Dallas Morning News: An Intoxicating Amalgam

Editor's note: The following review was taken from a more extensive spotlight on Texas artists. Click here to read the rest of that article.

Spotlight on Texas Artists: The Gourds, St. Vincent and Mon Julien
Mario Tarradell /Music Critic
Sept 21, 2011

Organic soulfulness immediately blasts out of the speakers. Old Mad Joy, the 10th studio effort from Austin’s the Gourds, is an intoxicating amalgam of roadhouse R&B, classic rock and roots country-folk. The five-man group has been deservedly compared to legends the Band. But I think the Gourds have become even more soulful. “I Want It So Bad” and “Peppermint City,” to name a couple, are made for unabashed jamming.

The Gourds have come a long way since 1996’s debut Dem’s Good Beeble. Principals such as Kevin Russell, Jimmy Smith and Max Johnston have successfully expanded their sound by strengthening the collaborative binds. Old Mad Joy plays like a complete group project, and it sounds like they all are having a grand time.

While still very much entrenched in the Texas music scene, the group has nevertheless found itself in the midst of national recognition. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Annie Proulx mentioned the Gourds in her 2011 autobiography, Bird Cloud . The group is touring high-profile venues in Los Angeles and New York City and has streaming support from tastemakers AOL Music.

Still, the Gourds belong to us. Catch them Saturday night at the Kessler Theater with opening acts Miles Zuniga from Austin, best known as the Fastball singer-songwriter, and Nashville’s Patrick Sweany.

Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas. $23.75 for general admission, $40.50 for the reserved gallery. www.thekessler.org.

©2011, The Dallas Morning News, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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