Thursday, November 09, 2023

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Belated Birthday Tribute to Sir Doug

Doug Sahm with Freddy Fender during a Texas Tornados set during the 1997
South by Southwest at Austin's Hole in the Wall.

Three days ago, November 6, would have been Doug Sahm's 82nd birthday. And later this month, Nov. 18, will be the 24th anniversary of Doug's death.

Congress should just go ahead and declare November to be Doug Sahm month!

Son Volt sings songs of Sahm in Ft. Collins
Earlier this week, I posted on Facebook about Doug's birthday, mentioning the fact that I recently saw Son Volt up in Colorado. That band's most recent album, Day of The Doug, is a Sahm tribute album, and  their show kicked off with a lengthy set of some of those songs as well as a take on "Give Back the Keys to My Heart," a Sahm song on Uncle Tupelo's final album. which featured a guest appearance by Doug himself. (For those not familiar, Uncle Tupelo was the previous band of Son Volt leader Jay Farrar.)

This morning, two of my friends, Rick and Walt, reminded me that there were previous Sahm tribute albums. So on this Throwback Thursday, let's look at all these albums.

Way back in 2002, The Bottle Rockets did an album called Songs of Sahm honoring Sir Doug. Here's a tune from that album:

Skip ahead to 2009 and we'll find a various-artists compilation called Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm, with contributions from the likes of Dave Alvin, Alejandro Escovedo, Delbert McClinton, Little Willie G of Thee Midnighters and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs. Santa Fe's own Terry Allen did one of the best tracks on this tribute, "I'm Not That Kat Anymore":

But my favorite song on Keep Your Soul was the extremely soulful "Be Real," performed by Freda & The Firedogs, vocals by long, tall Marcia Ball:

Here's a track, from the latest Son Volt album, Day of The Doug, which happens to be the title track of the previous tribute:

And though it's not from a tribute album, one of my favorite Sahm coverd through the years is this one by Alvin Youngblood Hart:

So happy Doug Sahm Month to all who celebrate. Keep groovin'!

Footnote: I was the reporter who broke the news that Sahm had died in Taos in 1999. As I was about to go home from a long day of work at the Santa Fe New Mexican, an editor got a tip that he'd died in a Taos hotel room. Sadly, it turned out to be true.

For my coverage of Sir Doug's death in 1999 -- the initial scoop, plus a second-day story, in which I interviewed a local woman who'd spent time with Doug in Santa Fe before he died -- check this old blog post: CLICK HERE

Yes, Sir Doug was there at that Son Volt show!

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