The Gourds

Blood of the Ram
(Eleven Thirty)

The Gourds have been confounding audiences with their catholic musical taste and solid musicianship for almost 10 years. They play credibly in any style you'd care to mention -- folk, blues, swamp rock, country -- and delight in showing off their range. The title tune is a take on the folk standard "Darby Ram," recast as a Waylon Jennings stomper, with Kev Russell delivering the lyrics in his best Waylon growl. "Lower 48" is a Cajun stomp that catalogues every state in the Union, while "Escalade" is a tribute to Memphis soul with Russell stepping out to do a credible imitation of the Reverend Al Green's falsetto-drenched vocal style. The Gourds' humor and penchant for tongue-in-cheek genre blending remains impressive, but the humor often seems a bit forced. A couple of straight-ahead, "real" songs would go a long way toward raising their national profile.

 
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