Happy Thanksgiving :: Doug Sahm And Friends – Austin, TX 1972


Tradition runs rampant around Thanksgiving: generations of old recipes, football, Alice’s Restaurant, The Last Waltz, and, of course, a parade of balloons shutting down NYC. What else do you need? If you thought you were covered in the Thanksgiving tradition department, we did too…until a few years ago, when someone blew the dust off a long lost tape — Doug Sahm’s Thanksgiving Jam.

Thanksgiving weekend, 1972: the Grateful Dead found themselves in Austin, allowing Garcia and Lesh to rendezvous with an old Bay Area running buddy, Mr. Tex-Mex himself, Doug Sahm, and piano-journeyman Leon Russell, at the famed Armadillo World Headquarters for a musical cornucopia of roots music. No genre was left untouched — blues, bluegrass, R&B, rock & roll, honky tonk and, naturally, Bob Dylan. All played with an ad hoc band, including members of Texas psychedelic pranksters The 13th Floor Elevators and Shiva’s Headband, with a setlist that effortlessly bounces from hellcat versions of Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee” and the Stones’ “Wild Horses”, to a don’t-spill-your-beer “T For Texas”, saddled with stompin-the-nails-out-of-the-floorboard cuts like “Hey Bo Diddley” and “Money Honey”. This is a shitkicker of show, best served turned up, with fistfuls of turkey and pint glass of your favorite sumthin’. | d norsen

Download: Doug Sahm And Friends – Austin, TX 1972 (zipped folder)

November 23, 1972 – Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX

First Set

01 High Heel Sneakers (Tommy Tucker)
02 Wild Side Of Life (Hank Thompson)
03 Swingin’ Doors (Merle Haggard)
04 Me & Bobby McGee (Kris Kristofferson)
05 Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)
06 That’s All Right (Mama) (Arthur Crudup)
07 Come On In My Kitchen (Robert Johnson)
08 T For Texas (Jimmie Rodgers)
09 Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob Dylan)
10 (Is Anybody Goin’ To) San Antone (Charley Pride)
11 Sugarfoot Rag (Hank Garland)
12 I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
13 Jambalaya (Hank Williams)
14 Today I Started Loving You Again (Merle Haggard)
15 Columbus Stockade Blues (Traditional)
16 Honky Tonkin’ > Dear John (Hank Williams]

Second Set

01 Orange Blossom Special (Bill Monroe)
02 Kentucky Waltz [Bill Monroe)
03 Big Boss Man (Jimmy Reed)
04 Searchin’ (The Coasters)
05 Those Lonely Lonely Nights (Earl King) > Shake A Hand (Faye Adams)
06 Hey Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley)
07 It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (Bob Dylan)
08 A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan)
09 Wild Horses (Rolling Stones)
10 Slippin’ Into Christmas (Leon Russell)
11 Money Honey (Drifters/Elvis Presley)
12 Chug-A-Lug (Roger Miller)
13 Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry) > Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard) > Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry)

The Players: Doug Sahm, Leon Russell, Jerry Garcia, Mary Egan, Benny Thurman, Phil Lesh, Jerry Barnett

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16 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving :: Doug Sahm And Friends – Austin, TX 1972

  1. Great stuff – thanks for sharing – I’m a longtime Sahm-head but did not ahve this show in my collection….WOOT!!

  2. Doug was late to the gig. Jerry got asked if he wanted to start without Doug. Jerry said, “Let’s wait until Doug’s here, and we have a full band”.

    I loaned Leon my Strat for the evening and he promptly stuck a cigarette under the strings at the headstock and burnt a memory mark into the guitar.

    I’d been hanging backstage as part of support (“Anybody got a guitar I can use?”) when during a brief lull an AWHQ friend and cohort said, “Why don’t you go up and play your guitar? Everybody else has.” So I did, and as Leon kicked in to “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall” rain began to fall on that old, big metal roof. This was before we’d gotten the underside insulated with spray-on paper foam, and the sound of the rain was the perfect touch to the intro. I tend to play more quietly than most on electric guitar, and when I was called for a solo Jerry turned down to make sure I got across. That’s the kind of jamming buddy he was.

    It was an awesome night early on in what was already becoming a legendary venue. Youngsters lament some oldster’s ongoing affection for certain aspects of Austin’s heritage. Truth be told, they are clueless. Either one was there and can understand, or one was not and probably does not. Another truth is that there is nothing today in Austin’s famous music scene that compares with Armadillo World Headquarters, the venue that put the city on the international live touring map.

  3. Nice share, and I am looking forward to listening to this in its entirety. I really appreciate Hank Alrich’s words, and suspect that he is spot on. If you were not there (and I was NOT) you really cannot know what it was like.

  4. Thanks for sharing What a find of great music with Doug, Jerry and Leon covering some great music. I am playing this Thanksgiving this year.

  5. Thank you for the share Hank. I was lucky to be @ the right place and time in Austin history to experience what you so well put to words. …Thanks

  6. I was there! I managed so get I with a fake ID. I was only 16 at the time. I remember thinking what a freaky looking guy Leon Russell was. The music was awesome!

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