Album: Stevie Ray Vaughan & Friends

Solos, Sessions & Encores (Sony BMG)
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The Independent Culture

There is an obvious reason why some tracks merit the term "previously unreleased", and that reason is writ large across half of the outtakes, jam sessions and collaborations that make up this compilation. Put simply, they're just not good enough, and had Stevie Ray Vaughan still been alive, one suspects he would have continued to block the release of mediocrities like "On the Run" and "You Can Have My Husband". But at his best, Vaughan was the most exciting guitarist of his generation: his work on the funk-blues groove "Miami Strut" is quite extraordinary, and while the jam with Jeff Beck on "Goin' Down" doesn't quite develop into an axe-duel, it's still thrilling. His blues mentors – Albert and BB King, Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland – are all featured, while pairings with surf-guitar pioneer Dick Dale and rocker Lonnie Mack on "Pipeline" and "Oreo Cookie Blues", respectively, affirm the breadth of his influences. The latter live cut is a particularly charged performance, his dazzling runs being accompanied by a constant hubbub of acclaim.

Download this: 'Miami Strut', 'Oreo Cookie Blues', 'Na-Na-Ne-Na-Ney', 'Goin' Down'