Rock Moment: Sir Douglas Goes New Wave


One of the most influential figures in Texas music was the late, great Doug Sahm. Even though he was somewhat underappreciated on a national scale, he nonetheless put together a body of work whose range surpasses even that of Willie Nelson.

Beginning with the seminal Sir Douglas Quintet in the mid-1960s, Sahm’s music encompassed British Invasion pop, Gulf Coast blues and spicy Mexican conjunto to form a joyous blend that resulted in the hits “She’s About A Mover” and “Mendocino.”  Later in his career Sahm would show he was equally at ease with country, 1960s psychedelia and big-band blues and pop.

After a long dry spell, Sahm re-formed his Sir Douglas Quintet in 1982 for the album Border Wave.  Although it didn’t stray far from the trademark Quintet sound (instantly identifiable by Augie Meyers’ Farfisa organ fills), Sahm merely speeded up the tempo a bit and presto: New Wave.

In addition to Sahm originals (“Down On The Border”) the album featured some choice covers, including one by Butch Hancock (“I Keep Wishing For You”) and the Kinks’ Ray Davies (“Who’ll Be The Next In Line”).  It was enough of a hit to earn the Quintet a slot on “Austin City Limits” and they became a popular road act once again.

In 1999 Sahm died alone in a New Mexico hotel room.  It was the last stop along a colorful career that made him a Lone Star legend. 

MP3: Down On The Border

MP3: I Keep Wishing For You

MP3: Sheila Tequila

MP3: Who’ll Be The Next In Line (live from “Austin City Limits”)

MP3: Tonight, Tonight (live from “Austin City Limits”)

MP3: Mendocino (live from “Austin City Limits”)

Video: Sir Douglas Quintet on “Austin City Limits”

Doug Sahm official website

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