The Sir Douglas Quintet burst on to the music scene in 1965 with their breakthrough hit ‘She's About A Mover’, presenting themselves supposedly as knighted British gentry. It was a ploy that only lasted a nano-second or two as their infectious brand of laid-back Texan rock told a very different story. Fronted by Doug Sahm's bluesy rock vocals and Augie Meyers' distinctive reedy Farfisa organ, their sound was instantly recognisable, despite ever-changing group personnel. Over their long career they issued many albums on a bewildering number of labels, with this one coming from 1983 on the Takoma label. Despite this jumping around, they tended to rely on their proven and popular material, keeping audiences very happy along the way.
This live album was actually recorded at two venues: Five tracks at Club Foot in Austin, Texas, and the other five at The Whisky in Los Angeles. The opening track, ‘The Rains Came’, was written by their initial producer Huey P. Meaux, and was a tried and tested opener for Sahm and his gang. The song had been the group's fourth single on the Tribe label, though some discographies mistakenly show it as their second. They follow this with their cover of Sam The Sham's ‘Wooly Bully’, with its grungy rock fitting them like a glove, and then they slide back into selections from their own catalogue with easy Tex-Mex versions of ‘Who Were You Thinking Of’, ‘Texas Tornado’, ‘Mendocino’, ‘Dynamite Woman’, ‘(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone’ and of course a happy revisiting of their signature ‘She's About A Mover’. They also cover Holly's ‘Oh Boy’, and then deliver an easy-going ‘Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues’ followed by an extended rocking romp through ‘T-Bone Shuffle’ which adds some strong sax from the guesting Rocky Morales. Sahm's sidemen here include drummer Johnny Perez, a survivor with the ever-present Meyers from the initial hit line-up, Speedy Sparks on bass, Alvin Crow on fiddle, and Louis Ortega on guitar for the five Austin tracks.
The great joy of Doug Sahm's work with all his various line-ups was the unerring fun he always seemed to be having, It was no-nonsense shuffling rock boogie, that never failed to sound great, and was so enhanced by his ability to write songs that not only fitted the group so well, but had the knack of lodging in your brain from first hearing. Although he never deviated too far from the formula, it was one that delighted fans across the States and in many parts of Europe where Sahm long enjoyed a firm following. Ace Records is able to offer this Takoma album as it presents the group and their best material delivered with their classic sound. Totally infectious fun rock all the way, and it doesn't get much better than that.