Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Sir Douglas Quintet: The Return of Doug Saldana [Philips, 1971]
What makes Doug so moving is the diffidence with which he reflects on his "mellow" (and not so mellow, unless you think drought and rail monopolies are just part of the American karma) counterculture experiences; his bohemian sketches aren't any artier than "She's About a Mover." On this album the relaxed but sloppy groove of Together After Five meets the attempted musicianship of 1 + 1 + 1 = 4 as Doug rejoins his "Chicago brothers" from hometown San Antonio. The result is a blues-based synthesis that's good for a lot of relatively distinctive songs, including "Stoned Faces Don't Lie," his most memorable since "Mendocino." A-