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Kev Russell

• Kev Russell's Junker

Wacky and wonderful. This is a peek into a world unto itself, an Austin sub-culture posing as a mere group called The Gourds. This artist is one of the two main songwriters in The Gourds, who have recorded seven records over the last 6-7 years.

Sporting such memorable tunes as "(Somebody Bring Me A Flower) I'm a Robot," Buttermilk and Rifles is a pleasant descent into a musical insanity with no shortage of gems along the road down. Kevin Russell and company are a renegade band of brainy ne'er do wells that draw from every musical corner in the land.

They're a huge favorite in Austin, in fact they were voted The Best Band there in 1999. That's no small feat, considering that Austin has about 100 live venues and Lord knows how many bands. Even more significantly, Dutch label Munich Records has been featuring them for many years, and bluegrass giant Sugar Hill Records has recently reissued their entire catalog.

So, if you're looking for something different that's really good and have no problem with lyrics that lie between the irreverent and truly strange, these guys are for you. I couldn't listen to them every day, but I'm looking for more of their recordings already. And I just missed them live in Nashville, damn--too busy. But allegedly their gigs are no holds barred hoedowns with huge repertoires and tapers galore.

I haven't described the music much, either this disc or The Gourds, it's not that easily done. Better if you check out a few clips, since even they will only tell a part of the story--but at least you'll get a dose of the attitude, which is really the deal. It made me laugh, there were some really surprising songs, and I'm very intrigued by the whole Scene…so check it out, and buy it at the Sugar Hill website. • FG

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