The beauties of Saldana, for instance, encompass the loose narcotized blues of "Stoned Faces Don't Lie" (akin to the O'Jays' "Backstabbers" and Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes" in its portrait of a counterculture falling into abject dishonesty), the rocked-up tejano of "Me and My Destiny" (which has the mood of a Blonde on Blonde outtake), the goofy rock of "She's Huggin' You (But She's Lookin' At Me)," the secular gospel lament "Oh Lord, Please Let It Rain in Texas," a cover of T-Bone Walker's "Papa Ain't Salty," and probably the greatest rock'n'roll talking blues, "The Railpak Dun Done in the Del Monte," a magnificent reminder that the first time that Woody Guthrie left Oklahoma, he landed not in California but Texas. Could even Woody have beaten a sweet-tempered anti-corporate rant ("we're gonna do away with all them _soulful_ trains) that features the chorus, "The Railpak dun done in the Del Monte / What a drag, what a drag, what a drag." Could any other performer since Guthrie have pulled off such an improbable concoction?
... It's taken almost two decades of a CD reissue boom to restore Sahm's most important albums to print. Except for a splendid essay by Mitch Myers in a recent issue of Magnet, nobody's paying them much attention. In a time of turmoil, these albums have been almost all I've listened to for the past two weeks, and it's been more than comforting, it's been a re-education about the music values of Doug Sahm-and me, too. Myers sums it up, describing all his various aspects and declaring, "Doug Sahm dared to dream all of these different dreams and he grew up to be all of those different people."
Keep listening, and you get to share those dreams, although you'll become those people-as Doug himself did-at your own risk.