In a slim week for new releases, Texas rock/bluesman Doug Sahm's posthumous album, The Return of Wayne Douglas (Tornado), is a golden nugget for the solid roots appetite.
Releases due Tuesday include several compilations: Johnny Cash's The Sun Years Vol. 8 (Original Sound), The Unreleased Hits of Jim Reeves (Soundies) and Western Swing: Hot Hillbilly Jazz & Blues (ASV) by various artists.
Sahm, founder of the Texas Tornados, spanned several genres musically moving in and out of country as a child prodigy steel-guitar player and delving into rock with the Sir Douglas Quintet in the '60s. This album marks his first concerted country album in a long career, however, and he aptly gave it his country stage name.
Gem cuts include "Oh No, Not Another One," which pokes fun at Nashville's Ken doll "hat acts"; it's in the same vein as the Alan Jackson/George Strait duet "Murder on Music Row" and Brad Paisley's upcoming "Too Country." Sahm also includes some of the trademark songs "Dallas Alice" and "Texas Me" and offers a cover of Bob Dylan's "Love Minus Zero/No Limit." The set ends with Sahm's answering machine message a personal touch from a man who inspired many.
The Cash release features the early hits "Cry! Cry! Cry!" and "Hey Porter" (RealAudio excerpt), along with such other classics from the Sun era as "I Walk the Line," "I Couldn't Keep From Crying," "Mean Eyed Cat" and "Luther Played the Boogie." Jim Reeves' album includes such standards as "Danny Boy" and "It's Only a Paper Moon," as well as "Please Forgive," "Ramona" and "Before You Came Along." Western Swing collects such ditties as "Oklahoma Stomp," "Tulsa Twist" and "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate."