Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of Doug Sahm performing back in the day, his British invasion day.
Dough Sahm: Juke Box Music, Doug Sahm, Antone’s Records, 1988
A British guy from Texas? Oh, ya, that. See one Doug Sahm, a mad monk, a Texas-bred mad monk, of musical talent wanted to ride the wave, the 1960s British invasion wave led by the Beatles that changed the face of rock and roll more than somewhat. Just like Elvis, Chuck and Jerry Lee did a generation before, a rock generation that is, and , strangely, brought blues, big heartland, butcher to the world, industrial city hard life electric blues via Chicago and Memphis and country harder life acoustic blues via the Delta cotton field broiling sun sweats and Saturday night no electricity jukes, mainly, back to America. So ride the wave, take the ride and pay for the ticket, to paraphrase the late gonzo journalist, Doctor Hunter S. Thompson a kindred, here comes none other than the Sir Douglas Quintet no less high and hard in the 1960s American post-invasion hip-hop night.
Well that bluesy rock minute passed but Doug Sahm’s attachment to music, to roots music, apparently never vanished as this CD testifies to in a big way. So back in Texas he made something of a legend for himself in the emerging Austin musical scene. And while I don’t know the all the particulars of the late Brother Sahm’s later career I know two things, well, actually three things. When Bob Dylan wanted to taste, musically taste, all things Texan, particularly that Tex-Mex roots sound that permeated some of his music during his “western outlaw” period (hey, maybe his whole career, at least in his mind) he slip-shot himself by Brother Sahm and they became fast friends.
And Dough Sahm was instrumental in preserving that Tex-Mex sound as it got preserved in old Antone’s, a blue club very closely associated with the blues in Texas and, well, that big heartland, butcher to the world, industrial city hard life electric blues Chicago too, as that storied (and chronicled, on film chronicled) barroom locale provided a final home for many of the Windy City blues greats as they fell on Maxwell Street hard times. And lastly, well lastly Brother Sahm KNEW, knew in his bones and deep in his musical soul, just like Dylan, the American songbook, the generation of ’68 section that he is paying tribute to on this album. Feast on.