Stevie Ray Vaughan Blues at Sunrise (Epic/Legacy)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 19, 2000
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Blues at Sunrise (Epic/Legacy)Stevie Ray Vaughan could play the blues. Unfortunately, just like Jimi Hendrix, an artist to whom he was often compared and who also died relatively early into his career, it seems that the Austin guitarist's music is due for constant compiling and recompiling. The concept of Blues at Sunrise is to display Vaughan's proficiency at blues played slow and with a feeling. Following last year's catalog "restoration project," however, which saw the reissue of Vaughan's four studio albums complete with bonus tracks, as well as a second Greatest Hits package, this collection seems redundant. Of the disc's 10 tracks, only two are previously unavailable in any form. One is a nice jam with Johnny Copeland on "Tin Pan Alley," recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1985. The other, an outtake from the Couldn't Stand the Weather sessions, is a version of "The Sky Is Crying" with a solo so tasty it's curious that it had never been available before. The two other curiosities are a simmering live version of "Texas Flood," previously available on the Live at the El Mocombo video, and the track that gives this collection its title, a stellar 15-minute workout with Albert King, found on last year's In Session on the Stax label. While the concept of Blues at Sunrise is appealing and the music is top-notch, any novice SRV fans would be better served approaching his music from one of his original releases. For experienced fans, though, this collection does not have enough going for it to merit a true recommendation.