The Band of Heathens
Celebrating ten years together, The Band of Heathens is set to embark on a banner year with founding members Ed Jurdi (guitar, keys, vocals) and Gordy Quist (guitar, vocals) along with Trevor Nealon (keys, vocals), Richard Millsap (drums, vocals) and Scott Davis (bass, vocals). Fresh off the boat from the SiriusXM Outlaw Country Cruise, this Austin, TX based world class rock n roll outfit has two new releases slated for 2016.
It was a great Taos morning, the skies the color of blue you’ll see nowhere else. Festivalgoers were up and eager for the day’s events.
I missed the first two bands on the roster: Greg B and the Gunsels and Sean Healen. I was especially bummed to miss Sean. I understand that the Santa Fe Brewing Company honored him recently with a permanent addition to their fine line of brews, called “Healen’s Big Hat Nut Brown Ale.” He’s famous, not only for his music but for his hats.
The Band of Heathens have released a free eight-song download of live tracks recorded during their most recent East Coast record release tour. The download, Clams & Jams Vol. 1, is available through the band’s website, http://www.bandofheathens.com. The just-released studio effort Sunday Morning Record sits in the top five of the Americana Radio Chart, and rave reviews of the record continue to praise the band for yet another stellar album to add to an already heady catalog.
The latest release from the Band of Heathens shows the group taking things further in terms of versatility of style, and demonstrating a certain maturity in songwriting and production. Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster’s Son is a refined melding of the five member’s individual talents, and a step into some new territory.
While the Band of Heathens’ new song “Free Again” will keep fans happily humming and tapping, it will probably raise some eyebrows as well. The track — available for free on the band’s website on July 15 — references the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. “It’s sure to be the feel-good hit of the summer,” quips band member Ed Jurdi.
The Band of Heathens, whose new album One Foot in the Ether the webzine AmericanaRoots.com ponders as "the best record of 2009," will appear on PBS' Austin City Limits on November 7 on a bill headlined by Elvis Costello. On the program, the band performs five songs: "Jackson Station," "L.A. County Blues," "Shine a Light," "Golden Calf" and "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone."