Doug Sahm might be San Antonio’s pride and joy, but he arguably couldn’t have made as big an impact if it weren’t for his River City partner-in-crime, Augie Meyers. Friends since childhood, the two formed the Sir Douglas Quintet in 1965, with Sahm as the perfect frontman and Meyers lending the group its signature sound. It’s Meyers’ punchy Vox organ that livens up hits like “She’s About A Mover,” a technique he developed after falling in love with conjunto music and picking up the accordion. None other than Bob Dylan was impressed with Meyers’ unique style: “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.” With fans everywhere across the spectrum, the Sir Douglas Quintet and Meyers’ subsequent band the Texas Tornados helped bring Tejano music to the world’s attention.
It certainly captured Joel Guzman’s attention. Growing up in Washington state, Guzman was about as far away from Mexico and South Texas as you can get, but he received a healthy dose of Tejano and conjunto at family parties. He soon learned the accordion and moved to Texas, joining the Grammy-award winning band Little Joe y la Familia before venturing out on his own. With his wife Sarah Fox, Guzman has brought a new-found notoriety to Tejano music, both from fans and musicians alike. The duo’s list of collaborations is stunning: Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Freddy Fender, Los Lobos, Joe Ely, and many more.
Given the pedigrees, it was only a matter of time before Meyers and Guzman linked up. For seven years, Guzman and Fox have put on Squeezebox Mania, an Austin music festival dedicated to all things accordion. This year, Meyers joined in on the festivities, and he also accompanied the Squeezebox Mania band when they stopped by KUTX’s Studio 1A. Meyers, Guzman, and zydeco queen Debra Peters all featured on dueling accordions, displaying the versatility and dynamism of the instrument. They even dusted off a longtime Texas Tornados favorite, “(Hey Baby) Que Paso,” a song guaranteed to stay stuck in your head for the next week or so, thanks to that insistent beat and Meyers’ biting wit. “It’s about my wife running off with my best friend,” Meyers said, before adding with a smirk, “and I miss him.”