A comment to a recent blog mentioned the late Doug Sahm, and I'm here to report there's a great tribute album to Sir Doug now out there for your enjoyment.
Tribute albums can be a little like buying candy cigarettes (and isn't it interesting that record stores are about the only places where you can find them these days?) When you open the box there's something sweet to chew on, but nothing to light up and really inhale. And, if you're like me, you like to take some deep draws when you're listening to music.
No problem with "Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm.'' There's smoke coming out of the jewel case when you open it up. It's hard to believe Sahm has been gone for going on 10 years (the victim of a heart attack at age 58), but this compilation helps rekindle a fire for the original Texas groover.
Little Willie G. (with Ry Cooder on guitar) begins with a rollicking take on Sahm's most recognizable romp "She's About a Mover.'' It brings you back to the days of the Sir Douglas Quintet -- a ruse Sahm used to score a Top 15 single during the British Invasion, before he returned to blaze a wide and influential trail of Tex-Mex grooves across his native Texas.
Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo, Dave Alvin, Jimmie Vaughan and Delbert McClinton -- each strongly influenced by Sahm -- weigh in with favorite covers of their own. Freda & the Firedogs (Marcia Ball), Joe "King'' Carrasco, Flaco Jimenez and Charlie Sexton are among the other artists contributing tracks. And Sahm's son Shawn, who assembled the music and co-produced the album, closes with "Mendocino'' -- another Sir Douglas romp.
Co-producer Bill Bentley writes in the CD notes: "All of the artists on this album, each and every one of them stone cold Doug Sahm fans to the end, have opened up their souls for the person who helped them discover their own inspiration. They do it with a sound as big as Texas itself, for the only Lone Star State Musician there can ever be.''
Here is music that will get you down the highway with a smile on your face and a good beat in your bones. Please share PSSST (Personal Six String Sanctuary Tout) No. 7 with familia and compadres.