Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm

Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm (Vanguard)

Texas Platters

Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm

(Vanguard)

The outpouring of love and emotion spilling from every single track of this sterling tribute to the father of Americana is superseded only by the sheer genius of talent within. Beyond its significance honoring the inimitable Doug Sahm, whose death in 1999 left a hole the size of Texas in the heart of rock & roll, Keep Your Soul works because the performers are as unlikely (Little Willie G., Greg Dulli) as expected (Joe "King" Carrasco, Los Lobos), and the arrangements are never slavish. That's an important dynamic in Sahm's music, because while sometimes his signature tunes weren't his own, he composed definitive entries in the American Songbook. Some, such as Delbert McClinton's strings-laden "Texas Me" and Alejandro Escovedo's bittersweet "Too Little Too Late," ought to be included in the performers' live sets; the Gourds' spot-on "Nuevo Laredo" often is. Others, such as Terry Allen's unexpected "I'm Not That Kat Anymore" and Freda & the Firedogs' yearning "Be Real," are sweetly nostalgic. Hands-down highlights are Charlie Sexton & the Mystic Knights of the Sea's rip-snorting 1-2-3 on "You're Doin' It Too Hard" and bandmate Flaco Jimenez & the Westside Horns' "Ta Bueno Compadre," but the gift of Keep Your Soul is the soulful tenor of Shawn Sahm. His "Mendocino," Doug's last U.S. chart-topper, entwines with his father's musical soulmate, the truly great Augie Meyers. Shawn conjures the real Sahm magic with honeyed vocals so evocative of his father yet so his own that his is the ultimate thanks to Doug for eternally beautiful vibrations. Can you dig it?

****

Got opinions about bands, clubs, performers, and everything else good in Austin? Let your voice be heard in our annual Best of Austin ballot. Voting is open now!

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sour Bridges
Neon Headed Fool (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Aug. 16, 2019

Texas Platters
Scott H. Biram & Jesse Dayton
"Monkey David Wine" b / w "Single Again" (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 16, 2019

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
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)

Time to vote! Best of Austin 2019 balloting is underway   VOTE NOW