Record Review

Record Review

The Bottle Rockets

Songs of Sahm (Bloodshot) During "Stoned Faces Don't Lie," Bottle Rockets vocalist Brian Henneman chuckles singing the title. It's a poignant moment, a very Doug Sahm-like touch to this Sahm tribute, appropriately titled Songs of Sahm. It's also a tender reminder of Sahm's much-missed presence, as if one were needed. What is needed is for his music to be remembered, and more importantly, played, and that's what this Missouri-based roots rock quartet does. With nary a Texan among them, they sound like they were bottle-fed Big Red and switched to Pearl Beer in grade school; the only thing missing is Augie Meyers. Thirteen tracks taken largely from Sahm's late Sixties/early Seventies era are given heartfelt arrangements, modified occasionally, like the opening of "Mendocino" when Henneman announces, "The Bottle Rockets are back and we wanna thank Doug Sahm for all the beautiful vibrations and we miss you." The band's twangy, stripped-down sound suits classics "Be Real," "Floataway," and nails "At the Crossroads," with its Lone Star reverberation and the quintessential Sahm line, "You can't live in Texas if you don't got a lot of soul." Sahm, the king of corny titles, even provides sly humor for the Rockets on "Lawd, I'm Just a Country Boy in the Great Big Freaky City," "Sunny Sunday Mill Valley Groove Day," "You Can't Hide a Redneck (Under All That Hippy Hair)," and "I'm Not That Kat Any More." The music loses its reverie and slides into tribute-album territory when bassist Robert Kearns takes the mike, but that's only because Henneman's adenoidal vocals eerily duplicate Sahm's. The Bottle Rockets deserve an engraved invitation to move here to Austin and a thank you for all the beautiful vibrations and making us remember how much we miss Doug, too.


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  • Be Real

    The Bottle Rockets cut one helluva tribute to Doug Sahm.

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