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Meyers, Augie

August "Augie" Meyers -  keyboards, vocals, accordion, mandolin, guitar 

Born 31 May 1940. San Antonio, Texas

Long term associate of Doug Sahm from as early as 1955 (sic),
most notably in the Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados.
Together they recorded and performed many of Dylan songs between
1965 and Sahm's death in 1999. He has also released many solo
albums since 1971 and collaborated on many other artist's
projects from Gene Vincent (1970) to John Hammond
Jnr.(2001-2005) . (See official website -
http://www.augiemeyers.com/index.php)

Recording sessions with Bob Dylan

"Doug Sahm and Band" - Early October 1972, Atlantic Recording
Studios, New York City (Produced by Jerry Wexler)

"Time Out of Mind" - January 1997, Miami, Florida - Vox organ
combo, Hammond B3 organ, Accordion (all songs)

"Love and Theft" -  May 2001, Sony Music Studios, New York City
- Vox organ, B3 organ, Accordion. (Note - his son, Clay Meyers,
also played bongos & percussion on two album tracks.)

Quote from Bob Dylan (date unknown)

"Augie's my man. He's like an intellectual who goes fishing
using bookworms. Seriously though, he's the shining example of a
musician, Vox player or otherwise, who can break the code. His
playing speaks volumes. Speaks in tongue actually. He can bring
a song, certainly any one of mine, into the real world. I've
loved his playing going all the way back to the Sir Doug days
when he was featured and dominant. What makes him so great is
that internally speaking, he's the master of syncopation and
timing. And this is something that cannot be taught. If you need
someone to get you through the shipping lanes and there's no
detours, Augie will get you right straight through….Augie's your
man."

San Francisco Press Conference, 3 December 1965

A reporter asks, "Are there any young folksingers that you
recommend we hear?" and Dylan replies, "I'm glad you asked
that...Oh yeah, there's the Sir Douglas Quintet. I think they
are probably the best that are going to have a chance to reach
the commercial airwaves. They already have with a couple of
songs."

"She's About a Mover"

A Top 20 hit on 1965 produced by Texas music legend Huey P.
Meaux. The song, featuring the pumping Vox organ of longtime
sidekick Augie Meyers, inspired such later hits as "96 Tears" by
? and the Mysterians and even the new wave sounds of Elvis
Costello and the Attractions.


Rolling Thunder Revue, Municipal Auditorium,San Antonio May 11, 1976 :

"...Highlights included Dylan dedicating 'Maggie's Farm' to
Augie Meyers, Kinky Friedman in full Jewish-cowboy regalia, a
guest appearance by longtime Doug Sahm collaborator Atwood
Allen" (Austin Chronicle)


Grammy Awards speech 1998 (Time Out of Mind - "Album of the Year"))

"We got a particular sound on this record which you don't get
every day. Everybody worked extra-special hard, even the
musicians [laughter].....Augie Meyers from San Antonio...Jim
Dickinson, my brother from Mississippi.........everybody worked
really hard on this and we didn't know what we had when we did
it but we did it anyway." Bob Dylan

Grammy Awards 2002  Dylan wins Grammy for "Best
Contemporary Folk Album" for Love And Theft.

"It owes a great debt to the supporting work of Texans Charlie
Sexton and Augie Meyers; their rootsy fingerprints are all over
it. " (The Year in Albums, Austin Chronicle 2001)


Solo album review 2003 ('Blame It on Love') -

"Anyone who thinks blues appreciation means reverence and
solemnity needs a dose of Blues 101 -- it's the heart of rock &
roll and the soul of country. Ask veteran Augie Meyers, whose
first solo release in years, Blame It on Love (Texas World), is
a potent reminder that Meyers helped define the Texas roots
sound. Every other track is country-flavored, but Meyers'
tenures with Doug Sahm and John Hammond make his blues ("Gypsy
Rider," "Last Night I Cried," "9 Million Pictures," "I Cried a
Tear") compelling." - Margaret Moser, Austin Chronicle

Dylan back in S.A - San Antonio Express-News 2006 by
Hector SaldaĖa

"Bob Dylan is a genius" The early hard-strummed folk songs, and
later his electrically sneered vitriol, rattled the pop world,
forever setting Dylan on equal footing with Leadbelly, Robert
Johnson, Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, Elvis Presley, Chuck
Berry, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. That's not just the
assessment of elite music journalists, filmmakers and fans who
have followed, dissected, been affected by and glorified the
enigmatic, volatile rock icon who plays Municipal Auditorium
tonight with Merle Haggard.

But it's also the opinion of good friend Augie Meyers. San
Antonio's favorite son and king of the Vox Continental has an
open invitation from Dylan. He has often performed and recorded
with him, most recently on acclaimed albums "Time Out of Mind"
and "Love and Theft." He first recorded with Dylan in 1972 in
New York for the "Doug Sahm and Band" album.

Early on, it was Dylan who praised the relatively obscure Sir
Douglas Quintet as one of his favorite bands. "He always said,
'Hey, I really liked what you all did,'" Meyers said.

But their communion is much deeper than a mutual admiration
society: Dylan and Meyers are musicians who connect and respect
each other. Meyers holds Tom Waits in the same high regard.
About Dylan's magic: "He's a great musician, you know. He plays
guitar, but he's a great piano player," Meyers said. (Editor's
note: At a show in Las Vegas last week, Dylan played keyboard
all night.) The Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados legend
added that Dylan is quiet, reserved — "a pleasure to record with
and he knows what he wants."

On a recording session, Dylan will show his musicians a song by
simply playing it on guitar or piano "and then you just take it
from there." He's not a dictator and is open to musical
suggestions, Meyers said. "When we were in the studio one time,
he said, 'If you and Doug were gonna do this song, how would you
do it?'" said Meyers. Dylan likes to cut live. "It's got to have
the groove right there," Meyers said. "He's a genius. To just
sit there and watch him work is fantastic."

Why the friendship? "I guess it's a style and a chemistry. We
can work. When he starts singing and playing, you can just play
right behind him. I was able to do that with Doug (Sahm) and
Doug was able to do that with me. Maybe I'm just one of those
people that can follow."

Dylan's resurgence in recent years — the Grammy-winning "Time
Out of Mind" and "Love and Theft," the critically acclaimed
"Chronicles: Volume One," Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home"
documentary and his quirky movie role in "Masked and Anonymous"
— has come on his own terms. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recently
voted the greatest rock song of all time.

In the beginning, he was an unruly haired boy drawn to
historical characters for inspiration, an unlikely spokesman for
a generation — a tag that he flatly rejected. Dylan explained it
more simply in his book: "What I did to break away was to take
simple folk changes and put new imagery and attitude with them."
That "attitude" turned the kid who wanted to be Little Richard
into something much more powerful, a rock god unlike any other.
Need proof? Find D.A. Pennebaker's definitive 1965 film "Dont
Look Back."

About Scorcese's recent documentary: "Kinda weird," Meyers said!

Other Sir Douglas Quintet sidemen

Larry Campbell - guitarist and violinist with Sir Douglas
Quintet on two of their European tours in 1984 & 1985 - he was
later with Bob Dylan's band as multi-instrumentalist from 1997
to 2004.

Denny Freeman - guitarist on Doug Sahm and Augie Meyer's 
'Last Texas Blues Band' album 1994 and in concerts around this
time - joined Bob Dylan's tour band 2005.

"...Bob Dylan loves Texas. He was good friends with Doug Sahm,
has toured with Willie Nelson several times, and seems to have
employed half the Austin music scene in his band at one time or
another: Charlie Sexton, Denny Freeman, Augie Meyers, Elana
James..." Austin Chronicle Mar 8,  2007

Stewart Grant, Feb. 2008 stew@stewartgrant.freeserve.co.uk


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