"Mendocino" by Sir Douglas Quintet

Bay Area Tex Mex? Flown in from San Antonio, inspired by the North Coast, and recorded in San Francisco, this rock & roller from 1969 should be more well-known.

Sir Douglas Quintet
Mendocino (1969)
Smash Records / Mercury Records

Did you know Creedence Clearwater Revival was from El Cerrito? Just as confusing is finding out that this band was from San Antonio, Texas. Because if CCR sounds like rock & roll shipped straight from the south, Sir Douglas Quintet is awash with the peace and psychedelia of the Bay Area.

But anyone who’s visited Mendocino can’t really be surprised. The sea changes you.

Recorded at Columbus Recorders—the former North Beach studio where popular folk revival group The Kingston Trio recorded most of their albums—Mendocino is a half hour of groovy, sun-soaked, organ- and guitar-driven meditations on life and love. Led by band founder Doug Sahm, the band seamlessly blends their Tex-Mex and country rock stylings to fit right in with the rest of the great music coming out of the San Francisco in the late 60s.

On The Complete Mercury Masters (2005), you can also hear “Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day,” showing more of the Bay’s influence on Sahm.