Texas Tornados

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The ultimate Tex-Mex super group is back. Augie Meyers and Flaco Jiménez reunite with the son of Doug Sahm, Shawn Sahm, in a new recording that includes the final work of the legendary Freddy Fender as well as a lost demo from Doug himself. Esta Bueno! (It’s Good!)

El mejor grupo Tex Mex está de vuelta. Augie Meyers y Flaco Jiménez juntos una vez más uniendo sus voces con el hijo de Doug Sahm, Shawn Sahm, en un nuevo material discográfico que incluye la última obra del legendario Freddy Fender, así como un demo inédito del desaparecido Doug. Esta Bueno!

Shawn Sahm Talks About The Songs
Who’s To Blame, Señorita?

Dad and I used to write a lot together. We’d be cruising in the Caddy singing ideas all the time, and the ones that were really good, we would finish them up and they’d end up on the next record. After his passing I felt it was important to finish some of the ideas we started, so I worked on this and gave it a “who were you thinking of” vibe. Pop would have loved it and said “Dat’s ma boy!” – Shawn

If I Could Only

Freddy called me the night before these recording sessions were starting, and in his funny Freddy Fender voice asked, “Mister PRODUCER, what do you need from me tomorrow?” And I said, “Well Freddy I’m going to need two songs from everybody.” So he came in the next day and said, “Shawn you pressured me into writing a song, man!” Of course we thought it was really good. I can remember just immediately thinking, “Oh man, that is classic Freddy Fender.” And he worked hard recording it and when he left, I worked hard on the rest of it, with the horns, and backgrounds and the bits. I’m particularly proud of this because it’s something that we worked on together, and he loved what I did with it. – Shawn

My Sugar Blue

This is an older song of Augie’s that we agreed has such a good hook. That’s from one of his older records in the ‘70s. We updated it and gave it more of a Tex-Mex vibe with the big harmonies and the nice accordion stuff. – Shawn

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like I Like

I like to tell people it’s tongue-in-cheek because it doesn’t sound politically correct. It’s basically the opposite. It’s about old-school men and how relationships between men and women have changed so much since back when my dad and Freddy were young. – Shawn

Velma From Selma

I was in a bank one day, and the girl asked “What do you do for a living?” I said, “I’m a songwriter.” “Well,” she said “Nobody wrote a song about me.” I said, “Honey what’s your name? I’ll write a song about you,” and she said “Velma.” I said ok and left the bank, and I wondered, what the hell rhymes with Velma? So one day we’re in my bus driving through Selma going to Dallas to play a gig, and the driver said this was Selma, Texas. So before we got to Dallas I had written it. I went back to the bank a few days later to tell Velma that I’d written a song about her, but they had fired her. The Tornados used to do it all the time live on gigs but we never put it out, until now. – Augie

Tennessee Blues

This is an old Bobby Charles song, and where I first heard it was the “Doug Sahm and Band” record from the Jerry Wexler Atlantic sessions. George Rains played on that session, and that’s probably why I had him play on this version. And I thought it would be cool to do it as a Tex-Mex waltz with the bajos and the accordion. – Shawn

Esta Bueno

When we were in the studio for this latest project, Freddy asked me to come up with something funny. I was eating jalapeños one day, and they were real hot. My wife asked me if I was ok, and I said “Tie-Win-o.” By the time we got to the studio, I’d written the song. – Augie

Ahora Yo Voy

This is one of the newer ones Freddy brought to the table. It’s all in Spanish and sounds like a Spanish Sir Douglas Quintet song. It’s got both a Freddy Fender and a Sir Douglas vibe, which is really cool. I had my work cut out for me handling all those guys in the studio for a couple weeks. What I mostly remember was the excitement and how cool everybody was. The Tornados in the past were supposed to be a crazy mess and fighting, but there’s been none of that with the reunion. In the studio, everyone got along great. And Freddy was humorous and funny and enjoying himself. That was the neat thing, the trust. – Shawn

Chicano

You know Doug wanted to be a Chicano. At one time he was calling himself Doug Saldaña. He tried and sung in broken Spanish, like I do in English. He was real creative on this song. When I first did it (recording with Doug in 1973), I said, “Doug! What the heck?” But what a song! It was kind of weird for me at first, but once I got the groove of it, then I liked it, and I said “Yea, you’ve got something there.” – Flaco

A lot of people may not know that Doug introduced Flaco to the rock-n-roll side of the world. Flaco was a traditionalist up to that point, but he will tell you that Doug came in and said, “you know you can bring that into our kind of musi, too, and we can mix everything.” And for Flaco, that was a pivotal thing. That was a “Robert Johnson at the crossroads” moment for Tex-Mex if you ask me. So for this record, I remember saying, “Why don’t we do it again, for Dad, and have Flaco sing it. And everyone really liked it. So, I like to think that in a way we were recording it for Dad, and sending it back –shouting out – to him because he did it with Flaco originally in ’73. – Shawn

Another Shot of Ambition

Freddy cut this on a previous record, but I thought the Tornados could actually tear it up too. I’m really glad we did it because it’s just the band sounding really good. - Shawn

In Heaven There Is No Beer

I was raised near New Braunfels, and I used to tune in to KTNB. I always loved that “oom-pah” sound. There are a lot of German-Polish people there and they brought this music to Texas. This is a German polka with German lyrics but our version is more Tex-Mex. And we managed to make it bilingual in English and Spanish. - Flaco

Llevame

Louie Ortega brought this in. Freddy dug it and suggested we do it. And just like that, I just started building a track. I played the gut-string on there. Ernie has this little lick that goes throughout the song. Dad called it “don-dili-laka.” Dad would always say, “Do the ‘don-dili-laka’ beat, man.” And this song is based on the “don-dili-laka” beat! I tried to make it sound very festive, alive and fun and celebratory. – Shawn

Girl Going Nowhere (Featuring Doug Sahm)

When Dad wrote “Girl Going Nowhere,” I remember him saying “Hey Son, check this out man.” And I’ve always thought that it was a great song. Before Pop passed away he was going through a resurgence of being very prolific, writing a lot and really working on his songwriting and paying attention to detail. When he passed away, I went digging through all his stuff and cataloged all his material, and I was really hoping this song got recorded. And lo and behold I found it. It’s one of those songs that I always thought was one of the last great Dad originals, and people really deserve to hear it. The recording is from a Texas Tornados demo they did in the ‘90s, but it was never released. The coolest thing about it is that it’s the Tornado cats playing on the track, so it makes sense to include it on this record. - Shawn


¡Esta Bueno!
19 April 2010
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