The Sir Douglas Quintet

Crazy Cajun Recordings

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Doug Sahm, aka "Sir Doug" of the Sir Douglas Quintet, rock & roll's first long-haired redneck, was a walking compendium of Texas music styles. Whether it was Texas blues, Tex-Mex rock & roll, garage, country, R&B, soul, singer/songwriter, and anything in between, Sir Doug could wail it and nail it. What's more, he would tell you so. Just the natural, Texas facts, ma'am. Most of this two-disc collection is culled from the Sir Douglas Quintet's Tribe Records years, produced by "Crazy Cajun" Huey P. Meaux, when the SDQ burst upon a Beatle landscape with one of rock & roll's all-time anthems, "She's About a Mover." The trademark sound of Sir Doug's country-boy, blues/rock vocals and Augie Meyer's simple, driving Vox organ lines, evident on "She's About a Mover," is the original blueprint for garage rock. The majority of the rest of this collection is filled with less successful follow-ups and album cuts, which is not to say the material isn't choice. Even at this early stage, almost everything Sir Doug played was sure and tight. As a child prodigy of sorts, Sahm had played Texas nightclubs since his pre-teens. Hence, by the time (1965) "She's About a Mover" hit the charts, he was a veteran, steeped in country, blues, and R&B. This wasn't two-chord, we-can-record-in-my-uncle's-basement garage rock. This was a young group of pros drawing upon their experiences and creating a whole new sound. SDQ's not-so-successful follow-up to "She's About a Mover," "The Rains Came," is included. Written by a then-obscure Freddy Fender, it is a damn near perfect single and, in an ideal Top 40 world, would have been just as big a hit as its predecessor. The descending chorus "rain, rain, rain, rain/my pillow's soaking wet" is flawlessly punctuated by Meyer's timely organ punches. Of the generous 41 cuts on this set, there are some early "finds" no SDQ fan should be without. "Oh, What a Mistake," "The Tracker," "It's a Man Down Here," "She Digs My Love," "You've Got Your Good Thing Down," "She's Gotta Be the Boss Babe," and especially "In Time" could have been, at the very least, regional hits. They are the cave paintings for what would later evolve into such SDQ masterpieces as the Mendocino and Together After Five albums. Other cuts here are interesting but not essential (i.e., Sir Doug's takes of "Wolverton Mountain," "Image of Me," "Philadelphia Lawyer," and "Quarter to Three"). One glaring weakness of this compilation is the incongruous inclusion of much later 1970s material such as "Seguin," "Nuevo Laredo," and "Revolutionary Ways." All are fine songs and essential for an SDQ 1970s anthology, but out of place in this package.

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