By Christopher Scapelliti
Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm playing was as strong as his lead work, a fact that is evident on “Pride and Joy,” the first single from Texas Flood, his 1983 debut album with Double Trouble.
“Pride and Joy” is a classic Texas shuffle written in a 12-bar blues arrangement. Vaughan performs the song in E with his guitar tuned a half step lower to sound in the key of E flat. Throughout the song, he alternates between muted chord chops and full ringing chords that he fingers to allow the maximum number of open strings. The dynamic variation is key to the strong rhythmic foundation and overall excitement.
The song had been in Vaughan and Double Trouble’s repertoire for a while prior to be recorded. According to Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton, Vaughan wrote the song for a former girlfriend at the start of their relationship; he later composed “I’m Cryin’” after they had a fight.
“Pride and Joy” reached Number 20 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and helped bring a lot of well-deserved attention to the young guitarist.
Have a listen to the isolated guitar track below, and hear for yourself what made SRV such a unique and inspiring guitarist.