Stevie Ray Vaughan + Double Trouble Take Music Festival By Storm With “Don’t Lose Your Cool”
YouTube via SRV blues
Oulu Kuusrock Festival, 1988
Like many others before it, Finland’s Kuusrock Festival is now defunct after running 19 times between 1971 and 1991 but the memories of this international rock and roll festival are fond, including that of the explosive performance given by late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble in 1988. Smack in the middle of their Live Alive Tour, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s travels took them to Oulu, Finland for Kuusrock where after being met with a sea of clapping hands and tiny waving flags, they launched into a blistering 5 minute cover of Albert Collins’ “Don’t Lose Your Cool” that – you guessed it – caused quite nearly everyone in attendance that day to lose their cool!
While “Don’t Lose Your Cool” was remarkably similar to that of Albert Collins’ version released 5 years earlier, leave it to Stevie to pick up the pace and turn the already high energy instrumental into a rager of a tune, meant to get the audience up and dancing.
Fun Fact: A high energy instrumental blues piece, “Don’t Lose Your Cool” was written by Albert Collins in 1983 and featured on his 8th album, also titled Don’t Lose Your Cool.
The best part of this performance by far is the fact that Stevie was entirely sober, and had been for two years. Though understandably exhausted after the grueling pace of the Live Alive Tour, Stevie Ray Vaughan is riding the natural high of a young man with the world at his feet, and for one of the first times ever, you can hear a lightness in his playing that wasn’t always there. For the first time in a long time, it looks like Stevie’s letting himself have as much fun as the people he’s entertaining and that alone is enough makes this already rare footage even more special!