Too happy-go-lucky for the earnest fans of roots music, too plaid and pragmatic for the hippies, too old and hairy for the mainstream, too young to be called legends. Sound like friends of yours? For nearly two decades, the Gourds have been the musical distillation of Austin itself: A genre-defying, unpretentious, gregarious gang of friends whose primary motive is to have fun and create great music together. ALL THE LABOR captures The Gourds’ enduring brotherhood and magnetic musicianship through candid conversations, blazing performances, on-tour media interviews and reflections and insight from friends and family. This is the theatrical trailer for the movie, which premieres at SXSW in March.
Normally, I write a blurb about how great the latest record from our featured artist is, in hopes that you will listen and like their songs, too. This week, however, I am reprinting Kevin Russell’s post after driving through the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes. — SS
Shinyribs on the Moore, OK Tornadoes The night of the harrowing Oklahoma tornadoes, Shinyribs came face to face with the destruction:
We were traveling on our way home that day from St. Louis at the end of a tour. Being aware of the severe weather threat in the region we checked radar before leaving and saw nothing. By the time we got on the other side of Tulsa things changed rapidly. Suddenly there was a line of Severe storms pulsing across central Oklahoma right where we were headed. We were able to get local TV coverage on our phone just as the Moore twister was touching down. And in utter disbelief we watched and listened to the surreal play by play of that horrific event. We were able to stop in northern OKC to get our wits about us and figure out what to do. We thought we might could get behind the storms by taking I-44 toward Wichita Falls. But, the bridge over the Canadian River was damaged and traffic was at a stand still. The best strategy for us at that point became to get a hotel and hunker down for the night. Watching the local news coverage of the ongoing rescue was sobering and sad. Driving through the debris field down I-35 was even worse the next day. We were fortunate and grateful to be able to drive the rest of the way back to our homes. But knowing many had lost their homes and loved ones in that storm made us, like many, want to do something to help . Over the next few days I pondered on this experience and kept up with the latest news. Without warning one afternoon a song surprised me as I sat at the piano. Had it been a mediocre song I might have just taken what good I could from it and moved on. I often write this way for myself to process the griefs and stresses of life. But, this song turned out to be a significant tune that I felt had value. And therefore it could be helpful on some level to the effort to help those most in need. I sent it to my friends (Oklahoma natives) Cody and Shannon Canada to get their opinions about guiding this song toward its most beneficial place. And now things are progressing towards this goal of recording it and making it available to the public as a means of raising much needed funds. Just trying to do our part and make it as meaningful as possible. – Kevin Russell
Catch the latest solo record, Gulf Coast Museum, from the front man for The Gourds, Kevin Russell AKA Shinyribs HERE.
Shinyribs Gulf Coast Museum
Neil Young & Crazy Horse (live)
No Show Ponies
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Band of Heathens (live)
From my favorite online festival, CXCW AKA Couch By Couch West: