Dylan the sideman: working with Doug Sahm and the band

By Aaron Galbraith; additional thoughts from Tony (sorry Aaron, couldn’t resist)

“Doug had a hit record (“She’s About A Mover”) and I had a hit record (“Like A Rolling Stone”) at the same time (1965). So, we became buddies back then, and we played the same kind of music. We never really broke apart. We always hooked up at certain intervals in our lives.”
–Bob Dylan to Douglas Brinkley, Rolling Stone, May 11, 2009

One such time was in 1972 when Bob joined Sahm for the sessions for his first solo album “Doug Sahm And Band”. He contributed guitar, vocals, harmonica, organ plus a song to the sessions. Eight tracks appeared on the album with Bob’s involvement, a further three tracks from the session appeared on The Sir Douglas Band album “Texas Tornado” the following year. Then in 2005 , five more turned up on “The Genuine Texas Groover” (this is the one to get as it includes the above two albums plus 19 more tracks!).

Dylan’s contributions to “Doug Sahm and Band” are “(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone”, “It’s Gonna Be Easy”, “Poison Love”, “Wallflower”, “Dealer’s Blues”, “Faded Love”, “Blues Stay Away From Me” and “ Me And Paul”.

Here’s “Is anybody going” with Bob on backing vocals…

The three from “Texas Tornado” are “Tennessee Blues”, “Ain’t That Loving You” and “I’ll Be There”.

The five from “The Genuine Texas Groover” are “On The Banks Of The Old Ponchatrain”, “Hey, Good Lookin’”, “Please Mr Sandman”, “Colombus Stockade”, and “The Blues Walked On In”.

Here are just a few more of the best ones from across the three albums. We all know Wallflower so let’s skip that one.

But here’s a cover of Willie Nelson’s Me and Paul with Bob on guitar and harmonica…

And now…

“Tennessee Blues” with Bob on uncredited harmonica

Coming up next is the Hank Williams song “On The Banks Of The Old Ponchatrain”

There are some more great performances with Bob and all are on YouTube if you want to check out “Hey Good Looking” or “Columbus Stockade”.

But I thought I’d save my favourite for last.  With Bob on guitar and vocals, it’s “Blues Stay Away From Me”.

Bob knows the song well, having already performed a run through of the track back in 1965 with Joan Baez at the Savoy Hotel.

Then again in 1987 he broke out the song again (the video says it’s with Tom Petty…but I’m fairly certain it’s Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, although I could be wrong!)

Note from Tony:  Aaron also included Bob Dylan’s cover of Sahm’s biggest hit – which he performed twice, and suggested he’d leave it out of this article so I could use it in my Live Rarities series.   But he’s done the research so it should go into his piece.

Aaron writes: Bob covered Sahm’s biggest hit “She’s About A Mover only twice”…once in 1988 (I think with Sahm on stage)…and again in 2000, following his death in 1999

Now if it is quite a while since you have heard this (and here is Doug singing below) you might feel there is something of a similarity with “Outlaw Blues”.  Or maybe that is just me getting carried away as usual.

And here is the original – this sounds far less like “Outlaw Blues” than Bob’s version, – it was clearly just the way Bob performed it.  And

Ah… the days when 12 bar blues were hits, even when including “hey hey in the lyrics”.

Anyway, both “She’s about a mover” and “Outlaw Blues” were written in 1965. Which came first?  I really don’t know.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the song…

“The song was named the number one ‘Texas’ song by Texas Monthly, also charting at #15 on the UK Singles Chart [which explains why Tony knows it!] With a Vox Continental organ riff provided by Augie Meyers and a soulful vocal by lead singer-guitarist Doug Sahm, the track has a Tex-Mex sound. The regional smash became a breakaway hit, and the recording was used in the soundtracks of the films Echo Park (1986), American Boyfriends (1989), The Doors (1991), Riding in Cars with Boys (2001), Sorority Boys (2002), and Beautiful Darling (2010).

Previously in this series…

Untold Dylan: who we are what we do

Untold Dylan is written by people who want to write for Untold Dylan.  It is simply a forum for those interested in the work of the most famous, influential and recognised popular musician and poet of our era, to read about, listen to and express their thoughts on, his lyrics and music.

We welcome articles, contributions and ideas from all our readers.  Sadly no one gets paid, but if you are published here, your work will be read by a fairly large number of people across the world, ranging from fans to academics.  If you have an idea, or a finished piece send it as a Word file to Tony@schools.co.uk with a note saying that it is for publication on Untold Dylan.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with around 8000 active members. Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link    And because we don’t do political debates on our Facebook group there is a separate group for debating Bob Dylan’s politics – Icicles Hanging Down





  1. Dear Aaron,
    this is a nice track you show us.
    You know Darmstadt/Germany formed two years ago a close “city-union” with San Antone and both cities now have areal good exchange in technical, but also in cultural matters.
    I have a monthly radio show DylanHour on http://www.radiodarmstadt.de and so I even tracked down what could be a relation between Bob Dylan and San Antone and Darmstadt. I had put these key words into Google and these stories you tell us today had popped up and a Concert outtake during Rolling Thunder Revue from the Municipal Auditorium, where Dylan and his “All Ashes”-gang performed “Romance in Durango” on may 11 in 1976.
    Of cause there are plenty more stories to tell. During Corona-Crisis I translated the Louie Kemp-book: Dylan & Me into a German version, and I would like to recommend these stories he´s written down here to the Dylan-community. He knows all about it, and he´s telling only the truth.

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