Thursday, September 23, 2010

Augie Meyers "Country"

(El Sendero Records) Like the title sez, Bub. The King of the hair-singin' Vox Continental organ returns with a down to earth Country sound that never strays too far from the Tex-Mex sounds he put out with The Sir Douglas Quintet and The Texas Tornados (who've Recently reformed, with Doug Sahm's son, Shawn, and Conjunto legend, Flaco Jiminez sharing center stage with Augie). "Sometimes,” the opening appetizer (you get red sauce AND green sauce with that) contains enough Stonesy Country guitar licks, plus a classic SDQ-style keyboard solo. "Hey Sarita" is one of those simple joys of romance numbers Meyers has always excelled at (not unlike "Bailando" by The Texas Tornados). Come on, you've got to love a song about pitchin' woo and burritos, too! With cheese! "There's a Good Chance For Romance" follows a similar path, but from a single guy's point of view. The Happy Go Lucky protagonist puts having a good time first. If he doesn’t hook up tonight, tomorrow's another night. "The Pain of Her Leaving," and "I Cried My Last Cry" draw from the late 60s Country Rock sounds that you'd better believe Augie and Doug Sahm had a hand in creating, but geared toward the present day, even Light Beer gets a tear in it, now and then.  BUT, there ain't no giant beer signs with pictures of Toby Keith or Liann Rhimes in Augie's Old School Honky Tonk World (actually, could you go out to the car and get some tools so we can pry that Liann Rhimes display from the wall?)...Just a hole in the wall with sawdust on the hardwood floor, where the beautiful strains of a fiddle and a steel guitar are locked in a soul-shake with Augie's Countrified Piano and rockin' keyboard sound. It seems almost effortless. Brother, it ain't, but, that's the beauty of it. Meyers has made unpretentious, uncluttered music his stock in trade for nearly 50 years (or has he already passed that mark?). Other guys (or gals) can solo til their fingers turn to nubs, or TRY to make an ass out of George Jones,singing, BUT there's something they need to realize they're not. They ain't down home. Meyers' delivery is far more user-friendly. It helps if you're already a pretty good sized fan of Traditional Country but, this collection should appeal to anyone who can get their mind around some good-natured, good timin' toons. Augie is a national treasure in whatever he does. "Country" is just another color in the musical palette. The green is the best, I think, but, try the red, too. 

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