Together 17 years, with nine albums to their credit and a rabid cult following, the Gourds are an institution in their hometown of Austin, Texas, and are now working on the rest of the country with the September release of their Vanguard debut, Old Man Joy. Early on, the Gourds created a brief sensation with an acoustic, rootsy version of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice," giving notice of the band's quirky nature. Lyrics can be starkly surreal (check out bassist Jimmy Smith's "Locomotive halitosis all that eyelid I been smokin'"). But the prevailing vibe is earthy Americana, with a scope that embraces rock, country, folk, gospel, and beyond, suggesting a strong affinity with the likes of NRBQ and the Band. In fact, Joy was recorded at Levon Helm's studio with Helm and Dylan associate Larry Campbell producing. It's a rich tapestry of fathomless delights, providing plenty of new fodder for the Gourds' fabled live shows. Opening will be Eagle Eye Williamson, a Texas one-man band who plays grainy electric blues.
Wed., Nov. 16, 8 p.m., 2011