Stevie Ray Vaughan

Over 9 minutes of absolute beauty: Riviera Paradise
Agree that the records do not begin to capture the way SRV played live. Playing in large stadiums, as he did after going nationwide, is not like playing in a bar, where the blues belong. Stadium rock is more constrained, more pressure, less free. The best improvisations usually happen in smaller venues. Can not think of many exceptions, other than Garcia with the Dead.

When someone told Jimmy Vaughan that Stevie never played anything the same way twice, he said, "Stevie never played anything the same way ONCE."

I saw SRV play over a hundred times, mostly in Houston and Austin. Sometimes to "crowds" of a dozen people. Agree that he was occasionally too wasted to play cleanly, e.g., the Live Alive album. So what? What he would do with "mistakes" was always interesting. Imo, his best work was before he bacame famous, in the early 80's, and at that time, he was always high.
As most of you may know, AP/QRP has a forthcoming SRV 45 rpm 6 LP box. If the Doors box is any indication, this will be pretty impressive. $400 is a lot of money no doubt but this should be one of the best sounding and most luxurious packages of his material yet. I don't know if it's for me yet but it sounds like there are a few die hards here. It may be right up your "alley".
Several rooms at the recent Chicago AXPONA show were playing some "test pressings" from the new AP SRV 45RPM release, and I have to say that the sound was absolutely stunning! You could feel the vibration of Stevie's guitar strings and the dynamics of the drum kit were just amazing. The vinyl surfaces were also notably absent of noise. Given what I heard I expect that these will become a new reference for SRV fans. It was like he was back with us for the moment.