Has it really been eleven years since Doug Sahm died? Man, do I miss seeing him play. He'd come through NYC nearly every year, or at least every other year, sometimes with a version of the Sir Douglas Quintet, whom I saw several times at the old Lone Star Cafe, and once in Central Park (at their last Sir Douglas Quintet appearence in NYC, a friend of mine who I shall not name, beaned Paul Schaffer, who shoved Augie Meyer off the organ to jam, in the head with a peanut). One of the best Doug Sahm shows I ever saw was at the Lone Star with a band called the Masked Marvels who all wore wrestling masks (except Doug), it was Doug, Mike Buck on drums, Rocky Morales on sax, Augie Meyer on organ, Speedy Sparks on bass and John Reed (who plays the amazing solo on Roky Erickson's Don't Slander Me) on guitar, and maybe fiddler Alvin Crow, I can't quite remember if he was there or not. They did everything from Bacon Fat to You're Gonna Miss Me to Wooly Bully. In fact, I never saw Doug Sahm play a bad show, or even a mediocre one. He may have been taken for granted in his adopted hometown of Austin, but here in New York he always found an enthusiastic audience. I just finished reading Texas Tornado: The Times & Music of Doug Sahm by Jan Reid with Shawn Sahm (University Of Texas Press, 2010), and despite a few factual errors (all fairly minor, for one thing Roky Erickson is singing "I'm workin' in the Kremlin" in Two Headed Dog), and questionable critical judgements (personally, I don't think the lyrics to Mendicino are trite, I think the line "Fast talkin' guys/with strange red eyes/put things in your head and get your mind to wanderin'" is kinda genius. I mean we're talking rock & roll lyrics). All things considered, it's a good read. And since it's rather unlikely anyone else writes a biography of Doug Sahm (although given the amount of music he made, he deserves several more volumes dedicated to him), if you're a fan you're gonna buy this thing. There really was nobody else like Sahm, a guy who could do country, R&B, blues, garage rock, all sorts of Mexican styles (sometimes all in the same set) and do it all well. Anyway, I thought you'd enjoy the above clips, the color one is from Playboy After Dark and the B&W is from Hullabaloo where they're introduced by Trini Lopez. The last time I looked the entire Mercury Recordings of Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet (all five CD's worth) were posted here. Including an alternate take of At The Crossroads that I'd never heard before. I'd move fast, stuff like that doesn't stay up for long. If you have no idea who Doug Sahm was, you missed one of the 20th century's greatest musicians, and I feel sorry for you, a good introduction to him and his music can be found here.
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