The Gourds

Old Mad Joy (Vanguard)

Record Review

The Gourds

Old Mad Joy (Vanguard)

Of the dozen tracks on the Gourds' 10th studio LP, Kevin Russell wrote five, Jimmy Smith hallucinated six, and ace detailer Max Johnston snuck in "Haunted," an Athens, Ga.-style bar bruiser powered by Old Mad Joy producer Larry Campbell's steel-rail string bending. Smith's absurdist rockers, "Drop the Charges" ("Suzi Quatro flankin' tres well, that's who's down in my palais") and Stones/Faces nutter "Drop What I'm Doing," bring the Mad to OMJ. In "Melchert," he maps the song equivalent to no less than Richard Linklater's Slacker, and any Caleb Followill fans left could jump ship to "Marginalized." Serious Joy jigs in Russell's Cajun-fried pub wisdom ("I Want It So Bad") and magnolia ballad "Two Sparrows," a gorgeous into-the-mystic moment. "Ink and Grief" never takes for granted his hammock hook, while rejoinder "Peppermint City" births a chorus suitable for the Stax catalog. That goes double for mandolin-gilded march "Eyes of a Child," only inverted into stone soul gospel. Multi-instrumentalist-turned-steward Campbell puts hospital corners on sound and songs, every instrument heard perfectly in the larger mosaic – Johnston's mandolin here, violin there. Sequenced hopscotch-style between the two principle composers, Old Mad Joy barely drops a beat ("You Must Not Know"). Old hands.

****

  • More of the Story

  • Dog Years

    Austin's version of the Band – the Gourds – steps into those brown shoes almost literally with Old Mad Joy
READ MORE
More The Gourds
Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, March 4, 2011

Phases & Stages
The Gourds
Haymaker! (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Jan. 23, 2009

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Walter Daniels
"Almost Got Hit by a Truck" b/w "My Mind Got Bad", "Voodoo Working" and "Stimulant" b/w "I Get Off on It", "Graveyard Shift" b/w "They Can Only Fill One Grave" (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Rick Broussard’s Two Hoots & a Holler
Time Has Shown Me (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 25, 2016

More by Raoul Hernandez
Alejandro Escovedo Grinds Axes at <i>ACL</i>
Alejandro Escovedo Grinds Axes at ACL
Austin escapee kicks out the jams in his fifth taping for PBS

Dec. 1, 2016

Texas Platters
All ATX Vol. 4
Low Down Violet Crown (Record Review)

Dec. 2, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Gourds

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)