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Augie Meyer "Augie's Western Head Co." (LP)

Augie Meyer "Augie's Western Head Co." (LP)

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Genre: pop
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Augie's Western Head Music Co.
Company: Polydor
Catalog: 24 4069
Year: 1971
Country/State: San Antonio, Texas
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: --
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 138
Price: $35.00

If you live in Texas you probably know who Augie Meyer (or Augie Meyers) is and there's a good chance you own some of his music in your collection. If you don't live in Texas, chances are that if you recognize his name its in connection with his long standing partnership with the late Doug Sahm and The Sir Douglas Quintet. The latter explains my connection ...

The early 1970s found Augie Meyer having moved back to San Antonio Texas where he formed The Western Head Band which included his wife Carol, Sir Doug Quintet alumni Harvey Kagan and John Perez, and an extended assortment of musical friends. Meyer's successes with Sir Douglas Quintet helped him land a contract with Polydor which resulted in the release of a 1971 album - the self-produced "Augie's The Western Head Band". So, first a word of warning - anyone expecting to hear some Sir Douglas Quintet-styled blues-rock was likely to be disappointed. Instead, Meyers and company offered up a collection of easy-going, slightly stoned, country-ish material that bore more than a passing resemblance to the kind of stuff Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen were recording. Equally disappointing, with a couple of exceptions, notably the brief 'Hen Pecked Polka'', Meyer's patented Vox wasn't spotlighted very often. I'll be honest and admit that more country-oriented material like 'Riding Down the Canyon' and 'Magnolia' didn't do a great deal for me, though I'll readily admit those songs benefited from Meyer's flat, uncomplicated, and occasionally out-of-tune voice. Far more impressive was the lone rocker 'Slow Times Coming' and two of the collection's more commercial performances - 'Blue Mountain Eagle' and the pretty acoustic ballad 'Wild Rain Storm'. An extremely short collection (it didn't even clock in at thirty minutes), Meyer and company didn't sound like they'd put too much effort into the album, though you got the impression they'd had a wonderful time recording the collection.

- Meyer's cover of Dylan's 'Only a Hobo' brought a distinctive Tex-Mex/country flavor to the tune. Showcasing Meyer and his wife of lead vocals, the song had a nice low-tech feel, punctuated by some bright horns and Mayer's Vox solo. A touch too country for my tastes, but still mindless fun. rating: ** stars
- Probably the album's most commercial offering, the Meyer-penned 'Blue Mountain Eagle' was a pretty, laconic country-rock ballad that would have sounded at home on top-40 radio. It would have sounded even better without the chirping female backing singers. rating: *** stars
- A straight-ahead country number, 'Riding Down the Canyon' sounded like something off of a Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen album. Pretty enough, but there wasn't a single rock and roll note here. rating: ** stars
- Well, the kazoo solo was cute, but elsewhere the breezy ballad 'Ogla Mahula' sounded like something Leon Redbone might have recorded. rating: ** stars
- If you could overlook the non-to-subtle title, 'Roll Up Some Inspiration' was actually a pretty little ballad. Built on some simple strumming 12 string guitar, Meyer talked-sang his way through a surprisingly sweet paean to the joys of an illicitly powered, but extremely happy lifestyle. rating: *** stars
- In spire of the fact it was a breezy, country-twang ballad, 'Don't Take Your Love from Me' actually had on of those sneaky hooks that kind of crept into your head and wouldn't leave. rating: *** stars
- Plodding and with some of the lamest lyrics you've ever heard, wish I could say something nice about the bluesy 'Magnolia' ... Well, it was short. rating: * stars
- My pick for the standout performance, 'Slow Times Coming' was an atypical up-tempo rocker with a snarling edge and some first rate lead guitar from B.J. Jones. Shame Meyer didn't include a couple more tunes like this and shame it was such a short track. rating: **** stars
- The haunting acoustic ballad 'Wild Rain Storm' is simply one of the prettiest things Meyer has ever written. Simply gorgeous ... rating: **** stars
- If for no other reason than it showcased Meyer's patented Vox, the two stepping 'Hen Pecked Polka' offered up two minutes of goofy fun. rating: *** stars
- Another track that showcased Augie and wife Carol on lead vocals, 'Society 4-F' closed the album with a country ballad. Pleasant, though the highlight was hearing Meyer's spoken word fade out ... rating: ** stars

The album apparently sold well in Texas where Meyer and the band were a popular club act, but it did nothing on the national charts. With respect to the cover photo, I'll leave it up to your imagination to decide what Meyer's was holding in his left hand ...
"Augie's Western Head Music Co." track listing:
(side 1)1.) Only a Hobo (Bob Dylan) - 3:18
2.) Blue Mountain Eagle (Augie Meyer) - 2:18
3.) Riding Down the Canyon (W.R. Callaway - Carl DeVires) - 2:13
4.) Ogla Mahula (Augie Meyer) - 2:00
5.) Roll Up Some Inspiration (Augie Meyer) - 3:38

(side 2)
1.) Don't Take Your Love from Me (B. Farlow) - 2:30
2.) Magnolia (Augie Meyer) - 2:00
3.) Slow Times Coming (Augie Meyer) - 2:03
4.) Wild Rain Storm (Augie Meyer) - 3:56
5.) Hen Pecked Polka (Augie Meyer) - 3:25
6.) Society 4-F (Augie Meyer - Danny Ezba) - 3:00

For anyone interested, Meyer has a web presence at:
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