Sir Douglas Quintet “Mendocino”


You could never judge The Sir Douglas Quintet by their name. It was picked out by a manager that wanted to give the boys an English vibe, pretty common practice in those days considering the influence of The Beatles. Thing is, there’s no name that could ever define the eclectic hodge-podge sound the Sir Douglas Quintet consistently rocked for a good 5 or 6 years after 1969. Well, except maybe ‘Doug Sahm.’

Mendocino is not only a great introduction to SDQ and Doug Sahm’s music, but its own style of music all together. Texas music was a result of a great cross section of western musical styles, including tex-mex, cajun, polka, country, rhythm and blues, rock, and the San Fransisco sound. Doug Sahm was probably the first musician who was legitimately steeped in all of this and couldn’t control himself from playing it all at once.

As for the tunes on Mendocino, there are nary a miss, but not exactly a first-time winner. I mean this album will have to grow on you before you can really enjoy it. Once you get the hang of the sound you’ll be ready for the whole Little Doug discog. Crossroads is an easy one to get into fast, as is the SDQ’s biggest hit: She’s About A Mover, featuring the classic Vox Continental organ lead from Augie Meyers. Lawd, I’m Just A Country Boy is a great illustration of a Texan’s view of the late 60’s scene in SF (and a microcosm of the album in general). I’ve got a big soft spot for some of the more subtle numbers as well, like I Don’t Want and I Wanna Be Your Mama. The seven bonus tracks included on the CD reissue are all keepers too; check out Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day.

All in all, this is an exceptionally strong album, and one you won’t regret picking up, after you give yourself some time with it. A real good grower.

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“Lawd, I’m Just A Country Boy In This Great Big Freaky City”

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  • Doug Sahm = One of the best things to ever happen to music

  • old hopewell hippie

    Great review of a great band of its time! Their album, Honkey Blues, is another album recorded in 1968, with only 7 songs, and all individually stand alone.
    Your album choices for review have gotten me to dig up my old records for more flashbacks !

  • Brendan

    Old Hopewell Hippies! I know a few of those! ;)
    Thanks for the reccommend, and keep us up to date with your finds!!

  • jonathan

    wonderful lp.i bought mine about 30 years ago for 57pence .the version of she’s about a mover has an outro of freaky guitar

  • blankend

    I picked this up in a bargain bin for a couple of bucks. I was only familiar with the hit, She’s About A Mover, but I knew Doug Sahm from another bargain bin purchase, Doug Sahm and Band, which had come out later in 1973. It was an attempt to break Sahm out to a wider national audience. It featured great musicians like Doug’s longtime friend, Augie Myer, It also had special guests like Dr. John, Flaco Jimenez, but most notably Bob Dylan, who was a Sahm fan. It featured some great covers like Is Anybody Going to San Antone, which Doug announced as a song about his hometown at the beginning. Doug was a musical prodigy and played steel and fiddle as well as guitar. Check out his fiddling on Bob Wills’ Faded Love. He was also a friend of Willie Nelson and covered Willie’s Me and Paul on this record as well, but this is not just a covers album, as he has originals as well, like the Blues Shuffle Dealer’s Blues written by Sahm and Wallflower written and sung with Doug by Dylan.

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