Album review: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky Is Crying (1991)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 1991

By Steve Newton

Stevie Ray Vaughan fans who thought they were getting a treat when his posthumously released Vaughan Brothers album came out have more reason to smile with the release of 10 more studio tracks by the cherished blues-rocker. But while The Sky is Crying is certainly another testimony to the soulful genius of Vaughan, it is actually more of a late tribute to Stevie’s own idols than anything else.

The centre-piece of the disc is Vaughan’s seven-minute rendition of Hendrix’s “Little Wing”, which showcases equally Stevie’s sensitivity for the blues and command of raw rock. Another of his biggest influences, Lonnie Mack, gets a nod with a startling treatment of the ’60s instrumental hit, “Wham”.

Vaughan also covers blues gems by such stalwarts as Howling Wolf (“May I Have a Talk With You”), Willie Dixon (“Close to You”), and Elmore James (the title track), and though he doesn’t actually perform any Albert King compositions, you can also hear that living legend’s stark influence throughout.

The Sky is Crying was compiled by brother Jimmie Vaughan, so there’s no need to worry about someone trying to sell Stevie out now that he’s gone. Here’s hoping J. Vaughan comes up with some more recorded memories of his bro that he can share with those who miss him so badly.

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