Mistakenly thought of as a novelty act after their infamous psycho-bluegrass makeover of Snoop Dogg's classic "Gin and Juice," the Gourds have nonetheless released a series of compelling, whacked-out alternative country efforts for 10 years. Blood of the Ram continues in the same tradition, with top-notch playing, rough-hewed singing and openly bizarre songwriting. Humorous and obscure, images and references collide with non sequiturs to create a dead-on view of rural life. What makes this new effort different is a more organic, looser presentation. In the vein of Dylan's Basement Tapes (but better recorded), the Gourds have created a beautiful, sturdy mess. Tracks like "Lower 48" and "Triple T Gas" show a band totally at ease with their weird world of swampy rock and backwoods folk. Eccentricity and talent are rarely as cleverly matched as with the Gourds. Long may they confuse.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.