With a sound that preceded what is now called "Americana," the Austin, Texas, country-rock band The Gourds recently performed for the first time on Mountain Stage. The band melds elements of southwestern country, Cajun dance, Appalachian fiddle and West Coast guitar with a collective love for surrealist art and literature.
The Gourds' members have released 12 diverse records since 1997, the latest of which is titled Haymaker!. The band approached cult status when its bluegrass take on Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" became a hit on college campuses, but its output runs much deeper.
Principal songwriters Kevin Russel and Jimmy Smith share lead-vocal duties. Multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston wrote "Red Letter Day," from 2007's Noble Creatures. "Hey Thurman," as Russel explains, was written while staring at the house of his neighbor Benny Thurman (of acid-rock original 13th Floor Elevators). Longtime band members Claude Bernard, accordion, and Keigh Langfourd, drums, round out the lineup.