Friday, March 13, 2009

Odds & Ends

On March 24, Vangaurd Records will release a star-studded tribute album to the late Doug Sahm, the still-underappreciated long tall Texan who led the Sir Douglas Quintet and later joined with Freddie Fender, Augie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez to form the Texas Tornados.

I first heard Sahm on Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne, when he swapped verses with Jay Farrar on his "Give Back The Key To My Heart." A few years later, I picked up some Sir Douglas Quintet and really loved the half-hippie, half-country sound that Sahm had cooked up. Then I found out Dylan was a fan, and even played on Sahm's 1973 solo debut (they did Dylan's then-unreleased "Wallflower") and that sealed it for me.

"Keep Your Soul: A Tribute To Doug Sahm," features some outstanding artists, including Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo, the Gourds, Dave Alvin, Charlie Sexton and Sahm's former Texas Tornados partners. Head over to Vanguard Records for the full listing.

The Gourds - Nuevo Laredo (live Doug Sahm cover)
Jeff Tweedy - Give Back The Key To My Heart (live Doug Sahm cover)
Doug Sahm - To Ramona (live Bob Dylan cover)

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I just stumbled onto The Hold Steady Taped Archive, a collection of shows dating back to 2005, with some earlier Lifter Puller stuff thrown in for good measure.

I've seen The Hold Steady four times, and they just blow me away. And with the band's live DVD, A Positive Rage, set for release April 7, this is the perfect time to dig into some great live tunes.

The archive has some great, and very recent, radio performances. Check out this one from Triple J radio in Australia.

The Hold Steady - History Lesson Part II (live Minutemen cover)

* * *

As they did on the I'm Not There Dylan tribute concert, Calexico played a huge role in this week's R.E.M. Tribute concert at Carnegie Hall. It's no surprise that Calexico has become the go-to band for backing pretty much anybody, especially in an all-star tribute setting.

As "special house band for the evening," Calexico got to join in with Keren Ann, Bob Mould, Rhett Miller, Jolie Holland and others.

None of the audio or video I've seen from Wednesday has been good quality at all, which is a shame, so hopefully some better recordings are forthcoming.

Check out R.E.M. with Patti Smith on "E-Bow The Letter":


Paul said...

LOVE the Doug Sahm!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Thanks. W.