After 19 years together, The Gourds recently made the decision that they will be taking a hiatus. While it is unclear how long the break will last, you can expect band members to continue recording & performing with their various side projects during this time.
The Gourds end their year with a show October 27th at Threadgill’s World Headquarters in Austin, TX. Tickets to that event can be purchased here: http://www.threadgills.com/events/gourds/.
During the break fans have a number of ways to get their Gourd fix. The recently released documentary “All the Labor” is chock full of live footage with lots of bonus scenes, interviews and Gourd wit and will be showing at theaters throughout the country. More information, including a list of dates and theaters, can be found here and on the High Plains Film website.
“All the Labor” will also be available for purchase November 19th on DVD and can be pre-ordered on this website . Watch for an “All The Labor” sound track and other live releases coming out as soon as the spring of 2014.
And about those various side projects….more information here on Shinyribs http://www.shinyribs.org/ and on The Hard Pans http://thehardpans.com/. Max Johnston has a solo project in the works with producer Eric Jarvis, watch for updates on The Gourds website and Facebook page and on his new website published soon.
for an up to date list of current screenings click here
December 12, 2013 – Fort Lewis College/Durango, Colorado
November 16, 2013 – Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival/Portland, Oregon
November 13, 2013 – Brooklyn Heights Cinema/Brooklyn, New York
November 8, 2013 – Houston Cinema Arts Festival/Houston, Texas
October 19, 2013 – Flatland Film Festival/Lubbock, Texas
October 11, 2013 - Dallas Videofest
October 2, 2013 – Local Sightings Film Festival/Seattle, Washington
September 4, 2013 Motorco Music Hall/Durham, North Carolina
August 25, 2013 Top Hat Lounge/Missoula, Montana
August 14, 2013 Dan’s Silverleaf / Denton, Tx
July 24, 2013 Hollywood Theater/Portland, Oregon
April 26, 2013 @ 8 p.m. – Wilma Theater/Missoula, Montana
March 16, 2013 SXSW/4:30 p.m. @ Alamo Ritz
March 14, 2013 4:15PM SXSW – SXSatellite: Alamo Village
March 13, 2013 7:00 pm – SXSW/Austin, Texas – Topfer Theatre
For well over a decade, the Gourds have made a career out of confounding expectations. Their backwoods appearance and down-and-dirty roots grooves suggest just another redneck party band, but beer-drinking and hell-raising don’t begin to cover all they do. Fronted by oil-and-vinegar singer-songwriters Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith, the band churns out songs of surprising variety, some hyperliterate, others maddeningly obtuse, and, yes, a few that qualify as beer-drinkers and hell-raisers.
Hello, MD! It’s Keith Langford here from the Gourds in Austin, Texas. I’m writing to tell about my recent experience recording at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, a.k.a. the Barn.
The Gourds have been churning through the Americana music world since the early ’90s, with ten records under our belt. It’s impossible to play in our genre and not have great appreciation for the Band and of course Levon Helm’s drumming and singing. We were extremely fortunate to have been able to record at Levon’s studio and to have his guitarist Larry Campbell as our producer.
Songwriters Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith of Austin band the Gourds weren’t on the same page when they started talking about recording a new album.
Russell wanted to leave Texas — and all the distractions of everyday life — and work with an outside producer.
“I felt we kept making the same record,” Russell says of the band’s self-produced efforts. “It wasn’t a bad record, the songs were good, it was just starting to feel a little old to me.”
His solution: Leave Austin for the frosty confines of Woodstock, N.Y., where they could record in former Band drummer Levon Helm’s studio with musician and producer Larry Campbell, who made his mark with Bob Dylan during his “Love and Theft” period.
“When we make a record here, we make the record in between our lives, it’s hard to really focus on it,” Russell says.
Life was exactly what was happening with Smith, however. His wife was pregnant and he wasn’t crazy about leaving town. “I just didn’t feel the urgency to leave my wife in Texas when we could have used any studio in Austin and I could have stayed at home,” Smith says.
“This is the biggest night of our career,” Gourds accordionist/keyboardist Claude Bernard joked early on during the alt-country band’s album release party at Los Angeles’ Echo on Sept. 13. But the ear-to-ear smiles on concertgoers’ faces at the 350-capacity venue proved that it was an evening to remember. The Austin-based group was in high spirits forthe release of its Vanguard Records debut, “Old Mad Joy,” which was produced by Larry Campbell at Levon Helm Studios (aka The Barn) in Woodstock, N.Y. Cans of Tecate and peanuts (and a faint hint of the Ganja) flowed aplenty backstage before the show, where members of the Gourds, their manager, Joe Priesnitz, a documentary film crew, and a slew of Vanguard execs celebrated the band’s new relationship with the label.
It seems somewhat surprising, but even at this point in their trajectory, with so many fine albums behind them, the Gourds remain relatively unknown. A sturdy roots rock combo, they have a lot of elements in their favor – a steady sense of song craft, an able instrumental arsenal and, perhaps most importantly, a willingness to persevere despite any real lack of appreciation. Old Mad Joy, an album which finds them switching labels yet again, brings encouragement that the lack of awareness may be tempered somewhat, given its resolute performances, and what will hopefully become a real record company commitment.