Tribute (Rarities 97050), a single disc with excellent sound focusing upon Eric Clapton’s contribution.  A lesser sounding but more complete audience tape was used for On A Blues Night (Roots Music 9601/2). This features all but the first four Jimmie Vaughn songs of the show “Hey Yeah,” “Don’tcha Know,” “Just Like Putty” and “D/FW.”  

Texas Hurricane features the same audience tape used on the Roots Music release.  It’s not as good as the fragment used on the older title, but is still a very good dynamic stereo audience tape with wonderful presence.  Only some audience comments about being pushed back in the crowd between some tracks causes distraction.

The tape begins a few notes into Jimmie’s cover of SRV’s “Texas Flood.”  He continues with a flamenco acoustic guitar and 12 bar blues.  His final solo number is his blues arrangement cover of Dave Clark Five’s “I Like It Like That.”  He then introduces Robert Cray, one of the best contemporary blues guitarists around today.  

He plays a short two song set.  Every release and online source for this gig misses his first song.  What is listed as “Going Back Home” or “I’m Going Back Home” is really the Elmore James song “No Love In My Heart (For You).”  The line “I’m going back home” is repeated throughout the song because it’s in the chorus, but Cray himself tells the audience the name of the song after he plays it and dubs it “Elmore James’ take on ‘Woke Up This Morning.'”

Afterwards people in the audience close to the taper beg for “The Sky Is Crying,” but Cray plays Freddie King’s “(The Welfare) Turns Its Back On You” instead.  Eric Clapton is introduced and comes onstage to play “Reconsider Baby” and “Third Degree,” two songs off of the From The Cradle album and in his current live set list.  

When Clapton finishes Buddy Guy enters the stage.  “Sweet Home Chicago,” the Robert Johnson blues in the popular blues-rock arrangement, gets the audience cheering loudly.  He follows with a cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby.”  After guy sings the first two verses he quips “I wanna play these blues so funky tonight, you can smell it.”  Each of the guitarists take a solo and even duet with one another producing the first real jam of the show lasting almost ten minutes.

“I Can’t Quit You Baby” is slow, but the cover of Muddy Waters and James Cotton’s “The Same Thing” is even more so.  The majestic blues contains various riffs from the different guitarists underscored by Hammond organ and reaches almost fifteen minutes.   

Things pick up with “Further On Up The Road,” a song long associated with Clapton.  It sounds like the musicians are having fun as the rhythm section locks into a galloping rhythm and leads them into “Let Me Love You,” a cover of the Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart song from the first Jeff Beck Group’s album Truth with Clapton on vocals.

It sounds like they get a bit lost in the jam.  Cray then comments about how good the jam session sounds and sings “take me back…”  It’s an inspired piece of improv that could only occur with the blues.  He sings “take me back … to Austin” and the band finds a smashing cadence.  Clapton then leads them into a “Wee Baby Blues,” the Jimmy Reed cover he played with Cray and Guy five years earlier at the Royal Albert Hall during one of his all blues nights.  

“Early In The Morning” and “Can’t Judge Nobody” are two further blues jams played at various tempo.    

The show is brought back home by the end.  After the awesome blues jams they play Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Love Struck Baby” followed by the recently written and recorded “Six Strings Down,” Jimmie’s tribute to his brother found on his first solo album Strange Pleasure.  The long night ends with an eight minute jam session bringing the endless night to a close.  

Texas Hurricane is packaged in a simple double slimline jewel case with very thick paper used for the inserts.  Many very rare photographs from the gig are used for the design.  Mid Valley even include a little SRV card.  It is a good title to have and very affordable for Mid Valley.  It is a great addition for the Eric Clapton collector even though he’s sometimes outclassed by the the other guitarists onstage.  Until a release comes along with the first four songs, this is the definitive version. 

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