Doug Sahm said he wrote this to reflect the Austin club scene in the mid-’70s. In this song-that-tells-a-story-that-goes-nowhere, our “protagonist” walks into a bar and the band that happens to be playing is the one his lover’s husband, the steel guitar player, is in. The song then curiously flashes back to when our lovers first met, and she says she’s in love with a steel guitar playing man. We are only left to imagine the soap opera in which they live. As you would imagine, there is more than enough steel guitar in this, as well as a fiddle solo, and it is possible that Doug Sahm played them, as he was a virtuoso at both.
The melody bears more than a passing resemblance to Patsy Cline’s “Shoes”. It originally appeared on The Texas Tornados’ 1976 release, Texas Rock For Country Rollers, and is featured on the compilations No Depression: What It Sounds Like, Vol. 1, and Doug Sahm’s posthumous release, The Return Of Wayne Douglas.
Fellow Texas Tornado Freddy Fender covered this on his Rancho Grande album. It also appears on The Best Of Freddy Fender – Tell It Like It Is: Best Of Crazy Cajun Recordings and Freddy Fender: Greatest Hits. Other cover versions were done by Cornell Hurd on his 2001 release A Stagecoach Named Desire, Eugene Chadbourne a year later on Texas Sessions, Chapter 2, and as recently as 2006 by the bar band Soconomo.
Doug Sahm & The Texas Tornado recordings
ABC DOA-17656 (45-29235-S)(US 45)