Doug Sahm Tribute
SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 20, 2009
Doug Sahm Tribute
Antone's, Thursday, March 19
Doug Sahm never stood in one place for too long as this two-hour tribute demonstrated. The man defined Texas music, which meant rock, Tex-Mex, blues, jazz, and country intermingled, and it still makes perfect sense. Jimmie Vaughan led off the night swinging, especially on the horn-driven "Why Why Why," the 1950s-style soul track he lends to the upcoming Sahm tribute disc, Keep Your Soul. Sir Doug's country rock side was covered by the Gourds and a lively "Nuevo Laredo," but the fire was lit when son Shawn Sahm & the Tex-Mex Experience hit the stage with a dancing take of "Adios Mexico." The younger Sahm's a spitting image of his father in many ways, one of them being a talkative stage presence that kept things lively during set changes. Dave Alvin joined in, aided by Cindy Cashdollar and her steel guitar, for "Dynamite Woman." "When I was young, I wanted to be Doug Sahm when I grew up," Alvin claimed. "Tonight I get to pretend." There were left-field appearances as well, one by local blues guitar wunderkind Jake Andrews (with Keep Your Soul producer Bill Bentley on drums), and Massachusetts country rocker Sarah Borges. Those that stuck it out were rewarded with a blowout of a finale as all the living members of the Texas Tornados – Augie Meyers, Flaco Jimenez, Ernie Durawa, and Speedy Sparks – joined for a mini set of their greatest hits, right down to the Freddy Fender nod "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights." It was the kind of raucous celebration that Doug Sham would have loved, tempered with the knowledge that he left a legacy of great music and a world full of memories that many of us still miss.