Doug Sahm and Band

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Doug Sahm and Band
Doug Sahm and Band 1973.jpg
Gilbert Shelton's cover art for Doug Sahm and Band
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1973
RecordedOctober 1972
Studio
  • Atlantic Studios, New York, NY
GenreCountry rock, country[1]
Length45:05
LabelAtlantic Records
ProducerJerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, Doug Sahm
Doug Sahm chronology
Doug Sahm and Band
(1973)
Texas Tornado
(1973)

Doug Sahm and Band is the debut solo album of American singer-songwriter Doug Sahm. In 1972, after leaving the Sir Douglas Quintet, Sahm moved to Austin, Texas. He was signed by Jerry Wexler to the newly opened country music division of Atlantic Records, and started the album sessions by October 1972. It featured appearances by Bob Dylan, Dr. John, David "Fathead" Newman, Flaco Jimenez, David Bromberg and Kenny Kosek.

The album garnered mixed reviews upon release and sold poorly. It was listed by Billboard in Top LP's and Tapes at 125. The album was favored in later reviews.

Background[edit]

After a string of success recordings in the late sixties, the Sir Douglas Quintet split in 1972. Doug Sahm, then based in San Francisco, decided to return to Texas and moved to Austin. The burgeoning alternative musical scene of the city included artists such as Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. Venues frequented by Sahm included the Soap Creek Saloon and Armadillo World Headquarters.[2]

Interested in the development of alternative country, Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler started a Country & Western division in the label.[3] Wexler signed Sahm among his acts.[4]

Recording[edit]

Sahm recording for Atlantic in 1972

Produced by Sahm, Wexler and Arif Mardin, the recording sessions took place during the first two weeks of October 1972, at the Atlantic Records recording studios on West 60th Street in New York.[5] Guest musicians included Bob Dylan, Dr. John, David "Fathead" Newman, Flaco Jimenez, David Bromberg and Kenny Kosek.[5][6] Meanwhile, Elton John visited the studio.[5]

"Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone" opened the album. It included twin fiddles by Sahm and Ken Kosek, with the steel guitar of Charlie Owens, while Dylan contributed with harmony vocals. Dylan appeared again singing harmony in "It's Gonna Be Easy", written by Atwood Allen, while Allen and Sahm sung the lead. Then, a horn section composed by Newman, Wayne Jackson and Willie Bridges assist Sahm on the Blues number "Your Friends". In "Poison Love" the vocals of Sahm are complemented by Jimenez on the accordion with Meyers on piano, Bromberg on dobro and Andy Statman on mandolin.[7] The Dylan-written "Wallflower" was a lead collaboration between Sahm and Dylan.[8] In "Dealer's Blues" the horn section lead by Newman featured also Jack Walrath, Martin Fierro, and Mel Martin.[7]

Kosek returned with Sahm with in the twin fiddles in the cover of Bob Wills' "Faded Love".[7] Dylan returned in "Blues, Stay Away From Me", also playing a guitar solo.[8] T-Bone Walker's "Papa Ain't Salty" and Willie Nelson's "Me and Paul" follow. Newman returned in "Don't Turn Around", followed by the closing "I Get Off".[7]

Release and reception[edit]

The album was released in January 1973. The singles were "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone" and "It's Gonna Be Easy".[9] The album garned mixed reviews and sold poorly,[10] reaching 125 on Billboard's Top LPs & Tapes.[11]

The Billboard review was favorable, calling the LP "the ultimate in mellow country contemporary". The review remarked the importance of Dylan's support.[12] Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times wrote a mixed review, saying "There are some rather ordinary moments in the album, but there are some tracks [...] that you just shouldn't do without".[13] The Rolling Stone album guide declared that Sahm "faltered" on "[a] forgetable album".[14] Robert Christgau rated the album "B-", calling Sahm a "talent, not a genius", and opined that the accompanying artists "only inhibit[ed] him".[15]

Later reviews praised the album. Allmusic rated the album with five stars out of five, with critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine concluded "this is music that is vividly, excitedly alive and captures Sahm at a peak. It's pretty much irresistible".[16] The Vinyl District rated the album "A", and opined that it was "an instant classic—energetic, ecstatic, and in general the kind of LP guaranteed to put a smile on your face".[7]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone"Dave Kirby3:10
2."It's Gonna Be Easy"Atwood Allen3:32
3."Your Friends"Deadric Malone5:24
4."Poison Love"Elmer Laird4:22
5."Wallflower"Bob Dylan2:41
6."Dealer's Blues"Doug Sahm2:58
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Faded Love"Bob Wills3:57
2."Blues Stay Away from Me"Doug Sahm3:58
3."Papa Ain't Salty"Grover McDaniel, T-Bone Walker4:31
4."Me and Paul"Willie Nelson3:35
5."Don't Turn Around"Doug Sahm3:29
6."I Get Off"Doug Sahm2:38

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Billboard staff (1973). "The Doug Sahm Sessions". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 85 (2). ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  • Billboard staff 2 (1973). "Album Reviews". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 85 (4). ISSN 0006-2510.
  • Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8.
  • Christgau, Robert (1973). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  • Christgau, Robert (1981). "Doug Sahm and Band". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306804093. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  • Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (1997). "Doug Sahm and Band". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation.
  • Hillburn, Robert (1973). "Doug Sahm and Band Worth Special Notice". Los Angeles Times. Anderson Daily Bulletin. Retrieved February 23, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.open access publication – free to read
  • Jasinski, Lurie (2012). Handbook of Texas Music. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-0-87611-297-7.
  • Larkin, Colin (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Country Music. Virgin. ISBN 978-0-7535-0236-5.
  • Lazell, Barry (1989). Rock Movers & Shakers. Billboard Publications, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8230-7608-6.
  • Little, Michael (2015). "Graded on a Curve: Doug Sahm and Band, (s/t)". The Vinyl District. Mom & Pop Shop Media. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  • Patoski, Joe Nick (2009). "Squeeze Play: Why The Accordion is the National Instrument of Texas". No Depression. University of Texas Press (77). ISBN 978-0-292-71929-3. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  • Reid, Jan; Sahm, Shawn (2010). Texas Tornado: The Times and Music of Doug Sahm. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-77439-1.
  • Rogovoy, Seth (2009). Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-5983-2.