Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Band


Doug Sahm & Band

(Collectors' Choice)

The Sir Douglas Band

Texas Tornado (Collectors' Choice)

Phases and Stages
Right outta the box, it was the best album Doug Sahm had cut. The year was 1972, and neither "cosmic cowboy" nor "progressive country" were part of the lexicon, yet Doug Sahm & Band heralded both without twinkly trappings. Never mind the star-studded lineup that included Bob Dylan, Dr. John, and David "Fathead" Newman, no one else was thinking about twin fiddles or how to work a Mexican accordion into bluesy country-rock except Sahm. His solution was to take a little Dylan ("Wallflower"), Willie Nelson ("Me and Paul"), Bob Wills ("Faded Love"), and Bobby Blue Bland ("Your Friends") and sucker punch them with his own righteous material ("Dealer's Blues," "Poison Love"). The results floundered below the charts but outlasted its contemporaries with tracks like the anthemic "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?" Likewise, Texas Tornado blew in from the Southwest and further marked Sahm's direction with the post-hippie groove that was his hallmark ("San Francisco FM Blues," "Chicano," "Someday"). It introduced "Texas Tornado" to the world as well, the song whose title became his nickname, the old sonuvagun. As with its predecessor, '73's Texas Tornado rode the bottom of the charts before pitching backward into oblivion for the rest of the country. In Texas, and especially Austin, however, Sahm's ear for melding the disparate sounds of the Lone Star state made these albums mainstays. Their reissue, without bonus materials beyond new liner notes, bestows their remarkable longevity with a fresh appreciation for Doug Sahm, whose influence and inspiration remains as big as Texas seven years after his death.

(Doug Sahm & Band) *****

(Texas Tornado) ***

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Doug Sahm

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