The Sir Douglas Quintet (Doug Sahm)


Band members               Related acts

  line up 1 (1964-68)

- Jack Barber -- bass

- Augie Meyers -- keyboards

- Frank Morin -- horns

- John Perez -- drums, percussion

- Doug Sahm (RIP 1999) -- guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals

 

  line up 2 (1968-69)

- Jack Barber -- bass

NEW - Harvey Kagan -- bass

- Augie Meyers -- keyboards

- Frank Morin -- horns

- John Perez -- drums, percussion

- Doug Sahm (RIP 1999 -- guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals

 

  line up 3 (1969-70)

- Jack Barber -- bass

- Augie Meyers -- keyboards

- Frank Morin -- horns

NEW - George Rains -- drums, percussion (replaced  John Perez)

- Doug Sahm (RIP 1999 -- guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals

NEW - Wayne Talbert -- keyboards

 

  line up 4 (1970)

NEW - Harvey Kegan -- bass (replaced Jack Barber)

- Augie Meyers -- keyboards

- Frank Morin -- horns, percussion

- John Reyes -- drums, percussion

- Doug Sahm (RIP 1999 -- guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals

 

 

 

  line up (1974)

- Doug Clifford -- drums, percussion

- Stu Cook -- bass, guitar

- Lind Davis Jr. -- keyboards, sax, fiddle

- Frank Rodarte -- sax, woodwinds

- Doug Sahm (RIP 1999 -- guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals

 

  line up (1976)

- Atwood Allen -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

- Jack Barber -- bass

- Harry Hess (RIP 2003) -- steel guitar, slide guitar, harp
- Augie Meyers -- piano, vox organ, hammond organ
- George Rains -- drums
- Doug Sahm -- guitar, piano, fiddle, vocals
- Uncle Mickey Moody -- acoustic guitar

 

  line up (1984)

- Kenny Denton -- back vocals

- Ernie Durawa -- drums, percussion

- Charlie McBurney -- trumpet 

- Louis Ortega -- vocals, guitar 

- Doug Sahm (RIP 1999) -- vocals, guitar, banjo

- Louie Terrazas -- bass 

 

- Jack Barber -- bass

- Willie Bridges -- sax

- Louis Bustos -- sax

- Warren Chasson -- virbaphone

- George Coleman -- sax

- Link Davis -- fiddle, sax

- Kenny Denton -- back vocals (1984)

- Dr. John -- keyboards

- Ernie Durawa -- drums, percussion (1984)

- Martin Fierro -- sax

- Harry Hess -- steel guitar

- Wayne Jackson -- trumpet

- Flacco Jimenez -- accordion

- Jim Knepper -- trombone

- Mel Martin -- sax

- Charlie McBurney -- trumpet (84)

- Augie Meyers -- keyboards

- Pacho Morales -- percussion

- Rocky Morales -- sax , 7184)

- Charlie Owens -- steel guitar

- John Perez -- drums (1971-)

- George Rains -- drums

- David Newman -- sax

- Mike Nock -- keyboards

- Louis Ortega -- vocals, guitar (1984)

- George Rains -- drums

- John Reed -- guitar

- Neal Rosengarden -- fluegelhorn, keyboards

- Doug Sahm (RIP -- vocals, guitar, banjo

- George Stubbs -- keyboards

- Louie Terrazas -- bass (1984)

- Jack Wilmoth -- trumpet


 

- Wayne Douglas

- Denny Esmond and the Goldens (Augie Meyers)

- J.J. Light (Jim Stallings)

Augie Meyers (solo efforts)

- The Quintet

- Wayne Talbert (solo efforts)

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  1 + 1+ 1 = 4

Company: Philips

Catalog: SRS 600.344

Year: 1970

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: center split gatefold cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1330

Price: $40.00

 

 

Produced by Frank Morin (the earlier single 'Be Real'  handled by Jerry Kennedy), 1970's "1 +1 + 1 = 4" is one of the largely forgotten releases in the Sir Douglas Quintet catalog.  The cover art indicated this was another Sire Douglas effort, but the inner sleeve photo was a more accurate reflection of what was going on - namely Doug Sahm served as the focal point while the rest of the Sire Douglas Quintet had begun to work on outside projects, including their forthcoming The Quintet album.   That left Sahm to record much of this album with an ever changing collection of Texas and California musicians.  By my count, the inner sleeve photo shows fourteen musicians.   One of the results was the album lacked the cohesiveness of earlier works; Sahm seemingly using these eleven tracks as a springboard to see how many musical genres he could cover in 40 minutes.  At least to my ears, that diversity was simultaneously interesting and disorienting.   If you came to this album expecting to hear a collection of their patented mixture of pop and TexMex moves (like me), then having to slog through the  other genres was going to be an effort.   The good news was tracks like 'Yesterday Got In the Way' and 'What About Tomorrow?' offered up classic Sir Douglas material.  Elsewhere their excursions into conventional hard rock 'Catch the Man On the Rise' and country-rock 'Yesterday Got In the Way' were quite enjoyable.   Less impressive for me was the Dylan-esque ballad, ('Tortilla Flats') and their stabs at jazz ('Don't Big Me'), big band jump-blues ('In the Dark'), and conventional blues ('Nice Tune').   The album had its moments, but this one wasn't the one for newbies, or casual fans to start with.

