A Bittersweet Return

The peripatetic, mercurial Doug Sahm was fluent in many musical genres and in recent years drifted back and forth between what he called his Tex-Mex groove and the Texas blues he so loved. Although he performed country music for most of his life (which he began as a bona fide musical prodigy, by many accounts), he had never recorded an entire album of country songs. The Return of Wayne Douglas — christened after the bogus name he often used for country sets — is that album. It was completed shortly before the singer's sudden death late last year and was to have been the beginning of his assault on modern country.

That explains "Oh No! Not Another One" (RealAudio excerpt), a swipe at the army of pretty-boy singers being churned out by Nashville's assembly line mentality. However, the rest of the album is a collection of thoroughly sweet and good-humored songs, both new and old.

The opening "Beautiful Texas Sunshine" (RealAudio excerpt) is a rolling, warm paean to the beauties of life in Austin. Sahm's version of Leon Payne's classic "They'll Never Take Her Love From Me" (RealAudio excerpt) is accompanied by his own spoken tribute to Payne. Sahm also pays respect to his old friend Bob Dylan with a lilting country version of the latter's "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" (RealAudio excerpt).