During the Texas Tornados heyday in the ’90s, a bunch of friends and I went to some club in West Covina, California, to see Flaco Jiménez in person (he had just recorded an amazing solo in Café Tacuba’s debut album). Once the TT concert started, though, we quickly forgot about Flaco.
We encountered, instead, a human tornado named Doug Sahm. He was the heart and soul of the band and one of the best performers I’d ever seen. Joe Nick Patoski’ s excellent doc portrays the different Sahms (the rocker, the bluesman, the Tex-Mex vato, the country crooner and even the Scandinavian hit maker) in a fond but also critical light.
The movie is entertaining, informative and funny as hell, but even with the endorsement of Dylan himself (“the Sir Douglas Quintet is probably the best,” he said in the early ’ 60s), Sahm remains one of the most underrated figures in the history of Texas music, partly because of his tendency to not spend enough time developing a project.
Perhaps Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy explained it best in the closing credits: “He was incapable of following anybody else’s plans for him.” Fortunately, the music remains and this film makes the ultimate case for a true Texas musical genius.
$8, 7:30pm, Thurs., Nov. 17, Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St., (210) 271-3151, guadalupeculturalarts.org