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Kevin Russell discusses the latest Gourds album


The new Gourds album has a slight country flavor to it, and according to singer Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell, that element of Haymaker! (Yep Roc) is his doing.

“My main impetus behind the more country/roots thing was the last couple of records I had leaned the other way,” he says. “Granted, there is always an underlying stench of roots in my songs. On the last record, Noble Creatures, I felt like I really stretched things more than usual away from my roots. In so doing, it felt as though I had neglected this redneck angel/devil conundrum that camps on my shoulders. I wanted to honor the ‘well-read neck’ shadow a bit more on this.”

Recording Haymaker! was not a walk in the park for the Austin, Texas-based band.

Max [Johnston‘s] songs were tough to get cut,” Russell says. “Max and Claude [Bernard] were not around when we cut the basic tracks for this. Consequently, Max had to arrange a time with Keith [Langford] and Jimmy [Smith] to book some studio time and get his songs recorded.

“This may sound fairly simple, but nothing like this is simple with five guys with kids and wives and who travel as much as we do,” he adds. “Time at home is precious. The greatest threat to this band is the fact that we have so little time to invest in the creative part of what we do. I think this is the reason many bands either start sucking or break up before they do. Our longevity is a blessing and a curse in this regard.”

— By Chris M. Junior

The Gourds on tour (schedule subject to change):

* April 16: Old Settler’s Music Festival – Driftwood, Texas
* April 22: Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival – Stephenville, Texas
* April 25: Buc Days BBQ – Corpus Christi, Texas
* April 29: The Ark – Ann Arbor, Mich.
* April 30: Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland
* May 1: Martyrs – Chicago
* May 2: Turf Club – St. Paul, Minn.