9-04-09 Austin, TX

© Scott Chenoweth

Photos: by Scott Chenoweth / by Tomski

The Gourds
Threadgill’s World Headquarters
301 West Riverside Drive
Austin, TX

01. Plaid Coat
02. Ants on the Melon
03. Burn the Honeysuckle
04. Tighter
05. Country Love
06. Hooky Junk *
07. Fine Leather Truck
08. Illegal Oyster
09. County Orange
10. Dooley (trad.)
11. Luddite Juice
12. "Stab"
13. Magnolia > Magnolia reprise
14. Max Restring jam ** > Boil My Strings ***
15. Bottle & a Dime
16. Pair of Goats
17. Blanket Show
18. Blankets
19. I Come Up >
20. All the Labor
21. Tex-Mex Mile ****
22. Goodbye San Francisco, Hello Amsterdam (Doug Sahm)
23. Steeple Full of Swallows
24. Bean Bowl
25. Take Me Back to Tulsa (Bob Wills/Tommy Duncan)
26. Mister Betty

*Original set list had Gangsta Lean in this spot
**Kevin broke two mandolin strings on Magnolia, and Max offered to change them (K. Russell, personal communication, September 5, 2009). With Max off-stage, Claude thought he heard Jimmy beginning to play Dirty Water on his bass, and began to play along on his piano. Jimmy was not playing Dirty Water, however, and so Claude found himself caught in the middle of an improvisational blues number (C. Bernard, personal communication, September 5, 2009)
***Noticing that the aforementioned improvisation was in the key of A, and having had Boil My Strings on his mind recently, Kev began to play a bluesy rendition of it on his electric guitar (K. Russell, personal communication, September 5, 2009). This song was not on the original set list
****Original set list had All the Way to Jericho in this spot, but it was skipped

© Tomski

Special thanks to Tomski, Scott Chenoweth, and the team of G. Nelson & K. Hallowell for the field reports. If anyone has audio/video/photos from this show, please email TheGourdsNews.


  1. So fresh it's steaming. Well done TGN. And well done field crew, documenting what was played vs. set list.

    about that Boiled my Strings. Has that been done before like that? "bluesy" is a start, but it was just downtown low down mean jazzy and nasty. Not only have I never heard it like that, I didn't know what the hell song it was till bout halfway through.

    Show dedicated from stage to Mr. and Mrs. Ducktaper and new arrival. Congrats!

    Smattering of rain brought brief, sweet relief to parched Austin.

    Main question. Did anyone record? Mark? If not, this may be a black hole show. Fitting, because it was so close to perfect, no one would believe it even if they heard it. It really was that good. Max, cheers, sterling, my brotha. KR ate a mandolin for supper.


  2. That Boil my Strings was so cool.

    if I remember right, it started when a mandolin string broke and Max went to back of the stage to fix it. Claude started jamming with some weird/cool chords.vDon't know how to describe it. Avant garde jazz? i think one by one the rest of the guys joined in, just killing time. Not really a song but a groove. after a few minutes of that, Kev steered them into this bluesy progression, and it seemed to flow naturally into a song that i recognized but couldn't put my name on it. i think the rest of the band caught on quickly (maybe they've done it before?), but it wasn't until Kevin sang the opening line that i realized it was Boil My Strings. A vastly different arrangement. Seemed spur of the moment to me, but I suppose they could have played it that way before. Great to see them playing around like that, and hearing a new take on an old favorite.

    Standout song of the night for me was Bottle And A Dime. A whole lotta energy on that one, with the instrumental break at the end building up to a thrilling crescendo. Very much a (sorry Gourd boys) Dead-like moment to me. Jimmy and Kev shared a man-hug afterward.

    Crowd a bit smaller than we're used to at Threadgills, but no less enthusiastic. Maybe the chance of rain scared some folks off. But it was one of the cooler nights we've had in the past, oh, 100 days or so, so the atmosphere was perfect. And the crowd was very into it. Judging from the beaming smiles on the stage at the end, it seemed like everyone had a great time.

    Special props to Max for playing Tighter. For my money it's one of his best songs, and just doesn't seem to get played live much. Maybe it's a lot of words to remember, or it's just tricky to play. Nice Jimmy harmonies, too. It sounded great, even with sound problems on his guitar. I hope it becomes the new Red Letter Day (meaning play it a lot!)


  3. thanks for the reviews. for me, it really brings a set list to life. anyway, about the "bluesy" boil my strings (and all the other current asterisk notes, for that matter)...I haven't talked to the soundman yet or the one other guy I usually check in with when I need to clarify something, but I'll do that (and make changes, if needed) later today.

    and about the seemingly impromptu tune that led into boil my strings...I've seen claude bust out some jazz without warning before (e.g., monk's "body and soul"), but I'm not sure if he's ever done anything like that during a gourds show. will check into it and make fixes, as well.