 

 

"1 + 1 + 1 = 4" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Yesterday Got In the Way -3:06

Powered by Sahm's instantly recognizable voice, 'Yesterday Got In the Way' was a country-rocker, but with a nifty Sir Douglas pop edge to it.  Unlike anything else being released during the timeframe.  rating: **** stars

2.) In the Dark - 3:00

Geez, talk about an unexpected change in direction ...   'In the Dark' found Sahm and company turning in a credible slice of big band jump blues.  Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of the genre, but the performance was almost enough to change my outlook.   rating: *** stars

3.) Don't Bug Me - 4:00

'Don't Bug Me' found the band starting out with a funk groove that unexpectedly morphed into horn-propelled jazz.  Unfortunately the latter was not something I had the intellect to deal with.  rating: ** stars

4.) Be Real - 2:55

'Be Real' had a wonderful Sahm vocal, but was simply too country for my tastes.  interesting, credited to Wayne Douglas, the song had previously been released as a single:

- 1970's 'Be Real' b/w 'I Don't Wanna Go Home' (Philips catalog number 73098)

  rating: *** stars

5.) Pretty Flower - 4:12

Conventional blues number with a mildly funny lyric.  Sahm's growling vocal saved this one from oblivion.   rating: *** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) What About Tomorrow? - 2:28

'What About Tomorrow?' was one of the tunes that effortlessly captured the band's classic '60s pop-meets-TexMex sound.  Complete with a sweet melody and backing from Augie Meyers' Farfisa organ, this was one of the album highlights.  It was also tapped as a single:

- 1970's 'What About Tomorrow?' b/w 'A Nice Song' (Philips catalog number 40676)  rating: **** stars

2.) Catch the Man On the Rise -  2:20

Easily the album's standout performance, 'Catch the Man On the Rise' happened to be the album's toughest rocker.  Sahm's blazing fuzz guitar should convince anyone who doubted the man's capabilities as a lead guitarist.    rating: **** stars

2.) Tortilla Flats -  2:43

I'm usually not a big harmonica fan and this Dylan-esque number didn't really change my opinion.   rating: ** stars

4.) A Nice Song - 2:55

Conventional blues tune with a killer Sahm guitar solo and some nice Augie Myers keyboards.  rating: *** stars

5.) Monterey Sun -  1:13

Just Sahm on acoustic guitar, 'Monterey Sun' was more a song fragment than a true song.   Hum, for a guy who was in love with Texas, Sahm sure seemed to have a thing for the California coast.  rating: ** stars

6.) Sixty Minutes of Your Love  (Isaac Hayes - David Porter) - 2:27

Nice cover with some punchy Stax-styled horns, but the Homer Banks version was actually better.  Funny to hear Sahm berating the band to play the song right, like the were back home hustling for a gig.   rating: *** stars

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Together After Five

Company: Smash

Catalog: SRS 67130

Year: 1970

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: small cut out hole top left corner

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 6037

Price: $15.00

 

Ah, here's a pseudo-classic rock album that time seems to have forgotten ... 

 

Produced by Huey P. Meaux, 1970's "Together After Five" (referencing the number of years the band had been together), captured Doug Sahm and company chugging along on all their creative cylinders.  This time around the album was heavily geared to Doug Sahm originals with the lone non-original being a cover of Bob Dylan's 'One Too Many Mornings'.  True, there wasn't anything as immediately catchy as 'Mendocino', theough 'Magic Illusion' came close, and 'Nuevo Laredo' was actually a better 'rock' song.  At least to my ears the album served to showcase the band's musical diversity.  Those years touring throughout Texas left these guys razor sharp when it came to playing together.  I've always seen them as being a Southwestern version of NRBQ, capable of handling virtually any genre including blues ('T-Bone Shuffle'), pop ('Dallas Alice'), and conventional rock ('Revolutionary Ways').   

 

"Together After Five" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Nuevo Laredo   (Doug Sahm) - 2:42

A remembrance of the their years on the roadhouse circuit, 'Nuevo Laredo' stood as one of the band's classic performances.  I remember this as one of the first songs I ever heard on commercial radio with Spanish lyrics.  Thanks to YouTube you can check out a black and white television performance of the track at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM2uOhiM2YM    rating: ***** stars

2.) Dallas Alice   (Doug Sahm) - 3:12

The 'heartbreaking' ballad 'Dallas Alice' (amidst parental disapproval girl of privilege and long hair hippy fall in love) was definitely an unexpected oddity.  Very pretty, it also had a very middle of the road feeling, complete with a Frank Morin flute solo.  Not what you'd ever expect to heard from these guys, but still quite pleasant.   rating: *** stars

3.) T-Bone Shuffle  (instrumental)   (Doug Sahm) - 3:03

While  I've never been a big blues shuffle fan, 'T-Bone Shuffle' was a blazing blues instrumental that would have made its namesake proud.  Morin and Sahm stole the show with their respective solos.  rating: **** stars

4.) I Don't Want To Go Home  (Doug Sahm) - 3:04   

Normally an acoustic ballad like 'I Don't Want To Go Home' wouldn't make much of an impression on me, but Sahm's delivery managed to make this one of the band's most memorable performances.  Stunning.   rating: **** stars

5.) Medley: Son of Bill Baety  (Doug Sahm) - 4:56

A weird story-teller number, 'Medley: Son of Bill Baety' had an interesting groove, but Sahm's nasal delivery was irritating and after all these years I'll be damn if I know what the lyric was about.    rating: ** stars

