I got this in my inbox this morning…
Message from Jess Barr, guitarist for Slobberbone / The Drams:
Early this morning my car was broken into and all of my equipment was stolen. This includes my red matchless clubman 35 head and cabinet, my black gig bag with cables and pedals, and, most importantly, my Gibson Les Paul Gold Top.
So the Gourds played the Gothic Theater down south of Denver last Saturday night (March 14).
I shamed Gracey into coming with me. I’ve been trying to force her to listen to the Gourds for about a year. Truth is, it’s really hard to get her to listen to much besides the Drive-By Truckers and her local Wyoming bands (see Hogback). But there were other, more worldly, folks coming down from Wyoming (peer pressure still works) and I promised her some corn chips. That did the trick.
The Saturday before St Patrick’s Day is the one day every year when Dallas seems almost a little bit like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. A little. People start setting up their party base camps in parking lots for the big parade real early. Kegs, beer bongs, makeshift bars set up on portable tables, lots of people wearing lots of crazy green shit and even lots of dogs wearing crazy green shit. By the time the floats start rolling down Greenville Avenue at 11:00 AM sharp the general ambiance is pretty much mass public intoxication. And crazy shit. And of course I mean that in the best possible way.
After the parade is the big concert in a big fenced in parking lot and this year it featured some of the best of Dallas’ alt-country-roots rock scene. The O’s, The Drams, Eleven Hundred Springs and The Old 97s.
The crowd was kind of thin but you could no doubt chalk that up to the weather- it was cold, windy and the cloud cover was threatening drenching rain at any moment. Still, for the faithful that did show up, it was as fine a day of music as a drunken partier decked out in a spray painted fake beard, 2 lbs of beads and a big green hat could hope for. And I saw more than a few of those.
So I’m listening to the Gourds new CD “Haymaker” this week.
This isn’t so much an indepth review of the CD (alright then – here’s the review: It’s good. Go buy it. You don’t really need me to tell you that, do you?) as it is a discussion of dem Gourds and how they make people happy.
You know how I know that? I listen to their stuff. I make my friends listen to their stuff. I make my kids listen to their stuff until they know all the lyrics. It’s good for their vocabularies. Even my cat likes to twist and juke to the Gourds. . .
Jason and the 400 Unit put out a crazy good CD just a year or so ago called Sirens of the Ditch. It had "Brand New Kind of Actress" and "Dress Blues "and got plenty attention. I ordered it pre-released and it’s been played and played and I still love it and it still moves me.
The new self-titled album is a beautiful work of art. No, really, I bought the package deal from their website and got the album and an autographed CD. My record spinner is out of commission right now, but I had to have that big ol’ album, just for the cover art. Browan Lollar did it. Talk about multi-talented, this band’s got that wrapped. Jason’s just a wizard at everything.
The 400 Unit is Browan Lollar, Derry deBorge, Jimbo Hart and Matt Pence. They’re no slouches. Look them up, if you haven’t. Those of you who like to cherry-pick songs (which I still find kinda weird) try "Sunstroke" first. If you love it, try "Good" too. If you don’t think you love either of ‘em and you just wanna drink beer and get in touch with your inner cowboy, give a listen to "Cigarettes and Wine". If that don’t get ya, I’ll cry in my beer for you.