A Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1996 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 79:24 minutes Other Extras Discography
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Gary Menotti
Epic Music Video
Sony Music
Starring Jimmie Vaughan
B.B. King
Robert Cray
Buddy Guy
Eric Clapton
Bonnie Raitt
Dr. John
Art Neville
Case Black Brackley
RRP $34.95 Music Stevie Ray Vaughan

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame (NTSC) MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision ? Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

Plot Synopsis

    A Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan was taped in 1995. Featuring a veritable who's who of blues, all of these stars gathered on that night to pay tribute to the memory of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident.

    This is a remarkable program, with some absolutely stunning musicianship and raw emotion on display. I never thought I would say this, but Eric Clapton, one of my all-time favourite guitar musicians, is well-and-truly outclassed by some amazing musicians here, not that this is any sort of macho guitar shoot-out or any such thing. It's just that there are better masters of the blues genre on offer here. The highlight for me was Buddy Guy, a musician whom I had never previously heard of, but whose rendition of Long Way From Home was totally remarkable and awe-inspiring.

    The actual program is relatively short, with interviews from the main participants and archival footage of Stevie Ray Vaughan padding out the length of the programme to some 80 minutes. It bears mentioning that the footage of Stevie Ray Vaughan shows what an amazingly talented man he was, and as good as the rest of this all-star cast is, they don't hold a candle to SRV. Nonetheless, I think this programme would fit well into any Stevie Ray Vaughan fan's library. Indeed, it would fit into any blues fan's library, or into any fan of good music's library.

    The track listing is as follows;

1. Program Start
2. Bonnie Raitt-Pride And Joy
3. Jimmie Vaughan-Texas Flood
4. B.B. King-Telephone Song
5. Buddy Guy-Long Way From Home
6. Eric Clapton-Ain't Gone 'N Give Up On Your Love
7. Robert Cray-Love Struck Baby
8. Dr. John-Cold Shot
9. Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Art Neville-Six Strings Down
10. Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Art Neville-Tick Tock
11. Jimmie Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Art Neville-SRV Shuffle
12. End Credits

Transfer Quality


    This is a reasonable NTSC concert DVD, without being particularly remarkable.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. The disc is NTSC formatted, so your equipment will need to be compatible with NTSC in order to display this disc correctly.

    This is a recording of a live concert performed in 1996. The lighting of this concert, whilst making some concessions to the fact that it was being videotaped, nonetheless is of the typically quite harsh concert-style lighting. Foreground detail is reasonably good during the concert footage, but somewhat lacking during the interview footage. Shadow detail is lacking, but this is more an issue with the lighting style than an issue with the transfer itself. Low level noise was generally absent, although some did appear in the archival footage and during the interviews.

    The colours are reasonably rendered without being remarkable. There are not a lot of colours on offer here, with blacks, blues and whites predominating.

    MPEG artefacts were absent. There were, however, a number of video artefacts. Specifically, cross colouration occasionally made an appearance, revealing the composite heritage of this transfer. This appeared on microphone grilles and on B.B. King's suit when this was shown in close-up. This artefact was never particularly bad, and I suspect that the great majority of you will not even notice its presence. Another composite video artefact which crept into the image very slightly was dot crawl. This could be seen on the neck of B.B. King's guitar, close to where it attached to the body of his guitar. Once again, this is the sort of artefact that would most likely completely pass you by unless you were specifically looking for it, as I was.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; the default English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened predominantly to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but compared the default Linear PCM track at times.

    The overall level of both soundtracks is quite high, so you may want to back off on the volume control a little when listening to this DVD.

    Sony Music have copped lots of flack from us in regards to their 5.1 audio mixes. They seem to have come good recently, with the most recent Sony Music title that I reviewed, Donna Summer: VH1 Presents Live And More Encore! having an exemplary 5.1 mix. Such is not the case here, with both soundtracks being less than ideally mixed.

    The problem with this soundtrack, both in the 5.1 mix and in the 2.0 mix is that the central image has been diffused out into the left and right front speakers, leading to an unnaturally wide soundstage which sounds quite odd and distant. It is not so much that the centre channel in the 5.1 mix has insufficient volume, but rather that the left and right front speakers have excessive volume. This gives the vocals and the guitars an oddly recessed and subdued sound which is not particularly pleasant to listen to. On a brighter note, there were no audio sync problems noted.

    The interview footage suffered from mediocre audio in that there was a lot of hiss and extraneous noise in the background, but it certainly sufficed for the purpose at hand.

    The surround channels were used for ambient music fill. However, because of the predominance of the left and right channels, the surround channels were essentially inaudible in the 5.1 mix. This was not the case with the 2.0 mix when Prologic decoding was engaged, which is probably the preferred way to listen to this DVD. This provided the most pleasant-sounding and immersive mix, even though the centre channel was still not really prominent enough. In fact, I seriously wonder whether the left and right channels have been deliberately mixed with a time delay between them in order to widen the soundstage. Whatever has been done, the results do not make for an easy listening experience.

    The .1 channel was constantly and effectively used to add a suitable bottom octave onto this soundtrack, without ever calling attention to itself.


    There are almost no extras on this DVD.



    This just shows album names and covers. Nothing more, nothing less.

R4 vs R1

    The Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this DVD are identical.


    A Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan is a remarkable programme presented on an acceptable DVD.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is problematic.

    There are almost no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
27th June 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Sony DVP-S336, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer