Music » Music Etc.

THE UN-LABELLING OF AUGIE MEYER

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A friend of mine recently installed this really cool music program on my computer. All sorts of bells and whistles. But when I submitted the new Augie Meyers’ CD, Blame It On Love, for genre classification, I faced a dilemma. None of the standard pigeonholes (country, alternative, folk, heavy metal, classical, etc.) fully represented this work.

Welcome to Augie’s world — one of musical diversity. On his new CD, Augie not only demonstrates his talents in songwriting and arrangements, he completely illustrates his famous attention deficit disorder. His longtime partner in crime, Doug Sahm, had the same affliction: so much music, so little time.

Augie starts out with a Marty Robbins-style ballad, and then proceeds to run the gamut from country to blues to swing to ’50s style R&B and various other beats that the program, iTunes, would inevitably stick in the wrong slot. The title track is a stepped-up ballad that gives us the ultimate scapegoat for our lives gone awry: demon love and its hazards as a reoccurring theme. Augie is reflective in his songwriting, but seems comfortable in his role as a veteran of life’s entanglements. But this love deal — that’s the one that will chew on him forever.

Augie’s musical history has been thoroughly documented, and I doubt there are many culturally fluent San Antonians who don’t know his story. From Sir Doug to the Headband days through the Tornadoes and Grammys to the Last Real Texas Blues Band, then on to Bob Dylan et al, and finally to the present: His life as a road savvy grandpa and a musical ambassador is endeared by every one around.

Augie’s tribute at the Guadalupe Theater last month was very moving for its all-encompassing nature. It was a segment straight out of This Is Your Life. The Guadalupe dug up ex-bandmates and old friends that Augie hadn’t seen for decades, as well as others with whom he is in contact all the time. The end result was a picture painted of a sincere man’s life dedicated to music, family and his many, many friends.

Blame It On Love, likewise, is all about Augie Meyers and the variety of directions he has taken. It is the saga of a life spent learning the same lesson over and over, but always needing one more reminder. Look closely in his eyes and notice that undeniable presence. It’s the one that assures us all that he is the one who went out there and did it and then came home to tell us all that it was way cool, and he’d do it all over again. But look a little closer: It’s also the presence of a man who tried to warn us not to come whining to him when we come home with our feelers hurt. He’s been trying to tell us that for years, in as many different styles as iTunes has categories. Demon love is out there. It will eventually get us all. We’ll learn to deal with it. But hey, it’s not the pox and we might even find inspiration in it. Look where it took Augie, after all.

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