6.) Backwood's Girl   (Doug Sahm) - 4:55

'Backwoods Girl' was a decent mid-tempo rocker.  The 'young girl looking for her way in tumultuous times' lyric didn't strike me as particularly original, but the song was still okay.    rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Revolutionary Ways  (Doug Sahm) - 2:26

'Revolutionary Ways' was the album's most commercial rock song.  I'm always surprised that Sahm and company didn't do more stuff in this vein since the results were so good.    rating: **** stars

2.) Seguin  (Doug Sahm) - 2:43

Kicked along by Meyers' instantly recognizable organ, 'Seguin' did a beautiful job of capturing the band's unique sound.  One of the album highlights.    rating: **** stars

3.) If She'd Only Come To Me  (Doug Sahm) - 2:50

At least to my ears, Sahm's rugged voice has always been an overlooked treasure and it was seldom showcased as well as on the bluesy 'If She'd Only Come To Me'.  A stripped down Dylan-esque ballad, there wasn't anything fancy on this one, but the results were stunning and included one of Sahm's best electric guitar solos.  Shame Dylan didn't have a voice as good as Sahm's ...   rating: **** stars 

4.) Magic Illusion  (Doug Sahm) - 

Showcasing the more commercial side of the band's repertoire, 'Magic Illusion' was cut from the same bolt of cloth as 'Medocino'.  Not quite as impressive, though Meyer's instantly recognizable keyboards always make me smile when I hear the song.   rating: **** stars

5.) Medley: One Too Many Mornings /Got To Sing a Happy Song  (Bob Dylan / Doug Sahm ) - 4:59

The album closed out with a medley that blended their cover of Dylan's 'One Too Many Mornings' with the Sahm original 'Got To Sing a Happy Song'.  With a bland melody this one originally didn't do a great deal for me, but the performance grew on me over time.  Wish they hadn't faded the harmonica solo out so early.   rating: *** stars   

 

As mentioned above, the album spun off a single in the form of:

 

- 1970's 'Nuevo Laredo' b/w 'I Don't Wanna Go Home' (Smash catalog number 2259)

 

This is one of the sleepers in the Sir Douglas Quintet/Doug Sahm catalog.  Well worth looking for.

 

 

For Sir Douglas Quintet fanatics 'I Don't Want To Go Home' was released as the 'B' side to a single issued under the moniker 'Wayne Douglas':

 

- 1970's 'Be Real' b/w 'I Don't Want To Go Home' (Mercury catalog number 73098)

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Return of Doug Saldana

Company: Philips

Catalog: PHS 600 353

Year: 1971

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: small split along top right side; promo white label

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: 5427

Price: SOLD $15.00

 

For some reason 1971's "The Return of Doug Saldana" seems to get lost in the Sir Douglas Quintet discography.  While it's a great album, the absence of anything as top-40 commercial as 'Mendocino' may have explained the difference in sales and recognition (though to my ears 'Preach What You Live, Live What You Preach' and 'Me and My Destiny' were extremely commercial and should have been major radio hits).  Musically the album was all over the map, including spirited stabs at blues ('Papa Ain't Salty'), country ('Keep Your Soul'), blues ('Papa Ain't Salty') and cocktail jazz ('The Gypsy').  Certainly not the most focused album you'll ever hear, but then Sir Douglas Quintet fans enjoy the band's diversity.  Personal favorites - 'Preach What You Live, Live What You Preach' and the pretty ballad 'Stone Faces Don't Lie'.  Elsewhere Philips tapped the album for a single in the form of 'Me and My Destiny' b/w 'Wasted Days, Wasted Nights' (Philips catalog number 40708).  Interesting sidebar - a longstanding Freddie Fender fan, Sahm and company's cover of 'Wasted Days, Wasted Nights' (with a cool call out to the man), actually led to Fender's comeback.  Incorporating the song into their live set, the track quickly became a crowd favorite, leading Sahm to eventually track Fender down (then largely out of music and earning a living working as an automotive mechanic).  Sahm and company convinced Fender to join them for some local concert dates and within a couple of years Fender was once again a massive pop star.

 

   

 

"The Return of Doug Saldana" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Preach What You Live, Live What You Preach   (Doug Sahm) - 2:45

2.) She's Huggin' You, But She's Lookin' At Me   (Doug Sahm) - 3:01

3.) Keep Your Soul   (Doug Sahm) - 3:10

4.) Papa Ain't Salty   (T- Bone Walker - G.C. McDonald) - 3:55

5.) Stone Faces Don't Lie   (Doug Sahm) - 4:38

 

(side 2)
1.) Me and My Destiny   (Doug Sahm) - 3:14

2.) Wasted Days, Wasted Nights    (Freddie Fender - W.M. Duncan) - 3:38

3.) The Railpak Dun Done In the Del Monte   (Doug Sahm) - 3:42

4.) Oh Lord Please Let It Rain In Texas   (Doug Sahm) - 2:42

5.) The Gypsy   (Billy Reed) - 3:35

 

The Acadia/Evangeline label reissued the album in 2002 (catalog # 8044) with two new tracks:

 

- 'Michoacan'

- 'Westside Blues Again'

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Rough Edges

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-695

Year: 1973

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6107

Price: $40.00

 

