One of roots music’s most fervent leaders, Texas greats, The Gourds will be releasing their Vanguard Records debut, Old Mad Joy, on September 13th. Produced by Larry Campbell at the historic Levon Helm Studios a.k.a. ‘The Barn’, Old Mad Joy embraces the eccentric character and sonic range of the band while pushing their sound to the next level.
From the beginning notes of the first track, "I Want It So Bad," it is clear that something new is emerging. Larry Campbell (Levon Helm’s producer and musical director of Helm’s Midnight Rambles’) held the key to making it all work. " 'Coach' Campbell' found the strengths in our weaknesses and the vulnerabilities in our strengths and challenged our pre-determined aesthetic sensibilities," states front man Kevin Russell, "his qualification and compassion instilled in us a desire to achieve more than we thought we could as a combo and as individuals."
The foundation of Old Mad Joy is its five basic elements - Claude Bernard’s accordion and keyboards bring on the caustic boogie and blown-out bellows. Kevin Russell’s original brand of gospel spirituals contrast with Jimmy Smith’s dark-and-twisted imagery, Max Johnston’s multiple-instrumental cache including banjo, rub-board, mandolin and fiddle, and Keith Langford’s drumming puts the whole train into motion.
Based in Austin, TX and formed in 1994, The Gourds have released ten studio records and multiple live recordings and soundtracks. In 2006, they performed in an episode of the NBC show Friday Night Lights and have been featured on PBS’ Austin City Limits. The Gourds high-energy live shows and endless touring have earned them the reputation as a ‘must see’ artist. The band will be kicking off the release of Old Mad Joy with a show in Los Angeles at The Echo on September 13th (additional dates below with more to be confirmed in Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, and Washington, DC). Old Mad Joy is The Gourds 11th studio release and Vanguard Records debut.