As with any great artist, particularly those of the blues persuasion, Steve Ray Vaughan was constantly taking chances, stretching out, discovering new possibilities even in songs he performed nightly. Brother Jimmie Vaughan hit the nail on the head as only he could: 'He never played it the same way once, much less twice.' As impressive as Stevie's too-brief studio career was, the records represent only freezeframe stills of songs (and a guitarist) thta were continually evolving. And like any self-respecting guitarslinger. Stevie Ray's flamboyant, in-your-face style blossomed most in front of a live audience. Such was obviously the case one night in 1983 when Double Trouble played Toronto's El Mocambo. Luckily, the entire event was captured on film.
Drummer Chris Layton recalls, Ït was just a straight live performance. There just happened to be cameras there.'In other words, this wasn't a studio audience, there were no re-takes, no fixing or sweetening after the fact. Clearly, the El Mocambo crowd witnessed an emerging guitar legend and his top-notch band on an extraordinary night. Even with bassist Tommy Shannon towering over him, Stevie appeared almost larger then lufe. Four of the songs included here were never released on LP in Vaughan's lifetime. The eight remaining titles include favorites from Double Trouble's early repertoire: 'Love struck baby', 'Pride an joy', 'Mary had a little lamb' and Stevie's homepage to his hero Jini Hendrix, 'Voodoo Chile.' Another Hendrix vehicle, 'Third stone from the sun,' is a tour de force of acrobatics, both sonic and physical, while 'Lenny' reveals the guitarist's lyrical, sensitive side. And his rendition of 'Texas Flood' is without doubt one of the most overwhelming recordings of Stevie Ray ( or any guitarist) ever documentec - a textbook (make that an encyclopedia) of incandescent licks streaming forth like a thunder shower.