Skip to main content

Watch Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Albert Collins Play "Texas Flood"

From left, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and bassist Tommy Shannon perform April 22, 1988, at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

From left, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins and bassist Tommy Shannon perform April 22, 1988, at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Image credit: David Redfern/Getty Images)

The 2015 passing of B.B. King has—over time—inspired a host of casual blues fans to dig deep into their record collections—or into the depths of their iTunes (or Apple Music) libraries—to take a quick refresher course on exactly what made King so special, so rare.

Oddly enough, I had actually started revisited his expansive catalog only a month before he died. Which then led me to look for seldom-seen clips of King and his beloved Gibson guitar, Lucille, in action—hopefully with my favorite guitarist of all time, Stevie Ray Vaughan, along for the ride.

Luckily, there's a handful of King-and-Vaughan clips available on YouTube. My favorite of them all, however, is this pro-shot video from April 22, 1988, when Vaughan, King and fellow blues legend Albert Collins performed "Texas Flood" aboard the S.S. President as part of the 1988 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

While I usually think of King as "the guitarist who says more with one note than most guitarists say with 20," he seems to have abandoned that philosophy in this clip in favor of some B.B. King-style shredding. Maybe he was inspired by the two fleet-fingered Texans on stage with him.

What we hear (and see) is actually a very exciting, fluid and extended solo by King, who kicks things off with one of the Albert King-style bends so strongly associated with SRV's studio and live versions of the Larry Davis composition. Up next is a solo by Vaughan, who is his usual impressive self, followed by a tasteful solo by Collins, who was known as "the master of the Telecaster" and "the Ice Man."

It's fun to go from the tones of King's Gibson Lucille model to Vaughan's Strat to Collin's extra-pointy Tele. There's a lot of great guitar playing in this video, and it's great to see all the smiling faces and beautiful gear. But it's also a sad reminder that some of the greatest blues players of modern times are gone forever.

Vaughan died August 27, 1990, just before turning 36. Collins died November 24, 1993, at 60. King died May 14, 2015, at 89.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.