Short Takes: The Gourds, John Martyn And More

Editor's note: The following paragraph was taken from a review by Hal Horowitz of several soon-to-be released albums. Click here to read the rest of that article.

The Gourds
Old Mad Joy
Rating: ★★

Being the best–and arguably funniest–bar band in America on any given night doesn’t buy much traction; just ask NRBQ. But Austin’s rootsy Gourds trudge on undeterred, releasing about an album yearly since 1997 and keeping the flame alive on the endless highway. Ex-Dylan sideman and Levon Helm music director Larry Campbell brings the quintet to Helm’s Woodstock studio and handles production duties for the quintet’s Vanguard debut. Even though there is more attention to sonic details, it’s disappointing that the slyly humorous lyrics (thankfully included in the booklet for closer inspection) aren’t hung on more memorable melodies and distinctive playing or singing. Still, the tunes might come alive when they hit a tavern near you.



  1. I, for one, am pleased with this review. This critic is finally saying the things I have been aching to tell to The Gourds for years :
    1) Jimmy and Kevin need to sing more DISTINCTIVELY. I have been hoping someone would bring up their ordinary, garden variety, run of the mill singing. Thank GOD.
    2) Also, the PLAYING. It is painful to watch the gourds struggle with their instruments. Please work on it, guys.
    3) It's about time someone pointed out their forgettable melodies. I can't tell
    you how many times I think to myself," If they only had a catchy song, I could
    hum it all day..." but noooooo.
    4) I get the feeling that the critic is also on my side about their insistence to
    make records and tour for all these years. We have been in danger of having
    a good time at a gourds show since 1997. It's vulgar. Hang it up, already.

    At least the sound engineer paid attention to the sound details. And we can read the lyrics off a little book. That's a relief.
    Kudos to for speaking the mind of the people, no matter how difficult it is for the gourds to hear. Thank you.

  2. HAHA, Who listens to a band they hate?? THIS GUY!!!!!

    It's kinda like all those people who hated Howard Stern that couldn't stop listening to him.... Maybe the Gourds are headed for Sirius radio.

    Thanks for all the great music you make gourds!!

  3. I for one enjoy The gourds and their music.

    I also am looking forward to hearing all of the new album.

    The Gourd aren't every ones' cup of meat, but then I suspect they care more about pleasing their fans and themselves than appealing to the masses.

    Maybe the first poster will enjoy the new Jack White produced ICP single instead.

  4. I'm pretty sure the first poster was being totally sarcastic. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

  5. Then I apologize. :)