The Band of Heathens release their roots rock magnum opus, 'Simple Things'

Article Contributed by Big Feat PR | Published on Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Band Of Heathens, the Austin-based, fiercely independent rock and roll group led by dual lead vocalists and songwriters Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist, a rock and roll double act that rivals Mick and Keith in songwriting chemistry and life long music commitment, today released Simple Things, their roots rock magnum opus and ninth studio album released via their own label BOH Records. The album was exclusively premiered with and dropped an exclusive live performance of the record (watch here). Relix called the new album a “roots rock magnum opus” and praised the band’s “commitment to music and balanced songwriting chemistry.”

Album title track, and release single, “Simple Things” reflects The Band Of Heathens “Dad Wisdom,” and epiphanies they experienced after months at home with families and friends during a pandemic. Listen to the track here.

“I started writing this song in April of 2020, right in the first stages of the pandemic shutdown.” Jurdi stated, adding, “I had some time to reflect on the pace of my life over the past 20 years. Traveling, touring, reaching for the next great adventure and hoping for the next big thing and wondering if that was really the goal, or more simply put, is that what makes me happy? I wanted to express that I was and am really thankful for everything I have in my life, and writing this song was really just taking a moment to take stock of all of the little things that really matter and make up a life worth living.”

Releasing on your own label is not all that remarkable these days, but when you put it in the context of The Band Of Heathens unprecedented success, it certainly is.

Their success has culminated in a rare novelty in the music industry - an unsigned band with a gold record. They are currently in the process of a GOLD certification of their monster record, “Hurricane'' a song originally recorded by Levon Helm, which became a runaway streaming success, when they released it on their 2011 album The Top Hat and the Clapmaster’s Son.

From day one, The Band of Heathens have remained proudly, fiercely independent—turning down label offers, maintaining complete ownership of their catalogue, building their now extensive audience one show at a time. From their humble roots as a rag tag local bar band - where they first formed in the early 2000s when Quist and Jurdi were among four songwriters playing regular weekly sets at the late, lamented club Momo's. Over the years, The Band Of Heathens have become award winning, streaming giants (they have amassed 400 Million plus streams across their catalogue), true to their name, and outliers to the traditional music industry model of success.

The Band Of Heathens did not stop there, they also recently made their national TV debut on CBS This Morning’s Saturday sessions, and are touring the U.S., with dates including Nashville’s Basement East, alongside a hometown residency which they recently kicked off at C-Boys in Austin. They will also soon make their Grand Ole Opry debut.  

“I see a lot of artists out there screaming, ‘Hey, we're outlaws, we're independent!’ says Quist, adding “and they're signed to a major label and live completely within that model. We've been the ultimate indie band for 17 years, and we like it that way.”

Their lush sounding self produced set was recorded in their hometown of Austin, in the hi fidelity studio, named The Finishing School, which was founded by the band’s close friend and sometimes producer George Reiff. Quist took over the studio after Reiff passed away in 2017, and upgraded with a 1972 Studer console; rebuilt golden ratio rooms designed by friend and famed producer/acoustician Mark Neill; and a batch of vintage mics from the band Queen’s studio, Mountain Studios, that have all been used on records by Queen, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, and AC/DC.

Simple Things is a musical, geographic and thematic return, back to the greasy rooted rock and heartland pop which they became known and loved for, when they initially broke out in the mid 2000s, landing the attention of Rolling Stone Magazine and making their debut on TV shows including Austin City Limits.

Though the members of The Band of Heathens now live scattered across the country, it was their return to Austin, to write, and eventually record the album, which was so crucial to continuing their progression and keeping the band alive.

First they launched “Good Time Supper Club”, a Patreon fueled live video series offering fans the chance to watch the band work and to participate in the creative process. What started as an act of pandemic career triage serendipitously encouraged a creative shift, with the band including their fanbase in their return to the roots rock instincts that initially launched the band out of Austin.

Fans' input was clearly an important catalyst in making  their finest work to date. Another example of the heights The Band of Heathens can achieve with only themselves (and their fans)  to lead the charge.

Simple Things is a confident, assured statement from a group finding its place in the world amid uncertain and troubled times, offering us the next step in the chain of the evolution of rock and roll classicism, thoughtful dad rock is just what the world didn't know it needed.

Jurdi best succinctly concludes, “We've realized it's us, it’s our families, and it's our fans, and that's really all that matters.”

Album tracklist:

1 Don't Let The Darkness

2 Heartless Year

3 I Got The Time

4 Simple Things

5 Long Lost Son

6 Stormy Weather

7 Single In The Same Summer

8 Damaged Goods

9 The Good Doctor

10 All That Remains

Tour dates to include:

Mar 15 - C-Boys - Austin, TX

Mar 16 - Luck Reunion - Luck, TX

Mar 15-19 - SXSW - Austin, TX

Mar 27 - City Winery - New York, NY

April 17 - Turf Club - St. Paul, MN

April 18 - Showboat Saloon - Wisconsin Dells, WI

April 19 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL

April 20 - Midtown - Grand Rapids, MI

April 21 - Southgate House Revival - Newport, KY

April 22 - Cameo Theater - Bristol, TN

April 23 - Lincoln Theater - Raleigh, NC

April 25 - Neighborhood Theatre - Charlotte, NC

April 26 - Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC

April 27 - Basement East - Nashville, TN

April 28 - Terminal West - Atlanta, GA

April 29 - Dixie Carter PAC - Huntingdon, TN

April 30 - Railgarten - Memphis, TN

May 2 - Grand Ole Opry - Nashville, TN

May 4 - Heights Theater - Houston, TX

May 5 - Kessler Theater - Dallas, TX

May 6 - Gruene Hall - New Braunfels, TX

June 2 - Chickie Wah Wah - New Orleans, LA

June 3 - Cathead Jam - Jackson, MS (with The Flaming Lips and more)

June 4 - Manship Theatre - Baton Rouge, LA

June 10 - Rock the Ranch Music Festival - Seneca, SC

June 11 - Standard Deluxe - Waverly, AL

August 3 - The Fox Theatre - Boulder, CO

Oct 6 - Acadiana Center for the Arts - Lafayette, LA

Oct 7 - Bluesberry Festival - Covington, LA