Musical influences go round and round and finally come home. New wave acts like Elvis Costello and Joe "King" Carrasco have parlayed the primitive beat, pumping organ and Tex-Mex feel of the 1965 Sir Douglas Quintet into the most exciting rock 'n' roll of recent yeras. The success of Costello and Carrasco, in turn, has convinced Doug Sham to reform the original Sir Douglas Quintet and return to that classic Texan rock 'n' roll sound. Last night at the Psychedelly, Sahm's quintet showed how deep and authentic that sound can be with some real history behind it.
Actually, only three of the original quintet were in Bethesda: Sahm, Johnny Perez and Augie Meyers. It was Meyers who translated the Mexican accordion into the bleating Farfisa organ in 1965 and gave Texas rock its signature sound. Last night Meyers played squawking accordion on some old Mexican songs and swelling organ on old texan rock hits like "96 Tears," "Wooly Bully" and the Sir Douglas Quintet's "She's About a Mover."
Even Sahm's newer songs had the same sloppy party spirit as his earliest hits. Sahm was smart enough to strip all the sophistication off his music and go back to the elemental sound he pioneered. When he flung his arms out like a bird and screamed into the mike, he convinced the crowd there was no moment more important than right now.