Technically 1973's "Rough Edges" was a posthumous affair - Mercury management cobbling it together after Doug Sahm had put an end to The Sir Douglas Quintet in favor of a solo career and a recording contract with Atlantic Records.  Pulled from the Mercury vaults without any collaboration with Sahm, the bulk of the twelve tracks apparently dated back to the 1969-1970 timeframe, reflecting a mixture of non-album singles, obscure 'B' sides, shelved material, and other odds and ends.  Musically the set captured an intriguing mix of blues ('Soulful Woman'), Cajun ('Colinda'), and the group's patented pop-rock numbers (including large dollops of Augie Meyer's instantly recognizable farfisa organ),  So here's the big surprise; unlike most posthumous 'cobbled-together' collections, this album was great.  It may not have been the most coherent album you've ever heard, but then legitimate Sir Douglas Quintet albums were also pretty hit-or-miss.  Shame most contractual requirement sets couldn't match the caliber of this one. Elsewhere, John Swenson's extensive liner notes, band history, and song comments (sections cribbed below) were extremely interesting.

 

 

"Rough Edges" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Sir Douglas's Recording Trip   (Doug Sahm) - 3:30

Set to an instantly recognizable Sir Douglas beat, 'Sir Douglas's Recording Trip was an autobiographical history of Sahm and the band.  According to the liner notes "... is Doug's autobiographical analysis of his musical career through the Quintet years set to the jangling peppermint candy vibrations of the band cooking away simply but tastefully.  The combination of Augie Meyer's "96 Tears" organ syncopations with Francisco Morin's strikingly Dylanesque harmonica fills gives the tune a weird character that, as is usual with this group, fits the story line well ..."  Simply hard to dislike this one.   rating: **** stars

2.) You're Doing It Too Hard   (Doug Sahm) - 3:51

Simply one of my favorite Sir Douglas Quintet performances, 'You're Doing It Too Hard' was a killer rocker.   Complete with biting Sahm vocal and an even better lead guitar solo, it's hard to believe this one was never tagged as a single.   If you didn't think these guys could really rock out, then check this one out.     " ... as the title implies, a heavier than usual number for the Quintet, but they roar through it with monollithic convection until Doug explodes it at the end with a chord sequence that takes some force from The kinks and smacks with the metallic funk that only John Fogerty could match country rock style.   rating: ***** stars 

3.) The Homecoming   (Tom T. Hall) - 3:20

Never having heard the Tom T. Hall original I can't really comment on Sahm's cover version of 'The Homecoming' other than to say Sahm and company turned in a cover that was fairly countrified.  The 'life is tough on the road' lyric was actually interesting (would never have thought a country star would have such issues), and it was easy to say why Sahm decided to cover it.  Still the track didn't do a great deal for me ...  "Tom T. Hall's classic, is given a very credible rendition here by the Quintet.  Paul Nelsom commended that Tom T. Hall loved this version when he heard it and asked for a copy for himself, which is as much of a testimony as anyone could hope."   rating: ** stars

4.) Soulful Woman   (Doug Sahm) - 2:21

'Soulful Woman' was a conventional blues number. highlighted by some nice Sahm lead guitar.  Personally, I thought Sahm's vocal was a bit rough; in a couple of spots he sounded out of breath, making me wonder whether he was going to get through the song.  "... a classic blues ballad as only Doug Sahm can do one.  His singing is solid and sincere, but he answers each vocal line with one of his most lyrical guitar lines you're ever likely to hear, and the guitar harmonies he adds onto the first line of each verse are pure beauty."   rating: *** stars  

5.) Too Many Docile Minds   (Doug Sahm) - 2::28

Returning to the patented Sir Douglas sound, 'Too Many Docile Minds' boasted an instantly likeable melody, fantastic Sahm vocal, and some of Augie Meyers' most commercial keyboards.  Another one that had immense commercial potential had anyone been listening.   " ... features a harmonica melody fill at the end of each line that is reminiscent of Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie", and reinforces the already strong Dylan-Doug Sahm parallel ..."  

6.) Southside Girls   (Doug Sahm) - 2:21

Another autobiographical number, 'Southside Girls' was a slow, country-tinged ballad.  Not much into country, so this one didn't do much for me.   "... a moving ballad about his home town San Antonio, delivered by Sahm with a sympathetic understanding of the society that spawned him."   rating: ** stars  

 

(side 2)
1.) Hello Amsterdam   (Doug Sahm) - 2:48

Judging by the lyrics to 'Hello Amsterdam' ("Goodbye San Francisco, hello Amsterdam ..."), Sahm and company seem to have enjoyed their 1969 European jaunt.  Nice rocker with some great barrelhouse piano.  " ... done in rousing fashion The Quintet cam summon up when the shuffle rhythm starts chugging along back up by some honkey [sic] tonk blues piano playing."   rating: **** stars  

2.) Spearfish By Night   (Doug Sahm) - 3:08

With Sahm sounding like he'd been screaming at someone for a week, 'Spearfish By Night' was one of the standout performances.  A nice mid-tempo rocker with some excellent drumming from George Rains, this one had a distinctive Creedence Clearwater Revival feel.   Great tune.   " ... another stomper, this time with a touch of surrealism ..."   rating: **** stars  

