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The Band of Heathens - Self Titled
The Band of Heathens - Self Titled
CD Review by Jud Conway on 9/18/2008   

QUESTION: What happens when you take three of the finest up-and-coming Americana singer/songwriters in Austin, Texas, and put them together in one great band?

ANSWER: You get the 2007 Austin Music Awards "Best New Band" winner, THE BAND OF HEATHENS.

Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi, and Gordy Quist, the three principle songwriters in THE BAND OF HEATHENS, met while gigging as separate acts at Club Momoís famed Wednesday night "Good Time Supper Club" series, in Austin, Texas. With the addition of bassist Seth Whitney, they began to share the bill and collaborate on each otherís original material. Eventually, drummer John Chipman joined the fold and the band recorded two highly acclaimed live albums, including 2006ís Live at Club Momoís. Music industry heavies began to take notice when the band was nominated in multiple categories at the 2007 Austin Music Awards and took home the coveted "Best New Band." award. In response, the band ramped up their touring schedule and headed into the studio with legendary songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard in the producerís chair to record their debut studio effort.

The self-titled disc, released on BOH records, includes eleven songs that showcase the bandís original songwriting. Stylistically, the material ranges from harmony-laden country rock to Southern-fried electric blues, and has been referred to as everything from "Texas twang" to "country soul." Early feedback has garnered the band comparison to Little Feat, The Band, and early seventies-era Rolling Stones. Highlights include the hopelessly catchy "Nine Steps Down," the melancholy "Maple Tears," one of three songs boasting a guest vocal by Patty Griffin, "Unsleeping Eye," featuring Stephen Bruton on mandolin and Gurf Morlix on organ, and the loose and lazy "Cornbread," with Ray Wylie Hubbard adding slide guitar.

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