View Full Version : The Gourds-Heavy Ornamentals

Jan-19-2006, 3:44pm
I think this is their 6th or so record and not a dog in the bunch. If you never heard them, check 'em out. Fresh blend of Mando, accordian, fiddle, dobro, guitar, bass, drums with a real loose feel & a lotta TX, LA influence.

mad dawg
Jan-19-2006, 4:12pm
Thanks for the heads up on their new CD. I saw them at the 2004 (Not) Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and really dug them. I really enjoy their original material, but they also do great covers of Gin 'n Juice and Ziggy Stardust that are a blast.

Don Christy
Jan-19-2006, 4:39pm
I've seen them live about 5-6 times and they are one of my favorite bands. They have two great song writers (Kev and Jimmy), and Max is an incredible musician. Both Max and Kev play mando and guitar. Max also plays some fiddle and steel slide guitar.

Another interesting bit of trivia, Max's sister is Michelle Johnston, better known as Michelle Shocked. Also, Max used to be in Uncle Tupelo.

Check them out if you like fun, alternative country/BG music (difficult genre to describe http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Jan-19-2006, 6:46pm
Great band live and in the studio...never seen a a f-hole on stage with em my 4-5 times seeing them. Their laid back style encourages pickin along with too...their lyrics seem to be a mix between Zappa, Bill Monroe, Waylon and Willie and Ween, then add a healty dose of the R&B sounds of the 70's. Great mix!

I look forward to their every release!

Jan-24-2006, 1:23pm
I'm also a big fan. I was blown away by the tune "El Paso" which was featured on an Oxford American music sampler.
After listening to that tune constantly for about three weeks I went out and bought some of their CD's. Great stuff. If I had to put a label I guess it would be 'alt.country'.

Will order new album now.


Feb-01-2006, 7:52pm
Any of you guys hear this yet? I've had it for a week now and think it's one of their best. It usually takes me awhile before I get to liking a new record but this one caught my ear right out of the gate. Also, it's got a good bit of mando and accordian along with electric and acoustic guitars.

Don Christy
Feb-01-2006, 8:07pm
I ordered and it should be in tomorrow. I've heard some of the songs though when I saw them in Dec in Austin. It was a great show.

Feb-02-2006, 8:05am
Other then their new CD, which other discs of the Gourds would you all recommend.
Another good band/singer-songwriter from TX. who writes very cool songs is James McMurtry. No mando but very good music. check out - It Had To Happen, Live in Aught-Tree, or Walk Between the Raindrops


Feb-02-2006, 9:21am
I got mine last week. Repeated listenings are often necessary to truly understand. I really like the new one.

I'm sure they are all good but here's a few I can vouch for besides the latest.

Bolsa De Agua
http://www.amazon.com/gp....ng=UTF8 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004XSP3/sr=1-8/qid=1138889730/ref=pd_bbs_8/002-0072443-6891202?%5Fencoding=UTF8)

Cow, Fish, Foul or Pig
http://www.amazon.com/gp....ng=UTF8 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IJ4L/sr=1-4/qid=1138889730/ref=pd_bbs_4/002-0072443-6891202?%5Fencoding=UTF8)



Feb-03-2006, 8:02pm
Other then their new CD, which other discs of the Gourds would you all recommend.
#Another good band/singer-songwriter from TX. who writes very cool songs is James McMurtry. No mando but very good music. check out - It Had To Happen, Live in Aught-Tree, or Walk Between the Raindrops

Hey Steve, Sorry I missed the jam. The first 2 that Perry mentioned above are 2 of my favorites. Check 'em out.

Feb-03-2006, 11:05pm
Great to see the Gourds get their due here. Kev and Jimmy are long time pals from Aus-Tex. Met them back in '94 by coincidence after our founding meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American Gourd Society. (Really about gourds.) I dig Kev's mando playing for all its straight ahead enthusiams. Only oval holes for them. Great guys, great band. Played at my wedding. A waltz-o-rama.

The new disc is great, but I am pretty biased

Mick Kennedy

You mean there is another mick at the cafe?

Feb-08-2006, 10:49am
Right after I installed an XM Radio in my truck a few months ago, I heard The Gourds for the first time. They were playing Gin-n-Juice and that really caught my attention. They remind me a lot of Levon Helms and the Band; one of my all time favs.

Xm radio has turned me on to a lot of great music over the last few months. Besides the Gourds, I have became a big fan of James McMurtry also. McMurtry's "Can't Make It Here" hits home for me, as I'm sure it does a lot of folks these days.

