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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