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Sir Douglas Quintet

Live From Austin, TX – 2006 (New West)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Sir Douglas Quintet

This CD captures the Sir Douglas Quintet, led by late Texan Doug Sahm, performing in a city well-known for its appreciation of fine music. SDQ was a U.S. five-some that was formed, to some extent, to compete with the British Invasion acts of the '60s. But it ultimately went on to become a unique American band in its own right.

Nevertheless, you can still hear its British influences with a cover of The Kinks' "Who'll Be the Next in Line?" But Sahm and friends were far more eclectic than much of what came over from the other side of the pond. "Ya No Llores/Chicano," for instance, incorporates styles from an entirely different nation, that of Mexico.

This live collection takes on a garage flavor with "96 Tears" and rocks it up a tad on "You're Gonna Miss Me," written by another infamous Texan, Roky Erickson.Naturally, it wouldn't be a Sir Douglas Quintet concert without "Mendocino." Throughout this 1981 recording, the group is in fine form, and it's simply a delight every time Sahm shouts out "August!" whenever the band's stellar keyboardist, Augie Meyers, takes a solo. Indeed, this was a quintessential quintet.