Over the years, we've had some great bands stop and play here in Boise. Sometimes, they love it here so much they come back. Wednesday, September 28, we continue our winning streak. The Gourds are Kev Russell on guitar, mandolin and vocals; Jimmy Smith on bass, guitar and vocals; Claude Bernard on accordion, guitar, keyboard and vocals; Keith Langford on drums, percussion and harmonica; and Max Johnston on fiddle, banjo, lap steel, guitar, mandolin and, you guessed it, vocals. So, what's so special about an Austin, Texas, band with mandolin, banjo and lap steel? Aren't they a dime a baker's dozen in that part of the country? Yes, but there's something a little nutty and special about these guys.
One little item that's especially nutty, is that this mandolin/banjo bearing band did a cover song of Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Gin and Juice." As if that weren't weird enough, when controversial Napster.com was still around, the band Phish kept getting credit for the cover. There was a Phish on Snoop's song, but he was a hip-hop artist out of New York City and not the hipppie jam band that's been around filling the holes in the hearts of those who pine for Jerry Garcia.
The Gourds formed in 1994, and for the last 11 years, have toured this American expanse. According to their press kit, the Gourds are not day people. "They spend much of the day in hotels, vans, crevices and damp places, feeding mostly on cow, fish, fowl, pig, juices sucked from roots or the blood of rams." Ewww.
Sacrificial blood aside, the Gourds play some pretty kewl music. But they refuse to be pigeon-holed, which makes writing this preview a little difficult. I can say with some confidence that alt-country/bluegrass wouldn't be the worse way to describe their sound. But the vocals are gritty and pretty bluesy and the lyrics verge on odd. It's an amalgamation of light and dark, up and down, in and out, soft and loud. Regardless of how they sound, there's something extremely addictive about them. Go see them and then go to their Web site. I won't be surprised to see folks sporting Blood of the Ram tees around town.
Sept. 28, $10, tickets can be purchased in advance at Ticketweb, 9 p.m., Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St.