The Gourds – 07/14/2011 – Smiths Old Bar

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I gotta tell ya, there are many forms of “alternative music’. When it comes to “country alternative”, I bet Google comes up with The Gourds. From the opening of the show, there was nothing but an awesome display of too many instruments to count, and definitely no novice players behind them. Formed in Austin, Texas in 1994, it is quite apparent that this band have tightened up to the point of excellence with each other over the years. Kevin Russell’s vocals really define the band, especially when he has the mandolin in his hands. Jimmy Smith really keeps the low end rockin’ as well with very structured and tasty bass lines. I really enjoyed how up-beat the entire show was, but my attention was really caught when they broke into a song called I Want It So Bad that is to be released in September on the album “Old mad joy”. If that song is any indication of the rest of the material on the album, it will definitely be a don’t miss!!

Being a musician myself, I was amazed at how big a sound they got with some of the instruments and amps that they were using. My attention was first turned when I walked in and saw an old Peavey Bandit amplifier. When I was in high school I was always told that was a practice amp, but what a sound out of that thing. Jimmy Smith was playing an old Fender Bassman, which is actually a great amp, but he was playing through a cabinet that looked like it had to be put back together after every show, but it carried the low end through the room perfectly. Needless to say I enjoyed the whole show thoroughly, and if you enjoy a ton of instrumentation along with a ton of talent, check out The Gourds the next time they come around, and check out Old Mad Joy upon it’s release September 13th, 2011.