Archive for Texas Tornados

Repost: A Lone Star Christmas

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Instead of reinventing the wheel this Christmas, let’s recycle a past post or two. Today, the holidays in the Lone Star State!

Christmas in Texas is pretty much like Christmas in any other place – except most of the time it’s hot, everybody’s playin’ football, people are barbecuing and drinking beer, there’s a lot of country music and blues and rock, and the stuffing has jalapenos in it.  Okay, it’s like no place else.

MP3: “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by the Texas Tornados

MP3: “Merry Christmas From The Family” (live) by Robert Earl Keen

MP3: “Christmas Everyday” by Rosie Flores

MP3: “When It’s Christmas Time In Texas” by George Strait

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Steve Fromholz

MP3: “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy” by Rev. Horton Heat

MP3: Stevie Ray Vaughan Holiday Greeting No. 1

MP3: “Rockin’ Winter Wonderland” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” by Rusty Wier

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Lou Ann Barton

MP3: “Merry Christmas” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Flaco Jimenez & Freddy Fender

MP3: “Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Nothing But A Child” by Steve Earle & Allison Moorer

MP3: “Snow In Austin” by Ellis Paul

MP3: “Sweet Little Baby Boy” by Angela Strehli

MP3: “Winterlude” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Please Come Home For Christmas” by Marcia Ball

MP3: “She’ll Be My Everything For Christmas” by Los Lonely Boys

MP3: Stevie Ray Vaughan Holiday Greeting No. 2 (1989)


A Lone Star Christmas

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by 30daysout

Instead of reinventing the wheel this Christmas, let’s recycle a past post or two. Today, the holidays in the Lone Star State!

Christmas in Texas is pretty much like Christmas in any other place – except most of the time it’s hot, everybody’s playin’ football, people are barbecuing and drinking beer, there’s a lot of country music and blues and rock, and the stuffing has jalapenos in it.  Okay, it’s like no place else.

MP3: “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by the Texas Tornados

MP3: “Merry Christmas From The Family” (live) by Robert Earl Keen

MP3: “Christmas Everyday” by Rosie Flores

MP3: “When It’s Christmas Time In Texas” by George Strait

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Steve Fromholz

MP3: “Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy” by Rev. Horton Heat

MP3: Stevie Ray Vaughan Holiday Greeting No. 1

MP3: “Rockin’ Winter Wonderland” by the Fabulous Thunderbirds

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Back In Town” by Rusty Wier

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Lou Ann Barton

MP3: “Merry Christmas” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Flaco Jimenez & Freddy Fender

MP3: “Pretty Paper” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Nothing But A Child” by Steve Earle & Allison Moorer

MP3: “Snow In Austin” by Ellis Paul

MP3: “Sweet Little Baby Boy” by Angela Strehli

MP3: “Winterlude” by Joe Ely

MP3: “Please Come Home For Christmas” by Marcia Ball

MP3: “She’ll Be My Everything For Christmas” by Los Lonely Boys

MP3: Stevie Ray Vaughan Holiday Greeting No. 2 (1989)



Live: Texas Tornados, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2011 by 30daysout

The great Flaco Jiménez

We’ve written about this act before, probably too many times, but there is no way around it: the Texas Tornados are a great live act. Anchored by guitarist/singer Shawn Sahm (son of the late, very great Doug Sahm), keyboardist Augie Meyers and the very, very great accordionist Flaco Jiménez, the Tornados bring some Texas thunder every place they play.

Thursday night under a perfect sky, and with Houston’s gleaming skyline in the background, the Tornados played a free show in Discovery Green park that drew one of the season’s biggest and most enthusiastic crowds. Of course, the ladies gravitated to Jiménez – even though he’s 72 years old, he gets his fair share of flirtatious notes and greetings from women. He got his own spotlight, with the favorite “In Heaven There Is No Beer,” the polka warhorse given some Mexican spice by Flaco’s deft accordion work.

Shawn Sahm

One lady held up a sign “Flaco for President,” and Sahm mused how great that would be … peace talks could be held at a Miller Lite brewery somewhere, he said.

Much of the band’s set was dedicated of course to the late Sir Douglas Sahm and Freddy Fender, the powerhouse personalities who founded the Tornados way back in 1989. Singer Nunie Rubio sang Fender’s classic “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and although no one can match Fender’s singular singing style, Rubio did a fine and credible job. Organ player Augie Meyers held his own with “Dinero,” “Velma from Selma” and his own crowd favorite “Hey Baby (Que Pa So).”

