Sir Douglas Quintet
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Dec. 13, 2002
Sir Douglas Quintet1+1+1=4/The Return of Doug Saldaña
This November marks three years since Doug Sahm's heart gave out on him, and these two albums, reissued on one CD by Australian label Raven, document maybe the most important musical moment in his life: when he came home to Texas. 1+1+1=4, from 1970, was Sahm's swan song to the California sunshine, with "Yesterday Got in the Way" and "What About Tomorrow?" exuding that Monterey mellow even better than the minute-long "Monterey Sun." There's plenty of Texas, too, most notably Junior Parker's Gulf breeze "In the Dark," the honky-tonk plaint "Be Real," and a groovy reading of Leadbelly's "Pretty Flowers." "Catch the Man on the Rise" is exquisite kaleidoscopic rock, and a knockout cover of lost Hayes/ Porter gem "Sixty Minutes of Your Love" suggests the quintet wouldn't have had any trouble getting work in Memphis, either. But Sahm's heart was in Texas, so he moved back to hometown San Antone in time to record 1971's The Return of Doug Saldaña. Heavy on Tex-Mex and R&B, "Wasted Days, Wasted Nights," "The Gypsy" -- with its superb Rocky Morales tenor solo -- and the autobiographical "Me and My Destiny" are obvious highlights. Sahm's folkier side also comes out on "Stoned Faces Don't Lie" and "Oh Lord, Please Let It Rain in Texas" to demonstrate that he was much more than a Dylan-come-lately. The four bonus tracks, including Cajun stomp "Colinda," Gourds' favorite "Michoacan," Ray Sharpe's Fort Worth slide "Linda Lou," and belly-rubber "Soulful Woman," are equally golden. With this reissue in hand and one more cold November behind us, the truth is clearer than ever: We shall never see Doug Sahm's like again.