The Gourds are out of Austin, Texas and generally get described as "alt.country"; I wouldn't lump them in with that earnest lot, though. To me they're more of a gin-you-INE country jug band bringing the style into the modern age.
A vastly talented bunch of musicians, just one listen to the references in the lyrics shows their intelligence and moves them away from the vast majority of modern country-style performers.
Noble Creatures, released in 2007, is one of their best and a great place to start for any newcomer. Opening with How Will The Sun Shine and its mandolin intro before some great and serious soul horns back-up, the song sets the scene and encapsulates what The Gourds are all about in one go. Follow-up Kicks In The Sun and its proto-Booker T organ riff underline what weve already heard.
Slowing it down with Promenade the band give us a delicate romantic ballad then A Few Extra Kilos weaves some excellent country-Stones guitar into a slow rock beat, emphasised by the next track, Last Letter.
Multi-intrumental stylings on The Gyroscopic put us back into the fun of the first two tracks then Moon Gone Down goes back to more traditional country places, as does Red Letter Day, replete with that organ again but with cowboy guitar and vox.
The organ's to the fore again on Out On The Vine before Cranky Mulatto rounds it all off with some serious cajun fiddle and accordian.
All told this is a must have album for anyone who likes a bit of intelligent, fun country. Go fetch.