The Things He Used To Do (Godfatherecords G.R. 506)
Spectrum, Montreal, Quebec – August 17, 1984 Early Show
Pre FM source originally recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour
(79:46) Scuttle Buttin’, Testify, Voodoo Chile, The Things (That) I Used To Do, Couldn’t Stand The Weather, Cold Shot, Pride And Joy, Tin Pan Alley, Love Struck Baby, Texas Flood, Lenny, Rude Mood
SRV played two shows on August 17, 1984 in Montreal, both of which were recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. The Things He Used To Do from Godfather presents the early show in excellent soundboard. This recording of the early show was definitely edited between songs by the KBFH using cross fades between tracks with most between song banter absent. Both Montreal shows can also be found on Wolfgang’s Vault. Godfather omitted the band introductions to keep this to a single disc and mastered it to be a bit livelier and punchier sounding.
The late show can also be found complete on In Memoriam on the Swingin’ Pig label; an LP sized 3CD box set. The late show in Montreal is found on discs 2 and 3 while disc 1 contains a broadcast in Philadelphia from October 20, 1983. It is very interesting to hear the differences in playing between the Montreal shows as Stevie’s performances were never quite the same twice. Drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon fill out the Double Trouble line up and provide a very solid rhythm section for Vaughan.
Active in the music business since the early 70s and well respected among fellow musicians, Vaughan was given three days studio time at Jackson Browne’s Los Angeles studio in November 1982 which resulted in his 1983 debut release, Texas Flood. The following year he released Couldn’t Stand The Weather, both of which not only brought commercial success but also helped gain popularity among the blues again. Tracks like “Pride And Joy”, “Couldn’t Stand The Weather”, and “Cold Shot” became radio staples during the mid 80s.
The Things He Used To Do contains a blistering performance. “Scuttle Buttin” has some astonishing fast blues licks and is an excellent way to open the show. His playing throughout the show is unparalleled and he teeters between totally in control and totally out of control. Many blues artists make a habit of covering older material with “Testify” coming from the Isley Brothers. His version of “Voodoo Chile” is perhaps the best cover of a Hendrix song ever attempted. As much as Jimi has been covered, nobody tapped into Hendrix quite the way Stevie did. “The Things That I Used To Do” is also a cover made famous by Guitar Slim in 1954.
“Tin Pan Alley” provides some slow blues and allows Vaughan to mellow out a bit while he proceeds to express himself rhythmically. “Texas Flood” features some classic call and response between guitar and vocal and reaches almost 10 minutes. “Lenny” is a very quiet beautiful piece written for his then wife, Lenora. The Grammy Nominated instrumental, “Rude Mood”, finishes the disc with a very fast paced shuffle before Vaughan introduces the band a second time.
The Things He Used To Do is another excellent looking package from Godfather with stunning sound and a top notch performance. This is definitely required listening for fans of blues guitar. With such a unique approach to playing, it’s no wonder he is still considered one of the greatest guitarists ever.