3.) Colinda   (J. Williams) - 2:28

Normally Cajun music doesn't do a great deal 'for me, but as exemplified by 'Colinda'  this weird mix of Cajun and Tex-Mex was an exception.  Great Sahm fiddle.  "  ... the album's straight country offering, giving Doug a chance to exhibit his raging style of fiddle playing just as no final word from this group could be heard without some concession to their country roots, their R&B influence also cannot be ignored.   rating: *** stars  

4.) Linda Lou   (R. Sharp) - 3:33

'Linda Lou' was a breezy and effortless R&B number with some dynamite Sahm lead guitar.  "Thankfully then, "Linda Lou' is one of those Texas classics from Fort Worth" and the band is positively mean on this one with members of the Honkeys providing brass backup.  But Sahm sounds totally different vocally on this cut than on the rest of the album, coming across with the biting slur of the early van Morrison R&B stuff."   rating: *** stars  

5.) Dynamite Woman   (Doug Sahm) - 3:41

Yeah, it was a blatant re-write of 'Mendocino', but I still love 'Dynamite Woman' as much as anything in their catalog.  One of their most commercial and radio-ready composition.  Sahm seldom sounded as good.  "That pop sound is once again evident on "Dynamite Woman" another one of the group's tightly syncopated singles, but the addition o the country fiddle to the standard Quintet hit formula gives the song a precious touch."   rating: **** stars  

6.) Leaving Kansas City   (Doug Sahm) - 4:29

A pretty acoustic ballad ,'Leaving Kansas City' brought out the best in Sahm's distinctive voice., though the sax solo could have been dropped without any loss.   "The album finishes up with the light, ambling "Leaving Kansas City" ballad, featuring a nice acoustic guitar solo form Sough who signs off with 'we'll see you around next time / when the time is right t come into your life again / good night. rating: *** stars 

 

 

All hyperbole aside, a great Sir Douglas Quintet LP.  Surprisingly hard to locate (Mercury doesn't seem to have done much to promote it), but well worth looking for.


 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Texas Tornado

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD 7287

Year: 1973

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small cut out notch along spine

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4364

Price: $15.00

 

 

While credited to 'The Sir Douglas Band', for all intents and purposes 1973's "Texas Tornado" stands as another Sir Douglas Quintet release.  Sahm, bassist Jack Barber, accordion player Flacco Jimenez, keyboardist Augie Meyers, sax player Rocky Morales and drummer George Rains are all here.  Exemplified by those tracks produced by Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin, about a third of the album seems to have been recorded during earlier sessions for Doug Sahm's Atlantic debut "Doug Sahm and Band".  While those earlier tracks are most outsider covers, the seven newer tracks are mostly self-penned and self-produced.  Musically the set's considerably more diverse than some of Sahm's earlier work.  While 'San Francisco FM Blues', 'the title track , 'Hard Way' and 'Juan Mendoza' offer up first-rate additions to Sahm's patented Tex-Mex-cum-rock sound, 'Someday' and 'Ain't That Loving You' have a  jazzy big band feel (complete with support from David 'Fathead' Newman).  'Tennessee Blues' offers up a convincing slice of country, while the flute propelled 'Blue Horizon' sports a Brazilian bossa nova feel. The fact that it is so diverse may explain why the set didn't sell well and why it's largely overlooked today.

 

Elsewhere, Atlantic pulled two singles from the album:

 

- 1973's 'Nitty Gritty' b/w 'I'm Just Tired Of Getting Burned' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2965)

- 1973's 'Texas Tornado' b/w 'Blue Horizon' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2985)

 

Curiously, the first single was credited to The Sir Douglas Quintet, while the second was billed as The Sir Douglas Band.


"Texas Tornado" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) San Francisco FM Blues   (Doug Sahm) - 3:25

2.) Someday   (Doug Sahm) - 3:15

3.) Blue Horizon   (Doug Sahm) - 4:22

4.) Tennessee Blues   (Ray Charles) - 5:29

5.) Ain't That Loving You   (Malone) - 4:52

 

(side 2)
1.) Texas Tornado   (Doug Sahm) - 2:52

2.) Juan Mendoza   (Doug Sahm) - 2:58

3.) Chicano   (Doug Sahm) - 2:15

4.) I'll Be There   (Burgess) 2:35

5.) Hard Way   (Doug Sahm) - 2:09

6.) Nitty Gritty   (Doug Sahm) -  3:03

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Groovers Paradise

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BS 2810

Year: 1974

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID:SOLD 5983

Price: SOLD $18.00

 

For such a talented guy who'd enjoyed considerable commercial success, it was amazing to see Sahm's inability to lock in with a major label willing to invest the time and energy to market him. 1974 saw Sahm continuing his corporate and artistic wanderings; this time around signing a deal with Warner Brothers. Having broken up The Doug Sahm Band, "Groovers Paradise" found him engaged in a promising partnership with former Creedence Clearwater Revival members Doug Clifford (drums) and Stu Cook (bass).  Produced by Clifford, musically this was a pretty typical Sahm release, meaning it was all over the genre map, including stabs at blues, country, pop, rock, and Tex-Mex. That said, this album was different in a number of ways. One major difference - this time out Sahm wrote most of the material (the Mexican standard 'La Cacahuata' being the lone cover tune).  Equally important, this time around three quarters of the songs were worth hearing more than once, and Sahm and the band seemed to be having a genuinely good time working together.  This time around it literally sounded like a band, rather than Sahm and hired guns.

