Live: Texas Tornados, Houston

Texas Tornados blowin' through Houston's Discovery Green park

No warnings were necessary as the Texas Tornados tore through Houston Thursday night, spawning dance-floor twisters with a raucous Tex-Mex blend of rock and roll.  The Tornados are anchored by Lone Star music legends Augie Meyers (Vox organ) and Flaco Jiménez (accordion), who were among the original members of this band, and guitarist/singer Shawn Sahm, son of the late, great Doug Sahm.

This was a free show in the Bayou City’s beautiful Discovery Green park, and the Tornados attracted a sizable crowd that seemed ready to wash away the work week.  The Tornados obliged with spicy rockers like “Adios Mexico,” Tejano ballads like “Volver” and stomping country rock like “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of?”

Sir Douglas Sahm was the architect of this type of music, and much of the evening was a celebration of his vision.  The Sir Douglas Quintet classic “Anybody Goin’ To San Antone” and Meyers’ “Velma From Selma” are rabble-rousing stompers when the Tornados take a whirl through them.  Singer Nunie Rubio and guitarist Louie Ortega performed beautifully on their tributes to the fallen Freddy Fender (also a Texas Tornados original member), “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and “Before The Next Teardrop Falls.”

Naturally the 71-year-old Jiménez got the lion’s share of the spotlight, because he is a walking Hall of Fame.  Jiménez, who has played with everyone from Ry Cooder and Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, teamed up with Rubio for the beautiful “Volver” and later, the goofy “In Heaven There Is No Beer.”  And when handwritten notes passed up to the stage weren’t song requests, they were phone numbers or come-ons for Jiménez from various ladies in the audience.  One note said “Will you meet me at the Motel 6?” and Jiménez asked, “What number?”  Rubio was quick to jump in with “69,” to which Jiménez replied, “My favorite number.”

Meyers took the show into its homestretch with his lively “Hey Baby Que-Pa-So?” and the band wound it up with the rocker “Wooly Bully.”  But there was one remaining piece of business, and the Tornados took care of it during the encore: a truly epic version of the Sir Douglas Quintet classic “She’s About A Mover.”  Meyers explained, “This song was recorded in 1965 right here in Houston,” and the rockin’ groove and Sahm’s amazing “freaky guitar” fretwork left the crowd happy and satisfied.  Friday morning’s trip to work was a shock to my system, because the Texas Tornados jukebox put me in a weekend frame of mind one day early.

When these guys come to your town, do yourself a favor and catch ’em.  And if they are not coming to your town, at least pick up the great CD Live From Austin TX, with the original lineup playing the “Austin City Limits” TV show.  It’s one of the finest Texas party albums ever made.

Our review of new album ¡Esta Bueno!

Texas Tornados official website

YouTube: “She’s About A Mover” at Sam’s Burger Joint, San Antonio


YouTube: “Velma From Selma” at Sam’s Burger Joint, San Antonio


6 Responses to “Live: Texas Tornados, Houston”

  1. I’ll never forget seeing Doug at Floore’s Country Store in the late 70s. The dancing was literally shaking the place while he rocked through “Purple Haze”!

  2. heather brock Says:

    Love love love the Texas Tornados!!!! I’ve seen them many times and seeing them again tonight at the Lone Star Brewery in SA. Augie and Flaco are living legends.

  3. I always try to avoid acts with only one cowboy hat, you know? Three cowboy hats are OK … and when Augie Meyers is under one of ’em you are in heaven. Everyone who loves rock and roll and music should see the Texas Tornados. And there is NO ONE who deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than Doug Sahm.

  4. Um folks, don’t forget the Tornados put out a new record this year called “Esta Bueno”, and it includes 5 songs with Freddy, recorded before he passed away. If you like the old stuff, you will love this record!

  5. Was a Great Show !

  6. You re the best!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: