Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

The Gourds 7.9.2009

The Gourds at the Tractor Tavern
Thursday July 9, 2009

Ahh. Life is good…again. Now we’re back in the swing of things. We have held off the shows this year due to my unfortunate job situation. Life is interesting. Now I’m full time again, so we were ready to roll! The boy went to camp all week, so we were free. We enjoyed a movie one night (The Hangover, totally funny from the beginning to an ending that made my cry with laughter all the way back to the car) good dinners, and then The Gourds. Although we had to work Friday morning, we were ready for a great Thursday night out.

The Gourds are one of our favorites; they are always a pleasure to watch and just feel their musical energy. They were at their scruffy, “unwashed and well-read” best, although the lead singer looked a little more clean-shaven, having shaved off most of the beard and leaving a long goatee.

Shinyribs (a.k.a. Kevin Russell of The Gourds) opened with acoustic versions of an old George Jones song, and even one called “Let Me Buy You a Drink” from T-Pain, which he called his ironic song, since he’s afraid all good music will now be played with robot voices. He probably played close to 45 minutes.

Finally, about 10:00 The Gourds came on. I was yawning already from my long day, but was so excited to see them again. We were again right up by the stage, in our favorite place, close to Max, the banjo/fiddle/slide guitar player and close to the water and bathrooms. They played many songs I liked but didn’t recognize, because they are off their latest album [I purchased it right after the show]. They also hit the old favorites like “My Name is Jorge” and our most favorite, “Pill Bug Blues”. Besides the faves, they also got busy with some amazing revival type songs that got people clapping for Jesus’ return and some crazy song about possums! I get more spiritual salvation from their music than I ever did in church.

There was a crazy drunk guy in the audience right behind me with a rainbow cowboy hat and a shirt that said, “Marriage is So Gay!” Too funny! Kev got a kick out of him, to a point, but he kept interrupting him with long howls of, “We loooovvve Auuustinnn!” or whatever the subject was. I kept looking back to see if he was going to throw up on my head, but he eventually drifted to the back and left early.

The Gourds played in a near-frenzied state for about an hour and a half, and then slowed it down a little. And when they get to a frenzied state, they are a sight to behold. They all line up and wail on their instruments. It’s something that is hard to put into words.

About 11:30, I was getting really tired, but I couldn’t give up now. I told P before we left to go to the show that I might break my own rules and leave the show before the encore, but he didn’t believe me! I was so tired, and so overheated. It was over 80 degrees that day, and even hotter in the tavern. I kept pounding the water, but I really needed to just get off my feet and get some fresh air. It was getting pretty ripe in there with all the sweaty bodies. My fingers were getting puffy from standing so long.

Well, I made it to the encore, so then I just had to stay and see what they played. I believe they played 3 more songs, so we were glad we stayed to the bittersweet end. I was sad it was over and we probably wouldn’t see them for another year; but I was happy to be back in the air-conditioned truck.

The Gourds are just so dynamic. Not only does Kev Russell sing, but the bassist Jimmy sings at least ¼ of the songs, and his fiddler Max sings 2-3 songs also. And this night, even the accordion player got to sing. He wasn’t great, but it was a cute song with a good beat.

I recently heard of a book that I must buy called Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. He is a neurologist who has done studies about people’s reaction to music. I saw him interviewed recently by John Stewart.  I am definitely one of those people who react so positively from music. He explained that some people have a very pleasurable reaction to music, in the same way that people have sexual pleasure. In fact, the reaction stems from the same portion of the brain. That would explain many of my behaviors toward music! I could never put my finger on it before; until P started noticing me at concerts several years ago and pointed out that I react in such a similar way. I really need to read that book! [I have since read it and loved it, although much of it focuses on brain disorders and brain injuries.]

After the show, we headed to Dick’s for our usual Special and shared a chocolate shake. I think I got about 4 hours of sleep, then back to work the next morning!

Next up, Counting Crows at Marymoor Park for our anniversary!

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February 3, 2010 - Posted by | Concert Season 2009, Music, The Gourds, The Tractor Tavern | , ,

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