The Gourds News: Last Bottle, Last Time

© Joe Ryan

"We've never been so vain as to have picks made with our name [on them]. We're the opposite of shameless self promoters, whatever that's The Gourds is what it is" -- Kevin Russell, 9-26-10, Columbus, GA

The Gourds soldier on as The Gourds News calls it a career
May 28th, 2012

Three years ago today, as my old friend Joe Ryan and I packed our bags to catch a Gourds show in Charlottesville, VA, I was on the verge of starting a pretty ambitious project with no real concept of how it was even going to work. The Gourds News, which ceases production today, drew its initial influence from a paper publication somebody handed me while I was waiting for another bunch of guys to take the stage at Madison Square Garden in the late 80s. And while TGN tried to advance several different ideas along the way, our main goal never changed: To help Gourds fans maintain a relationship with a band they didn't get to see often enough. 

Since I couldn't go to every show myself, I ended up being almost entirely dependent on the very people I was trying to help. Fortunately, the response was inspiring enough to keep me going for three years, and I want to take this last opportunity to thank everyone who ever sent me a set list, taped a show, took a picture, shot a video, or dug up a live review on-line. I really couldn’t have done it without you. And I want to extend just as big a thank you to the band itself for trusting my judgment as I gave the people what they wanted.

Of course, the people still want. So if you haven’t already done it, please “Like” The Gourds Official facebook page. At some point in the future, I hope to be posting there myself. For the unofficially inclined, I would recommend the wiki page We Are Cucurbs, which looks to pick up right where The Gourds News blog leaves off. Since it's a brand new site, I hope that all of TGN's trusty field reporters can shift their contributions over there and give We Are Cucurbs some much needed momentum. I've already signed on to cover the New York show in August.

Additionally, there’s the original fan-based facebook group The Gourds.....The band, and the more recent fan-based group cucurbitaceae: The Gourds, Austin, Texas, which is actually the facebook version of the old Yahoo! group that began way back in October of 1998.

Finally, even though this blog won’t be updated with any new information, I’m still very interested in adding anything (e.g., set lists, pictures, videos) that you might have from shows that occurred between 5-28-09 and 5-28-12. If you do have something you'd like to share, please send me an email or a facebook message and I’ll be sure to follow up. Okay. That's it. Thanks again for everything and goodnight.


  1. thanks, TGN, for feeding the jones of gourds obsessives everywhere. it's been a hell of a ride and i, for one, am eternally grateful to have had a go-to resource for all things gourds. lord knows you couldn't depend on any of the labels they've had over the years (maybe vanguard will be different; we can hope) and unless you had another obsessive or two in your hometown, it was you and the google machine doing your best trying to figure out what might have happened in gourdsland after the big white van left your town.

    this has been a public service of the highest order for anyone who lives and breathes the music of dem gourds.

    thanks for carrying the torch. and when i finally do meet you in person, the beers are on me.

  2. Thank you, Dthree, for all your diligence, enthusiasm, and good humor! You made being a Gourd fan more fun than ever before!!

    -Rick C.

  3. The long steel rails and short cross ties
    Sing me back home like lullabies
    And as I make my way back home again
    I find no one to let me in

  4. I wouldnt be half the gourds fan i am today without TGN. It was a righteously good effort.

  5. Thank YOU for bringing the gourdsness to Australia each day! Appreciated. Respect.

  6. People, myself included, are too dang lazy to keep such an in-depth account of a favorite band. You have created a very cool document.

  7. uhhh....did you happen to put my check in the mail before signing off??

  8. Thanks for all your hard work and effort.

    Gone but never forgotten.

  9. Awesome work my friend!

  10. Nice blog and nice final post. Though, I was kind of hoping for a dramatic, super-villain ending where you'd tear off the mask hiding your identity and shout, "Yes! 'Twas I the whole time! I stood but mere inches from you at many a Gourds show yet you never knew it was meeee!" Then you'd exit cackling, capering maniacally into the shadows. -v

  11. Just want to say THANKS !!! Hate to see it end but I know it must have been a lot of work. You deserve a Nobel Gourds Peace prize. A standing ovation. Hope we can keep something going, but it will be tough to match your Gold standard. Best of luck in your next venture. And if you are ever in Atlanta for a show - drinks are on me.

  12. Steve,
    Thanks for 'all the labor'. You did a phenominal job befitting the greatest band on earth. Much appreciated.