Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan

In Session...Deluxe Edition
Stax Records
Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan

Every blues fan – and especially every Stevie Ray Vaughan fan – knows of this famous studio summit, which has long been available in various audio formats. Now, with a DVD, the package takes on new life – and becomes an absolute essential.

The story of this meeting is legend among SRV enthusiasts. Blues great Albert King was booked to appear on the live television show “In Session” at CHCH Studios in Hamilton, Ontario, on December 6, 1983. But to add to the spectacle, producers brought in King’s disciple, the 29-year-old Mr. Vaughan. As he testifies, King remembered meeting him as Little Stevie when he sat in with the master in Austin years before. Now, SRV had released Texas Flood six months prior and his playing was at a peak – especially here, in the presence of his favorite bluesman. Together, they turned up the heat in that Canadian studio.

While portions of the TV show footage have made the rounds as bootlegs or via, the DVD presents the whole show, plus three tracks previously unavailable on past audio discs – a scorching version of King’s trademark tune “Born Under A Bad Sign,” Louis Jordan’s “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town,” and SRV’s newly minted classic, “Texas Flood.”

The video is presented in gorgeous, clear color, and watching the two trade licks brings the music alive as never before. You can see both musicians’ obvious respect for the other as they dig deep to play their best.

Sadly, this was the last time King and Vaughan shared a stage. Fortunately, though, it’s all here.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Mar. ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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