Vanguard Records (Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters, Kim Richey, the Watson Twins) announced today it will release Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm, a 14-song disc honoring the late musican known as Sir Doug, March 24. Artists include Delbert McClinton, Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo, Dave Alvin, Terry Allen, Charlie Sexton and former Afghan Whigs lead singer Greg Dulli.
Sahm's two sons, Shandon and Shawn, are also featured on Keep Your Soul. Shandon, who now fronts his own heavy glam-rock band in Austin, plays drums behind his dad's old Texas Tornadoes compadre Flaco Jimenez and the San Antonio-based West Side Horns (who played with Sir Doug for many years themselves) on "Ta Bueno Compadre (It's OK Friend)." Shawn, who leads the Tex-Mex Experience, offers a solo version of "Mendocino."
The Gourds, who backed Doug Sahm on his final studio album, SDQ '98 - Sir Doug passed away ten years ago this November - contribute "Nuevo Laredo," a longtime staple of their live set. Marcia Ball's band Freda & the Firedogs, who shared many a bill with Sahm at Austin's Soap Creek Saloon and Armadillo World Headquarters, reunited to record "Be Real." The Midniters vocalist Little Willie G. leads off Keep Your Soul with the SDQ's 1965 Top 10 smash "She's About a Mover," with Ry Cooder on guitar.
If Rocks Off had to choose a favorite musician, especially a favorite Texas musician, Sahm would win hands down, and always has. (Sorry, Willie, I'm sure you understand.) For as long as he can remember, he and his music-writer pals back in Austin always called Sahm the "State Musician of Texas." No other individual was anywhere close to as gifted at playing any of the state's indigenous musical styles - country, R&B, conjunto, Cajun, Tex-Mex rock and roll - often combining several in the same song with a distinctive, danceable flair. His lyrics, meanwhile, were hippie-dusted love letters to his homeland ("Texas Me," "Beautiful Texas Sunshine") and the groovy chicks who lived there ("You Was for Real," "Dynamite Woman")
Sir Doug is, now and forever, one of Rocks Off's greatest role models. The full Keep Your Soul track listing:
Little Willie G., "She's About a Mover"
Delbert McClinton, "Texas Me"
Flaco Jimenez with the West Side Horns, "Ta Bueno Compadre (It's OK Friend)"
Los Lobos, "And It Didn't Even Bring Me Down"
Jimmie Vaughan, "Why, Why, Why"
Alejandro Escovedo, "Too Little Too Late"
Greg Dulli, "You Was for Real"
Dave Alvin, "Dynamite Woman"
The Gourds, "Nuevo Laredo"
Terry Allen, "I'm Not That Kat Anymore"
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Freda & the Firedogs, "Be Real"
Shawn Sahm, "Mendocino"
Joe "King" Carrasco & Texas Tornados, "Adios Mexico"
Charlie Sexton & the Mystic Knights of the Sea, "You're Doin' It Too Hard"