 

"Groovers Paradise" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Groover's Paradise   (Doug Sahm) - 3:25

The title track was a breezy, easy-going rocker which laid out an attractive lifestyle living as a Texas-based stoner.  Musically this one came close to capturing the Sir Douglas-era magic.  Easy to see why it was tapped as a single.   rating: **** stars

2.) Devil Heart   (Doug Sahm) - 4:28

A hypnotic bluesy-rocker that actually had a touch of CCR in its' soul, 'Devil Heart' served to underscore Sahm's overlook guitar chops.  My pick for standout performance on the album.   rating: **** stars

3.) Houston Chicks   (Doug Sahm) - 3:48

'Houston Chicks' was an autobiographical love song to a city and women who were clearly dear to his heart.  One of Sahm's prettiest songs with a nice Augie Meyer-styled keyboard solo from Link Davis Jr.   rating: **** stars

4.) For the Sake of Rock 'n' Roll   (Doug Sahm) - 3:17

'For the Sake of Rock 'n' Roll' was one of the most commercial songs he'd written in years,  Naturally Warner Brothers ignored it ...  Shame since with a killer guitar solo and lovely chorus it definitely had commercial potential.   rating: **** stars

5.) Beautiful Texas Sunshine   (Doug Sahm) - 3:12

To my ears 'Beautiful Texas Sunshine' was the first disappointment.  The song wasn't really bad, rather was simply too country-tinged for my tastes.  Couple of cold beers would probably take care of that problem.   rating: ** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Just Groove Me (Don't Let Me Sleep Alone)   (Doug Sahm) - 3:27

'Just Groove Me (Don't Let Me Sleep Alone)' did capture the Sir Douglas magic.  One of the best songs he'd ever written.   rating: **** stars

2.) Girls Today (Don't Like To Sleep Alone)   (Doug Sahm)  - 2:29

Yeah, it had a country edge to it and the sentiments were highly politically and socially incorrect, but 'Girls Today (Don't Like To Sleep Alone)' was one of those songs that simply brought a smile to your face.   rating: **** stars

3.) La Cacahuata (instrumental)   (Luis Guerrano - 1:45

'La Cacahuata; was a traditional Tex Mex instrumental ...  not anything I needed to hear again.   rating: * star

4.) Her Dream Man Never Came   (Doug Sahm) - 3:06

'Her Dream Man Never Came' was one of those old school ballads that didn;t make much of an impression on me the first couple of times I listened to it.  Simply too MOR for my tastes.  Still not my favorite performance, but at least now I wouldn't skip over it.   rating: ** stars

5.) Catch Me In the Morning   (Doug Sahm) - 3:45

'Catch Me In the Morning' was another country effort that I could live without, but it had a great mid-section segment that was very un-country.  Shame the rest of the song wasn't as good.   rating: ** stars

 

Elsewhere Warner Brothers tapped the album for  the single:

 

- 'Groover's Paradise' b/w 'Girls Today (Warner Brothers catalog number 7819)

 

I own a lot of Sir Douglas/Doug Sahm material and "Groovers Paradise" is one of the albums I continually come back to.  It may not be Sahm's creative zenith, but it easily makes the top-5 list.  Oh, give the album an extra star for Kerry Fitzgerald's inspired comic book cover art.

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Texas Rock for Country Rollers

Company: ABC / Dot

Catalog: DOSD-2057

Year: 1976

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG//VG+

Comments: small lower right cut corner 

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5965

Price: SOLD $10.00

 

 

Continuing his corporate wanderings, 1976's "Texas Rock for Country Rollers" found Doug Sahm signed to ABC's rapidly dying Dot subsidiary where he was reunited with original Sir Douglas Quintet producer Huey P. Meaux.  Credited to 'Sir Doug & the Texas Tornados', the collection showcased one of the best bands he'd worked with in years, including bassist Jack Barber, steel guitar player Harry Hess, longtime sidekick Augie Meyers on keyboards, and drummer George Rains.

 

back cover photo; 

left to right: Doug Sahm - Harry Hess - Jack Barber - Atwood Allen - George Rains

 

Working with a top notch band seemed to reinvigorate Sahm, and while the album wasn't perfect, track by track it was one of the most enjoyable and consistent things he'd done in years.  I'm saying that even though I've never been a big country/country-rock fan and this is an album with plenty of country; by my count seven of the ten tracks would qualify as country, or country-rock efforts.  That said,  "Texas Rock for Country Rollers" was one of those albums you listened to and just had to wonder what happened ...  How did radio, critics, and the buying public miss this one ?   Sahm seldom sounded as comfortable in a studio and that gave the entire album a warm, easy-to-like charm.  There were plenty of highlights, but my picks would include the lead off rocker 'I Love the Way You Love (The Way I Love You)', the anti-drug 'Give Back the Key To My Heart', and the rocker 'Floatway'.