Another singer/songwritter that has really caught my attention is Paul Thorn. Its not bluegrass, no mandolin, no fiddle or banjo, but great music. Paul is a very interesting person; former professional boxer (he went head to head-toe to toe with the great Roberto Duran, yeah he lost but he got his shots in) from Mississippi. He has a web-site, please check him out.

Feb-08-2006, 10:19pm

Is the James McMurtry song "Walk Between the Raindrops" a cover of the Donald Fagen (ex-Steely Dan) song? "...A shadow across the blue Miami sky...." I always thought that was a total classic, waiting for the many, many covers to come.


Don Christy
Feb-10-2006, 8:33am
Ok, I've listened to the new one and it is really great. Some really good songs. I've got to give it a break for a while as my wife is getting sick of it.

As for other favorites, the previously mentioned are favorites. I also really liked the last one "Blood of the Ram." The title track is a well written homage to the Bakersfield country sound. I also LOVE the song "Escalade," which sounds to me like some of the great R&B from Al Green. The words to Escalade are also intriguing. I personally think it's about global energy issues, but you never know with these guys. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Hey Mick, can you talk Kev and Jimmy into bringing the boys to St. Louis? I've seen the gourds a number of times (mostly in Austin and NYC), but would really love to see them in St. Louis.


Feb-10-2006, 10:08pm

What little pull I have....Anyhow, these guys are as sweet (and smart) as you can imagine. "Escalade"? You KNOW where that comes from. Kev seeing a bumper sticker asking "What Would Jesus Drive?" "....meanwhile, I ride on an ###...." Pretty ballsy coming out of Texas.
Word in Austin is that the Sweaty Bowl is coming down. Along with the Armadillo World Headquarters, Liberty Lunch the Electric Lounge, all the great sites get plowed under. New ones keep coming up, I hope. Jovitas (pronounced Joe-veetas) in South Austin is where I see the boys most often now. South Austin trying to carry the torch of what the city once was. It was Electric Bubbaland when I first came to town, but now in the face of 15+ years of high tech, well, it is good to know that "Ants on the Melon" and "Flamenco Cabaret" can both still come out of this town.

I've been to St. Louis a couple times and have liked the town a lot. A new baseball stadium coming, right?


Don Christy
Feb-11-2006, 9:54am
Thanks Mick - if they are looking for St. Louis venues, I would recommend either the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill or Off Broadway. The latter is a little better for music IMO, but you get less casual walkin traffic than you would at the Duck Room.

We try to get down to Austin 2-3 times a year. We've only seen Scott Biram at Jovita's (good show). We've seen the Gourds in Austin at Shady Grove outside, at Stubbs, and down in San Marcos at Cheatham Street. The latter was a trip for our wedding anniversary. This was an awesome show and we got the recordings (I think from Ducktaper). The show was just before Blood of the Ram I think, so we were hearing some of those songs for the first time.

We've also caught them in NYC at the Knitting Factory with Split Lip Rayfield before Wayne (mando) stopped touring with them. That was a really high energy show for both.

Probably the weirdest show was in St. Louis! They played a free show at a local Harrah's casino. I understand they made good money, but the venue is funky, with the band about 15 feet up above and behind the bar and regulars of the casino line-dancing down front. Kev still really kicked it though and I think all had fun.

And yeah we're getting a new baseball stadium. I usually see about 10 games a season and I'm looking forward to the new digs.


mad dawg
Feb-11-2006, 11:01am
Heavy Ornamentals is now also at emusic.com (http://emusic.com). The samples sound great, and I've added to the top of my download list there.

Don Christy
Feb-12-2006, 9:13am
Kev also has a number of songs available for single purchase/download at: Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/kev_russell)

A couple of the names:
- Country DJ
- Big Country Booty
Here's Kev's description of this one:
Salty chunker for the erotic roots rawk set. This is a joke, so laugh. Well tung n cheek anyway....

Hey, I'm surprised "booty" doesn't get modded to "#####" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Feb-15-2006, 12:24pm
Folks, you can catch an archived webcast of The Gourds on Woodsongs Old Time Radio, that is if you can endure listening to Michael Johnathon open the show with his singing. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Please don't hold it against me. The Gourds are worth the wait, though. Be sure to catch their encore after the regular show ends . . . just keep watching.

Woodsongs (http://www.woodsongs.com/showlist.asp)

Click on the video icon for show #352.

Enjoy! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Feb-15-2006, 9:44pm
Thanks Mandopoet. Is that Max hovering around in the back while the opening act is going on?