“We’re just movin’ and groovin’! Things have been bustin’
lately, ya know? We’ve got a full plate of tacos, man!”
Does that sound familiar? If it does, you’re probably a
Doug-head. If it doesn’t, prepare to party in pure Texas style.
Shawn Sahm is here with the Tex Mex Experience and life will
never be the same. Sahm has gathered four musicians whose
experience and backgrounds complement his own for a fiesta
not soon forgotten.
From the moment he sat on the knee of his father Doug Sahm
on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1968, there was never a question
as to what Shawn’s path in life would be: it’s always been on the
road. And after his father passed away in 1999, Shawn wasn’t about
to slow down. Having spent the better part of the last six years
overseeing the estate and various projects, he returned to his first
musical love: the amalgam of rock & roll and across-the-border
rhythms that define the Tex-Mex sound.
“The idea was to take the influences, the sound, the real stuff, what’s
in your heart and in your soul,” Shawn enthuses. “That music is a
part of me. What makes the band unique is that we are doing music
for the love of it. It’s not the ‘in’ thing or the popular thing, it’s
something I’ll be doing one way or another for the rest of my life.
Even when I was young playing in rock bands, I was always
playing with Dad and writing songs.”
Shawn Sahm also learned how to put together the right musicians
for the right sound and when it came time to lay down the bottom
of the band, he drafted George Rains as drummer. Rains first
recorded with the elder Sahm on *Honky Blues* in 1967 and went
on to play with an array of musicians including Boz Scaggs,
Chuck Berry, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Van Morrison,
Big Mama Thorton, Junior Wells, and Lowell Fulsom. “George,”
declares Shawn without hesitation “is the Jedi groovemaster of drums.”
No surprise that Neal Walker would pick up the bass slot in the Tex Mex
Experience. Walker played with Shawn in his teenage metal band
Prezence and impressed all enough to join Doug on a variety of
albums and tours. “Dad loved his harmony. Neal has this killer high harmony
Dad said was like a young Atwood Allen.” High praise indeed!
Accordionist and vocalist Mike Guerra played in the Texamaniacs.And is currently joining Shawn in the reuniting of The Texas Tornados where Michael will be playing Bajo. Guerra, an import from Los Angeles
also recently recorded with Los Lonely Boys and brings his bajo and keyboards
to the Tex Mex Experience. “He’s got the makings of the next Flaco,” Shawn
praises his bandmate. “He’s our MVP.”
And speaking of Flaco, Nunie Rubio regularly sings with the noted accordionist.
Rubio’s distinctive vocals are one of the Tex Mex
Experience’s hallmarks. “I really like to use the voices in a more
traditional way, with three- and four-part harmonies,” explains Shawn.
“It was interesting to find someone in my age group that understood this kind
of music. Ya got to understand the music and Nunie understands.”
The mix music of the Tex Mex Experience is fresh and refreshing.
“I wear my influences on my sleeve and make no bones about it,”
Shawn acknowledges the Texas Tornados as influence, “but that
doesn’t do justice to the musicians in this band.”
“For the music, we used Tex-Mex rock & roll, country, a little Cajun vibe. Polkas.
I called it the Tex-Mex Experience was because the food and the lifestyle is very
eclectic. It’s not one thing, it’s a little of this and a little
of that. Hippies and rednecks and Mexican food, all mixed together!
Having a good time on the dancefloor in a musical groove.”
So what’s in the near future for the Tex Mex Experience?
“We’ve been showcasing, and out on tour with Los Lonely Boys,”
Shawn Sahm recounts the band’s initial forays. “I want to make a memorable
Tex-Mex record, one as good for a few beers and as to
dance to. And make it under the moonlight!”