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CD Review - The Gourds: Haymaker! 

The Gourds


Yep Roc Records

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Turning on a Gourds record is like walking into a best friend's house. You feel immediately comfortable, welcome and full of smiles. Haymaker!, released last month features tracks like "Country Gal" and "Shreveport" that are genuine toe tappers and seem to invite you in to listen again and again. The upbeat "The Way You Can Get" attacks the hips and forces them to move. "Hey Thurman" takes another path almost jam band-esque, wandering in a slower sway with some mellow hum-along vocals. However, one of the best characteristics of this disc is that it's ready to be your solid-rocking road trip soundtrack.

The Austin-based Gourds have developed well since their inception in 1994, just as the alternative country movement was gaining steam. From their earlier, rather kitschy years to their current sound that dashes some honky-tonk into the blender as evidenced by the track, "Tex-Mex Mile," Haymaker! shows a funnier and rowdier side of the band over their last effort, Noble Creatures, which felt much more polished and serious.

Most importantly, when it comes to The Gourds, it's all about their memorable live show. This dynamic band lives to entertain and their Central Oregon shows through the years have been certifiable barnburners. So, the goal here is to bone up for the next tour. Go pick up Haymaker and burn the songs into your mind so you can shout 'em out while you dance at the next show. You'll be glad you did.

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