Texas Flood is the debut studio album by the American blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, released on June 13, 1983 by Epic Records. The album was named after a cover featured on the album, "Texas Flood", which was first recorded by blues singer Larry Davis in 1958. Produced by the band and recording engineer Richard Mullen, Texas Flood was recorded in the space of three days at Jackson Browne's personal recording studio in Los Angeles. Vaughan wrote six of the album's ten tracks.
Two singles, "Love Struck Baby" and "Pride and Joy", were released from the album. A music video was made for "Love Struck Baby" and received regular rotation on MTV in 1983. Texas Flood was reissued in 1999 with five bonus tracks including an interview segment, studio outtake, and three live tracks recorded on September 23, 1983 at The Palace in Hollywood, California. The album was reissued again in 2013, with two CDs in celebration of the album's 30th anniversary. Disc 1 is the original album with one bonus track, "Tin Pan Alley". Disc 2 is selections from a previously unreleased concert recorded at Ripley's Music Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 20, 1983, originally recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio program.
Texas Flood received positive reviews, with critics praising the deep blues sound, and Vaughan’s songwriting, while some criticized the album for straying too far from mainstream rock. A retrospective review by AllMusic awarded it five out of five stars.
Vaughan and Double Trouble had performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 1982 and caught the attention of musician Jackson Browne. He offered the band three days of free use in his Los Angeles recording studio. During Thanksgiving weekend, they accepted Browne's offer and recorded a demo. It was heard by record producer John H. Hammond, who had discovered artists such as Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen among many others. He presented the demo to Greg Geller, head of A&R at Epic Records, and arranged a recording contract.
It's hard to overestimate the impact Stevie Ray Vaughan's debut, Texas Flood, had upon its release in 1983. At that point, blues was no longer hip, the way it was in the '60s. Texas Flood changed all that, climbing into the Top 40 and spending over half a year on the charts, which was practically unheard of for a blues recording. Vaughan became a genuine star and, in doing so, sparked a revitalization of the blues. This was a monumental impact, but his critics claimed that, no matter how prodigious Vaughan's instrumental talents were, he didn't forge a distinctive voice; instead, he wore his influences on his sleeve, whether it was Albert King's pinched yet muscular soloing or Larry Davis' emotive singing. There's a certain element of truth in that, but that was sort of the point of Texas Flood. Vaughan didn't hide his influences; he celebrated them, pumping fresh blood into a familiar genre. When Vaughan and Double Trouble cut the album over the course of three days in 1982, he had already played his set lists countless times; he knew how to turn this material inside out or goose it up for maximum impact. The album is paced like a club show, kicking off with Vaughan's two best self-penned songs, "Love Struck Baby" and "Pride and Joy," then settling into a pair of covers, the slow-burning title track and an exciting reading of Howlin' Wolf's "Tell Me," before building to the climax of "Dirty Pool" and "I'm Crying." Vaughan caps the entire thing with "Lenny," a lyrical, jazzy tribute to his wife. It becomes clear that Vaughan's true achievement was finding something personal and emotional by fusing different elements of his idols. Sometimes the borrowing was overt, and other times subtle, but it all blended together into a style that recalled the past while seizing the excitement and essence of the present.
Love Struck Baby 2:19
Pride And Joy 3:39
Texas Flood 5:21
Tell Me 2:48
Rude Mood 4:40
Mary Had A Little Lamb 2:47
Dirty Pool 5:03
I'm Cryin' 3:43
Stevie Ray Vaughan – guitar, vocals
Tommy Shannon – bass
Chris Layton – drums