 


"Texas Rock for Country Rollers" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Love the Way You Love (The Way I Love You)   (Atwood Allen) - 5:15

Penned by rhythm guitarist Atwood Allen, in spite of the clumsy title, 'I Love the Way You Love (The Way I Love You)' was a nice country-rocker.  Sporting a great chuggin' beat that drilled into your head and one of the Sham's tastiest guitar solos, this one's always reminded me of something John Fogerty might have recorded early in his career.    rating: **** stars

2.) Cowboy Peyton Place   (Doug Sahm) - 3:35

Powered by Harry Hess' pedal steel and Sahm's own fiddle, 'Cowboy Peyton Place was one of the album's straight ahead country numbers.  Normally I wouldn't want anything to do with a song like this one, but I could live with this one.  I'm not saying this is one of my Doug Sahm favorites, but the lyric was actually kind of funny - made you wonder if it was autobiographical.    rating: ** stars

3.) Give Back the Key To My Heart   (Doug Sahm) - 2:48

Showcasing some nice acoustic 12 strings, 'Give Back the Key To My Heart' was a beautiful country-rock ballad and one of those lost Sahm classics.  With Sahm sporting his best Dylan impression the song was also interesting from a lyrical standpoint.  Initially sounding like a standard 'love gone wrong' tale, the song was actually a cautionary tale on the addictive nature of cocaine.  Pretty amazing for something written in the mid-1970s when most folks still though the drug was relatively harmless.  My only complaint is that the track faded out just as it was beginning to pick up real steam.  Shame.     rating: **** stars

4.) Wolverton Mountain   (M. Kilgore - C. King) - 3:27

Even before Augie Meyers Vox kicked in if there was a song that recalled Sahm's Sir Douglas heyday, 'Wolverton Mountain' was that track.  A fantastic, rollocking upbeat number, once again the effect was undermined by the unexpected early fade out ...  Meaux should have let this one roll on.     rating: **** stars

5.) Texas Ranger Man   (Doug Sahm) - 3:35

With Sahm turning in an even more distinctive Dylan-styled vocal, 'Texas Ranger Man' may have been side one's most interesting song.  The song certainly sported side one's best Sahm guitar performance.  Unfortunately once again, you were left wondering why the song had an early fade out ...   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Floatway   (Doug Sahm) - 2:35

In large measure due to the fact it was an atypical rocker, 'Floatway' started side two with my favorite performance.  Kicked along by Sahm's electric guitar this was a great party tune.  Again, they should have let the tape roll a little longer.   rating: ***** stars

2.) I'm Missing You   (Doug Sahm) - 3:00

A pretty, but unexceptional country ballad, 'I'm Missing You' was saved from the 'also ran' pile by two things - Sahm's nifty little Buddy Holly vocal nod, and the great little rock riff that showed up in the refrains.   rating: *** stars

3.) Gene Thomas Medley:

    Sometimes / Crying Inside   (Gene Thomasson) - 2:35

Others rave about the performance, but perhaps because it sounds extremely old fashioned to me, the Gene Thomas medley 'Sometimes / Crying Inside' was the one country tune that I could have done without.  I guess hearing it in a small club after a couple of cold beers might bring me around ...   rating: ** stars  

4.) Country Groove   (Doug Sahm) - 2:19

Similarly, 'Country Groove' was a pure honky tonk number that did nothing for me.  Okay, the Texas country stars name checks (Link Davis, Lefty Frizzel, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, etc.) were mildly interesting.  rating: ** stars  

5.) You Can't Hide a Redneck (Under the Hippy Hair)   (Doug Sahm) - 3:55

In spite of the title, 'You Can't Hide a Redneck (Under the Hippy Hair)' was a traditional blues number.  You've heard stuff like this hundreds, if not thousands of times before, so it's kind of hard to get all that excited about it.  That said, Sahm's rugged vocal and squealing lead guitar (along with Harry Hess' slide guitar and harmonica), made it worth hearing once or twice.   rating: *** stars

 

ABC / Dot actually tapped the album for a single, though they don't seem to have done much to promote it:

 

- 1976's 'Cowboy Peyton Place' b/w 'I Love the Way You Love (The Way I Love You)' (ABC / Dot catalog number 17658)

 

There was also one ABC / Dot non-LP single:

 

- 1976's 'Crying Inside Sometimes' b/w 'I'm Missing You' (ABC / Dot catalog number 17674)

 



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Live Love

Company: Texas Re-Cord Co

Catalog: TRC 1007

Year: 1977

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: still in shrink

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5535

Price: $45.00

 

 

Ah - one of the band's I wish I'd been able to see live during my lifetime.  Guess this concert set is the closest I'll get.

 

1977's "Live Love" was originally released on keyboardist Augie Meyer's own Texas Re-Cord Co. label.  As you probably figured from the album title, the collection captured the band at a May 1977 set at Austin's Armadillo's.  If you're interested in a document capturing the band at their creative zenith; this isn't the place to start.  Instead this set did a pretty good job of capturing the band's live charm.  Easygoing and occasionally a touch raw, Doug Sahm and company effortlessly roared through a haphazard mixture of 'hits' (actually the only track that even came close to being a hit was the opener 'Dynamite Woman'), band favorites, popular covers (Eddie Floyd's 'Knock On Wood'), and a couple of obscurities. Sahm was in good voice throughout - check out his performance on the newly penned bluesy ballad 'One Way, Crash Course Love Affair' and the rest of the band was simply razor sharp.  Most groups could only dream about being as tight !!!  Elsewhere  'Henrietta' had previously been released as a single:  

 

- 1976's 'Henrietta' b/w Country Groove (Texas Re-Cord Co. catalog number 108)

 

Was the album perfect?  Not by a long shot.  While professional, their cover of The Temptations' 'My Girl' added nothing to the original.  Similarly their cover of Jr. Parker's 'Drivin' Wheel' was merely competent.  I would have also gone for a more commercial set list, but then it wasn't up to me.  Still, worth tracking down for anyone who considers themselves to be a Sir Doug fan.


"Live Love" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Introduction - 1:00

2.) Dynamite Woman   (Doug Sahm) - 5:19

3.) One Way, Crash Course Love Affair    (Doug Sahm) - 3:29  

4.) My Girl   (Smokey Robinson - White) - 3:29

5.) Drivin' Wheel   (R. Sykes) - 4:12

 

(side 2)
1.) Starry Eyes   (Roky Erickson) - 3:25

2.) Emotional Goner   (Doug Sahm) - 2:23

3.) Henrietta   (Fore - Hitzfield) - 2:10

4.) Glad for Your Sake - 3:41

5.) Knock On Wood   (Eddie Floyd - Steve Cropper) - 3:32

 

 

 

The Sonet label released the album in the UK under the title "Wanted Very Much Alive" (Sonet catalog number SNTF 804).

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Live Texas Tornado

Company: Tacoma

Catalog: TAK 7095

Year: 1983

Country/State: San Antonio, Texas

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: still in shrink

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5583

Price: $20.00

 

 

Recorded at dates L.A.
"Live Texas Tornado" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Rains Came

2.) Wooly Bully

3.) Who Were You Thinking Of

4.) Texas Tornado

5.) Medley: Mendocino / Dynamite Woman

 

(side 2)
1.)  (Is Anybody Going To) San Antone

2.) She's About A Mover

3.) Oh, Boy!

4.) Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

5.) T-Bone Shuffle

 

In the 1960s and early '70s, no band better illustrated the richness of the Texas musical experience than the Sir Douglas Quintet. Lead singer Doug Sahm and his friends could almost always be counted on for versatility, and they could usually be counted on to cook. A 1998 reissue, Live Texas Tornado is a gem-filled CD that boasts classic live performances at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go in Hollywood and the Club Foot in Austin, TX. The band is in excellent form on everything from Tex-Mex ("Who Were You Thinking Of" and "The Rains Came") to 1960s rock ("She's About a Mover," "Wooly Bully") to 1940s-type R&B (T-Bone Walker's "T-Bone Shuffle"). Another high point of the CD is an interpretation of Charley Pride's country smash "Is Anybody Going to San Antone," which gets the Tex-Mex treatment instead of the Nashville treatment. Unfortunately, the CD doesn't list the dates or even the years of these recordings, and equally frustrating is the fact that it clocks in at a skimpy 35 minutes. As much great music as the Quintet recorded, Takoma could have easily made it twice as long. But the music that Takoma does include is superb. Despite its skimpiness and lack of recording dates, this is a CD that's well worth having.


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Rio Medina

Company: Sonet

Catalog: SNTF-912

Year: 1984

Country/State: Texas

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: still  in shrink wrap

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5422

Price: $30.00

 

I've said it before, but remain amazed by how many classic American artists have to leave the country in order to make a living.  How in the world do you explain The Sir Douglas Quintet having to sign with a Swedish record label ...

 

Recorded in Austin with Kenny Denton producing, 1984's "Rio Medina" was almost as impressive as the previous Sonet set "Midnight Sun".  With Sahm responsible for the majority of the eleven tracks, musically the set offered up a mixture of styles including standard boogie ('San Antonio Boogie'), Tex-Mex (ue Paso'), country-rock (the beautiful ballad 'Never Be a Saint') and patented Vox Continental propelled rockers ('Everybody Gets Lonely Sometimes').   Seldom sounding as comfortable and enthusiastic, Sahm was in good form throughout.  Elsewhere there were a number  of interesting surprises including an up tempo cover of The Police's 'Every Breath You Take' and a classic country tale of woe and betrayal ('Can't Go Back To Austin').   Propelled by Meyer's instantly recognizable keyboards 'Viking Girl' was the should've-been-a-hit. Though the band continued to enjoy massive Scandinavian successes, the album went completely unnoticed in the States (you won't even find it listed in many of the on-line discographies).  For true fans, a series of European singles were pulled from the LP:

 

 

Sweden

- 1984's 'Viking Girl' b/w 'Can't Go Back To Austin' (Sonet catalog number 10129) 

- 1984's 'Never Be A Saint' b/w 'Everybody Gets Lonely' (Sonet catalog number 10139) 

 

France

- 1984's 'Sleepwalk' b/w 'Que Paso' (Sonet catalog number VG 108 / 101934) 

 

UK

- 1984's 'Every Breath You Take' b/w 'Everybody Gets Lonely Sometimes' (Sonet catalog number 2266) [UK]

 

"Rio Medina" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) San Antonio Boogie   (Doug Sahm) - 3:55

2.) In the Zone Alone   (Doug Sahm) - 4:24

3.) Viking Girl   (Doug Sahm) - 2:34

4.) Never Be a Saint   (Louie Ortega) - 2:58

5.) Every Breath You Take   (Gordon Sumner) - 2:38

 

(side 2)
1.) Everybody Gets Lonely Sometimes   (Doug Sahm) - 3;35

2.) Can't Go Back To Austin   (Doug Sahm) - 3:13

3.) Que Paso   (Bill Sheffield - Augie Meyers) - 2:06

4.) Anymore Tribute to Johnny Ace)   (Washington - Robey) - 3:44

5.) Tejano   (Doug Sahm) - 3:25

6.) Sleep Walk (instrumental)   (J. Fraina - S. Farina) - 4:09

 

 

 

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