200g Vinyl Pressed at Quality Record Pressings / All-Analog Mastering from the Original Tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound
Comprised of ten previously unreleased studio performances Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble cut between late 1984 and early 1989, The Sky Is Crying serves as the legendary guitarist's unofficial "fifth" album as well as an homage to extraordinary musician's exceptional abilities as a musician, songwriter and interpreter. It also contains the tremendously moving "Life By the Drop," the first-ever recorded take of Vaughan playing acoustic guitar. Few, if any, posthumous collections are more complete, satisfying, and revealing as this 1990 set.
When Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash in August 1990, his brother, Jimmie, set to work on finding finished material that his younger sibling left in the vaults. To his surprise, there weren't many completed leftovers, save for the tracks on this set, which lent to the opinion that, in some way, Vaughan intended The Sky Is Crying to be an actual record. Nearly every song here had long found its way into the group's live sets, including the supremely soulful title track, bathed in Reese Wynan's warm organ accompaniment. It would be a standout on most albums, but this effort is filled with such nonpareil matter.
Consider “Boot Hill,” a rarity in that Vaughan plays the slide guitar - the very first time he’s captured on record in this style. The song was left off of In Step due to its darker content. Or the insightful cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” which seamlessly moves from tender to tough and back again; listen and you will hear Vaughan’s amp humming in the background. Vaughan’s formative influences get channeled on a slow-burn version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “May I Have a Talk With You,” during which the Texan incorporates the lyrics of several blues standards into the narrative for extra oomph. No matter what Vaughan is playing, his expressive techniques, dynamic contrasts, and jazzy tonalities rise to the surface.
"The new remastering sounds amazing. Better than it ever did. I'm happy and pleasantly surprised." – Chris "Whipper" Layton, Double Trouble drummer
"These recordings have never sounded this good, and likely will never sound better. Layers seem to have been stripped away, and the music seems to have been set free. Vaughan's guitar has new bite and edge...sonically, all questions have now been answered..." – Robert Baird, Stereophile
• 200-gram vinyl pressed at Quality Record Pressings
• All-analog mastering from the original tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound
• Double 1992 Grammy Award Winner: Best Contemporary Blues Album & Best Rock Instrumental Performance - "Little Wing"
• Deluxe tip-on gatefold jacket from Stoughton Printing