Throwback Thursday – Doug Sahm – Doug Sahm and Band
1. Rarely has one artist assimilated so many influences into a single sound. Managing to meld the 60’s British Invasion sound he heard on the radio with the country, Tejano, and R&B he heard in Texas, Doug Sahm turned in a masterpiece of a record with Doug Sahm and Band. Revered by the great Jerry Wexler and Bob Dylan (who contributes “Wallflower” to this record), Sahm cut this record in New York with an incredible band: Dr. John on piano, Flaco Jimenez on accordian, David Bromberg on several stringed instruments, and the unmistakable organ of Augie Meyers.
2. The record kicks off with one of Meyers’ most recognizeable organ parts — the intro to “Is Anybody Going to San Antone?”. Recounting the wandering that had typified his career thus far, Sahm’s doubled vocals show the strain of earnestness that makes his music indelible. On Dylan’s “Wallflower”, the man himself shows up to sing along to the waltz, accompanied by Bromberg’s droning dobro and fiddle, while “It’s Gonna Be Easy” imagines a Texas-born Beatles, with its easy harmonies and loping beat.
3. The truly remarkable thing about this record how every single song sounds like a Doug Sahm song, despite the fact that he only wrote three of them. Even when taking on Willie Nelson’s autobiographical “Me and Paul”, a less-informed listener might think that the “me” refers to Sahm himself. “Loose” could be used liberally to describe the feel of this record, and perhaps that was how Doug recorded best – live, without many rules or boundaries. Sahm died of natural causes (amazingly) in 1999, but cast a long shadow on a generation of genre-blending artists.
Visit The Song Survives to read about more great songwriters and songs.