The set featured many of the band’s trademark tunes that fuse rock, country and Tex-Mex, including “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of?” and “Adios Mexico.” This time, though, they dipped a little deeper in the Sir Douglas Quintet catalog and pulled out gems like “Nuevo Laredo,” “Texas Tornado” and the stone classic “Mendocino.” They also played crazy accordion-laced versions of “Wooly Bully” and the Southeast Texas classic “Matilda.” And it wouldn’t be Houston if the band didn’t wrap it with “She’s About A Mover,” the Sir Doug anthem first recorded in Houston way back in 1965.

At the end of the show, after the ovations, Jiménez paused to address the crowd. First he reminded everyone to visit the CD/T-shirt table, and plugged his new solo CD … which he said was going to be his last. “It’s time to hang it up,” he said, and although he didn’t seem to rule out playing live Jiménez made it clear he is ready to slow down.

So let’s wish him well – Flaco Jiménez is a five-time Grammy Award winner who’s recorded with everyone from the Mavericks to the Rolling Stones, and he is a classic Texas performer. Hope we can see him play live a few more times before he hangs it up for good.

YouTube: “Mendocino” by the Texas Tornados (from Antone’s in Austin)

Texas Tornados official website

Augie Meyers, with bassist Speedy Sparks and Shawn Sahm.

YouTube: “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of?” (from Texas Music Scene TV)

Nice night under the skyscrapers of Houston.

Video Du Jour: Texas Tornados

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on July 9, 2011 by 30daysout

Taking a little break here, yeah it’s vacation but it’s also gonna be a wild week in New York City. Surely we’ll find something that is worth posting about next week …

In the meantime, please feel free to enjoy this version of “Mendocino,” the Sir Douglas Quintet classic covered by the beloved Texas Tornados with Augie Meyer, Flaco Jimenez and Sir Doug’s very own son Shawn Sahm. Best enjoyed under a big Texas summer moon, but any way is great.

Video of the Week: Texas Tornados, live in Austin

Posted in News with tags on January 16, 2011 by 30daysout

You know we love us some Texas Tornados around here.  The Tex-Mex supergroup played at the legendary Antone’s club in Austin Friday night, and somebody was nice enough to get video of “Mendocino.”  Perfect for a rainy, cold weekend.

Two Texas legends get official markers

Posted in News with tags , , , on November 17, 2010 by 30daysout

Lightnin' Hopkins and his official marker from the State of Texas

Two of Texas’ greatest musical legends have received permanent markers in their respective home towns, signs that share their legends with visitors.  Bluesman Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins received an official Texas State Historical marker in Houston’s Third Ward, while legendary rock and roller Doug Sahm got a permanent marker atop the hill named after him in Austin.

The colorful marker now atop Doug Sahm Hill

Hopkins, who died in 1982, is only the second Texas blues great to get a marker – his mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson has one near the presumed site of his grave in Wortham, Texas.  Lightnin’ is of course the seminar guitar-playing bluesman who influenced such greats as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  His marker weighs more than 75 pounds and stands about six feet tall.  It is located on the grounds of Project Row Houses in Houston’s Third Ward (near the intersection of Dowling and Francis streets), where “The King of Dowling Street” spent most of his time.

Meanwhile, friends and family of the late Sir Douglas Sahm gathered in Butler Park to unveil a permanent marker that resides atop Doug Sahm Hill.  Shawn Sahm of the Texas Tornados and Shandon Sahm, Sir Doug’s sons, were joined by Austin artist Kerry Awn, who designed the marker, and a large crowd to pay tribute to Doug Sahm, the singer/songwriter who died in 1999.  Sahm led the Sir Douglas Quintet in the mid-1960s, then had a fruitful solo career before organizing the Lone Star supergroup Texas Tornados around 1990.

Now that some of Texas’ legendary musicians have been honored in their home state (Stevie Ray Vaughan has a statue in Austin’s Auditorium Shores park), one can only wonder how long it will take these worthy musicians to find a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MP3: “Mr. Charlie” (Part 1) by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Mr. Charlie” (Part 2) by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Houston Chicks” by Doug Sahm

MP3: “Little Bit Is Better Than Nada” by the Texas Tornados

YouTube: Lightnin’ Hopkins historical marker dedication


Live: Texas Tornados, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by 30daysout

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