One day [Doug Sahm] said to me, ‘You know, in the early Seventies, man, Willie was the old guy. He brought it to us and gave it to us to carry it on, and that’s what I’m doing with you guys. You guys are it. You guys take it and go with it.’
–Kevin Russell of The Gourds to Christopher Hess, Austin Chronicle, September 22, 2000
Doug Sahm & The Gourds – Michoacan
High Sierra Music Festival, Quincy, CA
July 3, 1998
Stumbled across a bootleg today and it would’ve been irresponsible to NOT post a track. Doug Sahm joins The Gourds for a five song mini-set at 1998’s High Sierra Music Fest in California. It’s all great, but I think “Michoacan” perfectly captures the Gourd-Sahm simpatico. If my venn diagrams weren’t in the shop, I could show you where they clearly converge at “Texas Tornado” and “Tex-Mex.” As a bonus, you hear Sir Doug’s brilliant stage rap, in which he busts on Flaco Jimenez, references Texas summer heat (107 degrees, check), talks about Kris Kristofferson and working in the movies, gives Atwood Allen a shout-out, discusses meeting The Gourds at a Belgian music festival, and defines ‘michoacan.’
From the Gourdian sideline, I’m pretty sure this was one of the first shows with both Keith Langford (drums) and Max Johnston (dobro, fiddle, etc.) as full-time members. Mid-’98 sounds about right. And be sure to check out Hess’ story, linked above. It’s a cool time capsule of The Gourds when they were ruling Jovita’s, with its broken bathrooms, interminable beer lines, and predictable running out of beer. You know, the good old days.
Download 5-song set as zip file (44 MB)