14 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Austin, Texas’ the Gourds are tough to categorize. Yes, they fit into the broad genre of Americana, but they are so averse to clichés, lyrically as well as musically, that nearly everything they do sounds fresh. In the past they’ve turned out comically ingenious covers of artists from David Bowie to Snoop Dogg, to give you some idea of their left-field leanings, and they continue that approach on Haymaker! with a song about fossils, a reference to Apollo Creed on “Tex - Mex Mile,” and this hilarious lyric from “Blanket Show”: “Freud was smiling/so was Jung/my heart was heavy/but my Fu was Kung.” A well-oiled musical machine, the Gourds rock hard, write ballads with emotional bite, and can turn out hard-stomping, fiddle-driven rave-ups that never come across as stale country-by-the-numbers. Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith share lead vocals and songwriting duties, and each has their own distinct singing style, which gives the album an added depth. After more than a decade of consistently solid music the Gourds continue to surprise and satisfy.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Austin, Texas’ the Gourds are tough to categorize. Yes, they fit into the broad genre of Americana, but they are so averse to clichés, lyrically as well as musically, that nearly everything they do sounds fresh. In the past they’ve turned out comically ingenious covers of artists from David Bowie to Snoop Dogg, to give you some idea of their left-field leanings, and they continue that approach on Haymaker! with a song about fossils, a reference to Apollo Creed on “Tex - Mex Mile,” and this hilarious lyric from “Blanket Show”: “Freud was smiling/so was Jung/my heart was heavy/but my Fu was Kung.” A well-oiled musical machine, the Gourds rock hard, write ballads with emotional bite, and can turn out hard-stomping, fiddle-driven rave-ups that never come across as stale country-by-the-numbers. Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith share lead vocals and songwriting duties, and each has their own distinct singing style, which gives the album an added depth. After more than a decade of consistently solid music the Gourds continue to surprise and satisfy.

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