Picks and Pans Review: Juke Box Music

updated 04/17/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/17/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Doug Sahm

Sahm has been knocking around the music scene for a quarter of a century. His biggest hit, "Mendocino," came in 1969 with the Sir Douglas Quintet. A Texan, he affected that noble prefix to cash in on all the musical Anglophilia that was floating around—along with all the marijuana smoke—at that time. This has been a relatively quiet decade for the singer (he spent part of it in Scandinavia and part in Canada), but he returns to the limelight looking like a dissipated David Carradine and sounding great. Juke Box Music, which he classifies as "a Chicano R&B record," is one of the best of his career. Take a guitar, drums, bass, a piano and a pile of horns, give them to a bunch of guys who know exactly what to do with them, shake well, and you get this truly spicy concoction. There's the soulful blues of "Money Over Love" and the Tex-Mex pop of "Crazy Baby." That's just the beginning. There's the greasy honky-tonk frolic "I've Got Eyes for You" and a whole passel of authentic '50s-sounding tunes—"You're Mine Tonight," "What's Your Name" and "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz." Sahm's voice doesn't cover a whole lot of ground, but it sure takes care of business in this album of good-time, sawdust-on-the-floor, Friday-night dance music. Put another silver dollar in this Juke Box. (Antone's)

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