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Hot wind still blows up the Rio Grande

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Freddy Fender and Doug Sahm have passed on, but the Texas Tornados live on.

When Sahm died, the Tex-Mex band dissolved. Now thanks to Sahm’s son, Shawn Sahm, the Grammy-winning Texas Tornados regrouped in 2009 and have been on the road ever since.

“I wasn’t crazy about the idea of replacing my dad or Freddy Fender, but when we came up with the idea of making it a celebration and it would be all about them, well, I loved that,” Shawn Sahm said in a phone interview from Northern California.

“We’re doing this the right way.”

The re-energized Texas Tornados still have two of the original players – Flaco Jimenez on accordion and Augie Meyers on keyboards.

The Texas Tornados
WHEN: 7 tonight
WHERE: Rio Grande Zoo, 903 10th SW
HOW MUCH: $10 at the door

The band will be in concert tonight at the Rio Grande Zoo.

Sahm, a guitarist and vocalist, said the present band restarted with the idea of doing some concerts to pay tribute to his father, who was known as one of the most important figures in Tex-Mex music. He was the leader of the 1960s rock band the Sir Douglas Quintet.

Shawn Sahm said the re-formed ensemble has been so well received that it has continue to perform.

“We’re still celebrating,” he said. “Like everything in the music business we didn’t count on the fact that after four years it would be bigger than it ever was. It takes time to get the word out and some people are just finding out that we’re together again.”

During the course of a concert, the band usually performs Fender’s two outsized hits, “Until the Next Teardrop Falls” and “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights,” and Doug Sahm’s “She’s About a Mover.”

It also has been playing some of the cuts from the recent album, titled “Está Bueno,” which the Texas Tornados had recorded with Fender.

“It was Freddy Fender’s last original songs. He passed away before we could do the tour with him,” Sahm said.

Fender died in 2006.

The backup musicians in the band are Speedy Sparks on bass guitar, Ernie Durawa on drums, Louie Ortega on guitar, Louie Mendez on bajo sexto, Neal Walker on acoustic guitar and backup vocals and Nunie Rubio on backup vocals.

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