Cosmic country rockers The Gourds will capture their live energy on Haymaker! their new studio album due out January 6th, 2009.
Continuing the Gourds round trip through the outer reaches of the roots music universe and back again, Haymaker! takes the best of the band’s classic eccentricities and melds it with the more linear narratives coined on last year’s critically acclaimed Noble Creatures.
The attention garnered by Kevin “Shinyribs” Russel’s classic ballads “Promenade” and “Steeple Full of Swallows” from Noble Creatures is indicative of the more straight ahead leanings exhibited on Haymaker! Here vintage Gourds boogie twang (“Country Gal”) stands along side Jimmy Smith’s tunes quintessential Texas character studies (“Thurman,” “Bridgett”). Where normally Jimmy’s famous non sequiturs and dense reference-heavy lyrics are a Gourds mainstay, on Haymaker! the second half of the Gourds psychic songwriting apparatus opted for a more direct approach. Says Smith, “If I frame a song in history, or use real names instead of pronouns, my content might be less cryptic to the listener. So it’s win win, I get to be the usual freaky lyrical scag and sharpen the listeners machete at the same time.”
Haymaker! marks the return of Cow Fish Fowl or Pig engineer Stuart Sullivan to the studio and is without a doubt the best documentation of the Gourds’ trademark live energy ever captured in the studio. “Jimmy, Keith and I went and laid down some raw live demos of the songs and ended up using what we did for those sessions as the basis for the album. I think it really captures the intangible qualities of a Gourds gig in a way we haven’t been able to achieve before,” says Russell.
The Gourds continue to be: Jimmy Smith, Kevin ‘Shinyribs’ Russell, Keith Langford, Max Johnston, Claude Bernard.