Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan

I'm posting this review on August 27th which marks the 19th anniversary of us tragically losing Stevie Ray Vaughan to the helicopter crash in 1990 at the age of 35 years old.  Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan by Alan Paul and Andy Aledort on St. Martin's Press tells the story of Stevie in a most unique way.  They pieced together interviews with not only Stevie Ray Vaughan himself but also his brother Jimmie Vaughan, Double Trouble band members Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, Reese Wynans, previous band members and musical collaborators, icons such as Billy F. Gibbons, Buddy Guy and many more.  

What is unique about it is they tell the story with quotes from a variety of interviews they conducted with several folks as the story unfolds as if they were all sitting in a room together and telling how it all happened.  You read about the mutual musical respect between Stevie and Jimmie, early influences, early gigs, progression of the band and winning over people such as Jackson Browne (who lent out his studio for the Texas Flood album), David Bowie (and how Stevie collaborated on his Modern Love album but pulled out of the tour last minute), trials of drug use that escalated with the band's popularity, sobriety and terrible news of the crash.  

I knew the ending of the story before going into the book, but I found I was so drawn into everyone's account of things that I felt like I experienced it all first hand.  You feel excitement over the early attention for Stevie, concern over the drug use, and excitement again over his sobriety and making amazing albums like In Step (which you learn is a reference to the steps he was taking in his sobriety) and the Vaughan Brothers' Family Style project with his brother, Jimmie.  The death really hits you because you see how far he came and how excited he was for more projects with Double Trouble and with his brother.

Even if you think you know the story, I would recommend picking up a copy of this book.  You will definitely learn more about all of the cast characters and the music will haven new meaning to you as it did for me.  I'll hear all of his music in a new light after reading Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan!