Monday, February 27, 2012

Song Of The Week: The Sir Douglas Quintet - A Nice Song

Flip-sides On The Flip-Side! Here is the flip-side of a Sir Douglas Quintet single that followed their rock solid 1969 album, Mendocino. The song is A Nice Song. Both in title and in presentation. It was released in 1970 for Phillips Records in the USA. Mercury Records abroad. The title and song are emblematic of how Doug Sahm wrote and recorded songs that were fundamentally sound and free of gimmicks that many of his fellow San Francisco area musicians were employing at the time. In fact, much of Sahm's work at this time was about how he didn't fit in with the Bay Area crowd and his desire to return to San Antonio.

Doug Sahm's gravely voice is at it's best on this New Orleans style soul song. I'm particularly fond of the simple, but effective musical conversation between Augie Meyers' piano and Sahm's guitar at 1:07. The first time I heard the song I was a bit shocked by the blasting Gibson guitar work at the end of the song (a very common tone and approach for the SF bands like Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Moby Grape). I thought it out of character with the simplicity of the rest of the song, but, as with many things in life, I've come to change my mind. The A-Side of this single is quite tasty too, making this a nice gem that can be had on the cheap.

Enjoy and let us know what you think.

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  1. A Nice Song indeed. I agree that the guitar at the end is jarring and out of context, but it's so Doug Sahm. If he happened to feel like ripping out a Quicksilver Messenger Service style lead at the end of a 50s r and b ballad, he did it. And, it's kinda awesome.

  2. Thanks for putting this song. It was also one of many great Doug Sahm tracks on, I guess it was, The Sir Douglas Quintet "1+1+1=4" LP. An eclectic mix of songs and this was one of the many good ones. It's like a model R&B song. Also on this LP was "Be Real" one of Sahm's very best vocals. I sure would like to have this 45 (and the juke box to play it on). Thank you so much.