Monday, January 23, 2017

The Band of Heathens at City Winery

Gordy Quist & Ed Jurdi
Three songwriters - Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist - shared a Wednesday night residency in 2005 at a music club in Austin, Texas. They eventually started sharing the stage. A misprint in a local paper billed the act as "The Heathens" and so the three musicians began calling their collaboration the Band of Heathens. Achieving a local following at first, the band was voted Best New Band at the 2007 Austin Music Awards and soon received growing attention on Americana radio stations. The Band of Heathens' fifth studio album, Duende, was released on January 13, 2017. Brooks left the band in 2011, and so the Band of Heathens presently consists of Jurdi and Quist on vocals and guitar, keyboardist Trevor Nealon, bassist Scott Davis and drummer Richard Millsap.

Headlining at City Winery tonight, the Band of Heathens played a heartland rock set that was bigger than the musicians' native state. As the music began, the Band of Heathens sounded like a slick, commercial country band, but as the evening progressed, the music expanded into looser and thicker jams. Each of the five musicians seemed to bring distinctive flavors to the mix. Rooted in a southern-simmered gumbo, the music included some blues, some country twang and some barrel-house honky tonk. Some songs recalled the Band, while other songs pivoted on guitar work reminiscent of the Grateful Dead, but by the end of the set, the Band of Heathens was a full-fledged, high-energy rock and roll band.

Visit the Band of Heathens at www.bandofheathens.com.