Wednesday

Doug Sahm

Doug Sahm and Band - 1973

Here in central Texas, Doug Sahm is a bona fide legend. But despite his rise in international popularity as the leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet in the '60s, his steady but off-the-radar solo career in the '70s and as a member of the Tex-Mex supergroup the Texas Tornadoes up until his death in 1999, Sahm has remained largely unnoticed outside of his home state. That aside, he was always been looked upon favorably by his fellow musicians, and his 1973 LP Doug Sahm and Band is undeniable proof. Supported by a band consisting of Bob Dylan (on guitar and backup vocals throughout), Dr John (piano), Sir Douglas hold-over Augie Meyers (Vox organ), David "Fathead" Newman (horns) and a slew of other early '70s giants, And Band is a tremendous album that despite being recorded in New York City, manages to maintain the freewheeling, southwestern flavor to which Sahm had staked his claim. And while the egos at this session could've easily overwhelmed the final product, the result is the most collaborative LP in the man's entire catalogue - only 3 of the 12 songs here are Sahm originals, and "Wildflower" was written by Dylan specifically for the album. Loose, fun, and magnificently executed by its all-star staff Doug Sahm And Band serves as a tiny reminder of all the fun everyone who wasn't listening to this back in 1973 was missing out on. For some more precious Doug Sahm gems, pay a visit to the fantastic That Was Then, This Is Now. They know what's going on.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

AND WHAT PRAY TELL IS WRONG WITH BEING RECORDED IN NEW YORK CITY? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO NEW YORK CITY? SOME OF THE FINEST RECORDING FACILITIES AND CONCERT VENUES IN THE WORLD ARE IN NEW YORK CITY. WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT TEXAS? THE STATE THAT BROUGHT US GEORGE BUSH, TOM DELAY AND MASS EXECUTIONS. THINK ABOUT THAT THE NEXT TIME YOUR TEXAS ARROGANCE AND CORN PONE SUCKIN SOUTHERN PRIDE GET THE BEST OF YOU.

TERRENCE O'NEAL

JR HeatWarp said...

Terrence,

Thanks for sharing your blind ignorance and your unabashed love for the Caps Lock key! Ya'll come back now, ya hear!

Love,
JR

Anonymous said...

JR -

Great post. I, too, am in central Texas and understand the Sahm mystic. One of my favorite shows of memory was Doug fronting his big blues band at Antone's. Roy Head around as well. Those West Side Horns really killed. Good times. RIP Doug and a big thanks to JR.

j.

The Ghost of Doug Sahm said...

And to answer that question, "WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT TEXAS?"

Willie Nelson
Buddy Holly
Ornette Coleman
Sly Stone
Archie Bell & the Drells
Janis Joplin
Spoon
Roky Erickson & the 13th Floor Elevators
The Butthole Surfers
Daniel Johnston
ZZ Top
Albert Ayler
Gene Autry
Waylon Jennings
Kris Kristofferson
Billy Preston
Roy Orbison
etc.

Willard said...

Thanks JR. Haven't heard this in decades.

Anonymous said...

That man is deranged: all the post said was that despite being recorded in NYC, the album manages to retain a Texas flavour. That man has a serious chip on his shoulder. Get some therapy!

barry walker said...

The song "It's gonna be easy"!!! Atwood Allen on harmony vocals (and mandolin, right?). Awe-some.

And the ghost of Doug should note that Daniel Johnston is from West Virginia, but no less of a "CORN PONE SUCKIN SOUTHERN PRIDE" state.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note of thank you from the frozen north (Canada, if you've heard of us). Nothing warms me up more than an album like this, great stuff. Always loved DS and his music but never got the chance to see the man live.

Now pass the habenero sauce to the NYC Man although he seems quite heated already...
-braden

JR HeatWarp said...

Always a pleasure to send some grooves north of the border! Thanks for tuning in and dropping us a line. Happy summer to you...if summer even exists way up there.

JR

Anonymous said...

Hi Jr--

I'm a huge fan of Doug Sahm. A nitpicky correction: he actually died in 1999, and was still doing some real good stuff in the 90s ("The Last Real Texas Blues Band" in 1994, plus still doing Texas Tornados stuff. I was really awed when he and the Quintet lived in San Francisco in the late 60s, when I was working club dates in a cover band (on electric violin; I stayed with it and I'm still working professionally, though more in the black tie vein). His band just smoked! More influential, I think, than he was given credit for on the local scene back then. But the album you posted is fantastic too! Thanks so much.

later,
John Tenney

Anonymous said...

Quote: "That man is deranged: all the post said was that despite being recorded in NYC, the album manages to retain a Texas flavour. That man has a serious chip on his shoulder."

True but what do you expect from an illiterate Yankee?

I is frum dallis texus meself. Thankee bery kindly fer the tunes. I didint hab dis allbum. btw, I ain't sayin dat the Yankee above is a sissy but I is bettin that he squats to pee.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear this again! My old LP was drowned in a flood and I've been missing it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Sly Stone is from Tejas? Who knew?
As a real CT Yankee - and Red Sox fan - I've long understood that "despite" is not generally considered a derogatory term. I've heard great things about this Sahm LP and I'm looking forward to checking it out, thanks.
I'll add Alejandro Escovedo, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Milton Mapes, Lightning Hopkins, and of course, the one and only Joe Ely to that proud roll call of TX artists. The Clash were honorary Texans too. Of course, they were honorary New Yorkers as well, but that's another story. Thanks again.

whiteray said...

Thanks for this -- Great stuff! (Appreciated here in Minnesota!)

sahmfan said...

Hey -- anybody hear anything about a Doug Sahm tribute concert being held in early November (2007) in Worcester, MA? I keep hearing about it, but can't find anything online. Know anything?

ALittleGuitar said...

Viva sir doug! he was amazing.

this album, along w/ 'groover's paradise,' are two of the finest pieces of music ever transferred to vinyl.