Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm, Gene Taylor Band - The Return Of The Formerly Brothers (1989)

The Return of The Formerly Brothers is the only CD ever recorded by Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm, and Gene Taylor together as a trio. The title of the CD is derived from the fact that all three were formerly in other bands. Canadian Garrett is best known for playing with folk legends Ian & Sylvia and with Maria Muldaur on "Midnight At The Oasis." He also worked with Jesse Winchester, Emmylou Harris, Paul Butterfield, and Stevie Wonder. Taylor played with The Blasters, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Canned Heat, and Rick Nelson. They teamed up with Sahm who is probably the best known of the three. He was the leader of the Sir Douglas Quintet in the Sixties.

Garrett, Sahm, and Taylor first got together for a gig at the Edmonton Folk Festival in 1986 that was so well received they followed it with a tour of Canada. The tour then led to The Return of The Formerly Brothers recorded in 1988 and released in America the following year.

The album is an eclectic and hardy stew full of rock's influences: blues, zydeco, country, and more. All three take turns singing. On "Big Mamou" Sahm duets with Queen Ida, the first female accordionist to front her own zydeco band. He also stars on an effective cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman." Garrett's very deep baritone perfectly fits the moods of "Smack Dab In The Middle" and "Amarillo Highway." Taylor is a terrific boogie-woogie piano player who shows off on two original piano tunes.

It's a real shame the trio never collaborated on a followup. It would have been interesting to see what else they could have produced.

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