A bit late to the party on Son Volt’s newest, around for a week or six, but forgive that tardiness, it’s worth it. First things first, full marks for the title Day of the Doug, a second gen play on words that sounds as if it reflects back on any number of Days. Could be about the Dead, Mexican, as the cover art reflects; could be about the Dead, Grateful, let alone dubious Dog days (or even Dawg days) that might sit in the calendar and greetings card print runs. (I kinda like the idea of Dawg Day, feeling a Dave Grisman tribute day would be cool, but I am digressing.)
Doug is, or was, Doug Sahm, a.k.a. Sir Douglas when he ran his quintet. His life was cut short by a coronary at only 58, and there are few Texas musicians remembered with such love. His career encompassed five decades, from 1955 to the year of his death in 1999. But it wasn’t just about that longevity, it was the styles he absorbed and exuded, seemingly without effort, from the British Invasion type power pop he aped in the 1960s, to the rock and roll ahead of that, and the little bit country, little bit R&B, little bit jazz, little bit blues and a whole heap of Tex-Mex he finished up playing, a veritable pioneer in his gumbo of rootsy Americana.