Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Monday: Stevie Ray

Music and weather have a rather intriguing relationship, with a number of songs incorporating meteorological terminology within them.  At times, the lyrics of a weather-themed song are very tight...and at others, it's just a cool tune to jam out to. Whether it's the weather-related songs that we know about (Glenn Frey's Heat Is On would certainly come to mind in the midst of summer) or something more obscure...or simply just talking about the "storms of life", weather or weather-inspired themes intertwine within music.

One of my favorite musicians is Stevie Ray Vaughan, a great blues player who passed way before his time after dying in a helicopter crash in 1990.  Vaughan incorporated weather into music a few times, with a couple of better-known songs of his dwelling in the meteorological metaphor.

"Couldn't Stand the Weather" is the title track to his second album while working with Double Trouble, his backup blues band.  The mid 80's album also featured the song "Cold Shot" (another song that is pretty known amongst the blues and Texas Rock crowd).

I have to think that Vaughan was a bit of a weather geek...there's lot of weather metaphor in this album as it ties into relationships.  To wit, Couldn't Stand The Weather's lyrics include lines such as "Sweet as sugar, love won't wash away; Rain or shine, it's always here to stay" and the title "Cold Shot" deals with the dwindling spark in a relationship.

The title track from Vaughan's first major album, Texas Flood, dwells heavily in meteorological metaphor...dealing with "flooding down in Texas" in a slow blues grind where the metaphor talks more about relationship problems than a mere Texas rainstorm gone haywire.  Texas Flood is a remake of the original 1958 song written by Larry Davis, with a few extra improvised guitar solo sections thrown in to increase the song's length.

Vaughan's passing was tragic given his young age (34) at his passing -- there was a lot of music left in him that the world never got to hear.  That said, the nearly one decade of Vaughan being a major force in the blues scene left a large mark on the genre.