The Resurrection of Doug Sahm

Sneak peak at SXSW Film biopic plus deets on SXSW Music blowout

The Resurrection of Doug Sahm

Author of definitive biographies on Lone Star landmarks Selena, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Willie Nelson, longtime local music scribe Joe Nick Patoski now debuts as a filmmaker with Sir Doug & the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove, a documentary premiering at SXSW Film. Its concert tie-in for SXSW Music sieges the same location three nights later.

Austin’s ultimate groover (1941-1999) makes his starring bow on the big screen Thursday, March 19, at the Paramount Theatre, 7:30pm. Saturday, his siren sound – all Texas genres rolled into one (literally) – cackles, crackles, hoots, and hums via a musical line-up to rival this year’s Austin Music Awards. Not coincidentally, perhaps, the all-star program’s music director (and cat herder) Michael Ramos doubles as AMA bandleader Charlie Sexton’s first lieutenant.

Doug Sahm’s roots run deeper into this publication’s than most. The Chronicle’s 1981 birth put it directly in the line of punk rock, and the scene’s Drag-bound headquarters – Raul’s (no relation) – became its hang. Along with the blues scene being groomed by Clifford Antone down on Sixth Street, punk triangulated into the paper’s soundtrack in the person of Sahm.

Although I witnessed Sahm’s SDQ configuration burn down Antone’s when it was on the Drag in the mid Nineties during SXSW one year – tough as the Sex Pistols and louder than Metallica – he was no punk, per se. DIY – definitely; though Sahm lived on labels major and indie his entire career, no one did it themselves like Sir Doug Sahm. He’d understand the free-fall our traditional music business establishment finds itself in today.

A defining paper for us, 1999’s tribute issue to Sahm – put together in a matter of days following his sudden death from a heart attack that November – broke hearts only salved by the local music community rising up in unison to pay fealty. Patoski’s piece for it remains one of the best. Since nothing speaks of Sahm except music, he and our Editor Louis Black have worked tireless on a music tie-in.

Marcia Ball’s cosmic Freda & the Firedogs, Steve Earle, Roy Head, Sahm’s beloved Westside Horns and Texas Tornados, Terry Allen, Robert Rodriguez, New Orleans’ Iguanas – the poster goes on and on. A gathering of tribes they call it. Sir Doug & the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove, Patoski’s cinematic labor of love, sets the stage.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle