This Saturday, Sings Like Hell closes out another fine season of live music programming at the Lobero. And not surprisingly, the booking geniuses behind the scenes are making sure to go out swingin’. Last month, the SLH crew brought us Arizona powerhouse Calexico, and this weekend they usher in The Gourds.
As any fan will tell you, the band is best caught in concert, due to both their energetic live show and their long-famous alt-country cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.” But the Lobero show also boasts a special something extra. On Tuesday, The Gourds will release their 10th studio album, Old Mad Joy. On top of it being the band’s first for Vanguard Records, Old Mad Joy stands to be the record that (finally) captures The Gourds’ electric performance style. Recorded in Levon Helm’s historic Barn studio space in Woodstock, New York — and produced by Bob Dylan’s longtime right-hand man, Larry Campbell — Old Mad Joy highlights the strengths of the band, while simultaneously pushing their sound to new heights.
“‘Coach Campbell’ found the strengths in our weaknesses and the vulnerabilities in our strengths and challenged our pre-determined aesthetic sensibilities,” said frontman Kevin Russell in a recent press release. “His qualification and compassion instilled in us a desire to achieve more than we thought we could as a combo and as individuals.”
Sonically speaking, Old Mad Joy is a celebratory and heartfelt mix of country twang, rambling blues, and Southern gospel. On the disc’s first single, “I Want It So Bad,” keyboards and accordions add a bouncy jolt to Russell’s deep and soulful vocal turns, subtle and steady drums make toe-tapping requisite, and four-part harmonies give the whole thing an undeniably uplifting and old-school vibe. In short, expect a whole bunch of grooving come Saturday, in celebration of the album, in celebration of the series, and in celebration of yet another rockin’ summer at the Lobero.
Sings Like Hell presents The Gourds this Saturday, September 17, at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) at 8 p.m. Call 963-0761 or visit singslikehell.org for info