Saturday, January 23, 2021

Day 23: At The Crossroads


This is the kind of song you hope will follow you down the road as you fade into the distance. Yesterday I listened to it on a walk through the Kansas countryside at just about sunset and almost instantly went from feeling cold and outright depressed to warm and comfortably gloomy. Doug Sahm is a true Texas tornado, a country and rhythm & blues pioneer who, in the fashion of fellow statesman Willie Nelson and Roky Erikson, got tangled up in Texas' draconian laws against cannabis (arrested by a young Joe Arpaio, no less). While he's nowhere near as famous as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sir Douglas may yet be getting his due. When I went to Austin for my sister-in-law's wedding in 2012, and the girls were all posing for pictures in the park, I took a walk with my then-infant daughter and saw a sign that I was at Doug Sahm Hill. At the peak of a spiral walkway was a colorful plaque featuring a picture of Sahm, a short bio, and his most famous lyrics: You just can't live in Texas, if you don't got a lot of soul.

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