VisitBigBend.com , the go-to website for all you need to know about visiting the Big Bend of southwest Texas, recently enlisted me to do a Top Ten for visitors headed to that faraway part of the state I like to think of as the Texas of the Imagination.
Texas Music Hour of Power Sat nites 7-9 pm central KRTS Marfa & KXWT Odessa-Midland, 3-5 pm central KEOS.org and anytime here
Every Saturday nite, yours truly hosts the Texas Music Hour of Power, showcasing all kinds of Texas sounds created over the past century of recorded music. The show runs two hours because Texas spans two time zones and frankly, the music is too dang big to limit it to one hour.
As part of a Cinema Series leading up to CineFestival in February 2017, The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and CineFestival present Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove, Joe Nick Patoski’s directorial debut documentary on the unsung hero of Texas on Thursday, November 17, 7:30pm at the Guadalupe Teater (1301 Guadalupe Street). San Antonio native Doug Sahm was known as a child musical prodigy who went on to experiment and combine country music, rock, conjunto and blues to create a truly unique sound. Friend of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, Dr. John, Fathead Newman, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and several generations of musicians of all stripes, Sahm played a critical role in launching and re-launching the careers of Willie Nelson, Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez, Steve Jordan and Roky Erickson. Above all, he was the “Groover’s groover”, a kinetic whirlwind moving at a mile a minute who also happened to be an exceptional musician and a natural bandleader. This documentary reveals his fascinating story.
Join me for the Houston History Alliance’s 2016 conference addressing the musical soul of a city that’s not easy to pin down. There will be music, starting on Friday and running through Sunday. I will deliver the keynote address Saturday morning at MATCH in Midtown, followed by a number of panels addressing hip-hop, Tejano, Texas tenors, R&B and Honky Tonk, and other musical subjects. Come on out and groove, and dig into H-Town’s rich musical past.
Sir Doug & The Genuine Texas Groove plays the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Saturday afternoon, September 17; the Cafe Brasil Music Doc series in Houston, Monday evening, September 19; and the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY on Tuesday evening, September 27.
Info on the Nashville screening here: http://countrymusichalloffame.org/calendar/event/film-sir-doug-and-the-genuine-texas-cosmic-groove-2015
Info on the Houston screening here: http://365thingsinhouston.com/calendar/sir-doug-genuine-cosmic-groove-screening-cafe-brasil/
Info on the Pleasantville screening here: https://burnsfilmcenter.org/booking/sir-doug-and-the-genuine-texas-cosmic-groove/
link here: Crossroads of Texas Film Festival
Sir Doug & The Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove continues riding the film festival circuit, stopping in Waxahachie, just south of Dallas, on Weds evening, May 18. Sir Doug is one of several great films screening in Waxa for the fest including True Stories and Selena, plus lotsa music.
Check it out. Two other Texas screenings have been added – Sunday afternoon, June 5, at the South Texas Popular Culture Center in San Antonio, and Saturday night, June 11 at the Barnhill Center in Brenham.
Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove has been accepted by the prestigious SALEM FILM FESTIVAL and will screen Sunday afternoon, March 6. Boston-area Doug-Heads and Groovers are now on alert. C’mon out and make a Tex-Mex party. Salem Film Fest
Sir Doug and The Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove makes its Mexican premiere on the beach of Sayulita, Nayarit on Sunday evening, January 31 to close out Festival Sayulita – details at www.festivalsayulita.com
thanks to Brendan Toller for this fine review of Sir Doug & the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove MUSICFILMWEB review link
We haven’t run a Music Documentary Monday in a while, but when we asked filmmaker Brendan Toller about his favorites of the year, he responded with such written enthusiasm for this title – an SXSW 2015 premiere, as was his own Danny Says – that we decided on a one-off revival of our review column to share it with readers at length. Check back in a few weeks for our annual round-up of the year in music film, featuring picks from Brendan and host of other connoisseurs.
Joe Nick Patoski is a rock ‘n’ roll/Texas font, penning books on Willie Nelson, Selena, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. His bylines have appeared in The New York Times, LA Times, No Depression, et al., and he quickly rose to Variety’s “Top Documentarians to Watch in 2015″ with his directorial debut, Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove. Doug Sahm’s recordings, legacy, and inducive character are among the thrills of my life, so it was just minutes on the ground at SXSW before Patoski and I were cackling in a corner over a mess of Franklin’s barbecue. This prowess of this production from Austin-based creative team Arts+Labor was the true gem of discovery at SXSW 2015, and few music docs in this “year of the music doc” have reflected the tone and candor of their subject so well.
Doug Sahm is an indefinable character, but here goes.
At 7 he was considered San Antonio’s country music prodigy, getting a tip of the hat from Hank Williams himself. In the mid-’60s, at the suggestion of record producer Huey P. Meaux, Sahm partnered with his longtime friend, organist Augie Meyers, and Jack Barber, Frank Morin, and Johnny Perez to form the Sir Douglas Quintet. The Quintet cashed in as a fake British Invasion band with their ’65 smash “She’s About A Mover.” They traveled the country and, like not a few other Texas greats (the 13th Floor Elevators, Johnny Winter, Butthole Surfers), got busted for a few joints. Sahm’s parents mortgaged their house to get him out of jail.
As soon as he shook loose from probation, Sahm moved to San Francisco, and any remaining “redneck” roots were hippified by the LSD revolution. He took this dual sensibility back to Texas, and it defines the forces that have kept his adopted hometown of Austin weird. As his lookalike son Shawn Sahm recalls in the film, Doug was driven by the groove – a desire to keep the whirlwind of beautiful music, women, and food forever in orbit. His eclecticism and showmanship permeate his solo debut, Doug Sahm & Band (produced by Jerry Wexler and featuring contributions from Dr. John, Bob Dylan, and the Memphis Horns), but those qualities didn’t always pay in the bloated ’70s record biz (see also NRBQ). In the ’80s Sahm took the rollicking highs and lows of showbiz to Scandinavia (“Bavarian Baby”!) and Canada, returning home late in the decade to form Tex-Mex supergroup the Texas Tornados. He passed away in 1999 at the early age of 58. Fans include: Jeff Tweedy, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Bottle Rockets, Drive-By Truckers, et al.
Like Sahm, Patoski and Arts+Labor chief Alan Berg are at heart creative-community organizers. They’ve assembled a team of Austinites that wind together beautifully shot interviews, archival stills, and rare footage and audio tapes (including an incredible reel-to-reel recorded by Sahm’s wife foreshadowing her departure from their marriage). Super-8, VHS, and HD formats are embraced and blended to stunning effect by colorist Joe Malina and director of photography Yuta Yamaguchi. Sir Doug and the Genuine Cosmic Texas Groove is infused with a thoughtfulness and heartfelt sense of humor that transcends tribute and effortlessly infects viewers with the groove: you too will be driven to discover astonishing music, love, and food, with Doug Sahm providing your spiritual soundtrack. As Sahm himself put it, “You just can’t live in Texas if you don’t have a lot of soul.”
Three big film festival screenings are coming up for the film I directed Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove
Saturday, November 7 Sir Doug will screen at the Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth
Friday, November 13 Sir Doug will play the Houston Cinema Arts Festival
I will be doing a Q and A after these screenings.
Mil gracias to the Mill Valley Film Festival in northern California for hosting us and screening the film on October 11-12
and mega mil gracias to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival for hosting us and for three consecutive sold out screenings, and for the festival’s Audience Choice Award.
More screenings are coming, along with (hopefully) a distribution deal.
Longterm goal: get Doug on the nominee list for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this time next year. Here’s a link to sign the petition. Please pass it around. Groove Doug Sahm into the Rock Hall