Home | Audio Reviews |Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags News

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

The Gourds
Shinebox

Review by Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

The Gourds Shinebox

CD Stock Number: Sugar Hill Records

 

  I have a new favorite band. They’re called the Gourds. Imagine a countrified fire-breathing mandolin-driven version of Los Lobos and you have a vague inkling of what The Gourds are like. Shinebox has a somewhat convoluted origins. It was formerly a 7 song EP of live material called Gogitershinebox produced for an Amsterdam radio show. Five more songs were added for re-release in the ‘States. Three original songs join covers from such diverse sources as Townes VanZandt, Billy Joe Shaver, David Bowie, Grin, and Snoop Doggy Dog. Yes, the Snoop Doggy Dog. This number, occupying the lead-off position of the album, is transformed from a rap tune to a redneck anthem. The Gourds version also connects the dots from Robert Johnson to Roosevelt Sykes to Muddy Waters to Chuck Berry to Snoop Doggy Dog. The Snoop just presents a graphic X-rated version of Johnson’s devil’s bargain. The Gourds version of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” is equally revelatory. Instead of glitter, Ziggy is covered in cow droppings; it doesn’t get any more organic than that. Be forewarned that several songs, both originals and covers, have crude and graphic lyrics. Tipper Gore’s parental guidance stickers would be appropriate for Shinebox

Unlike many “groups” the Gourds are very much a band, not a lead guy with some sidemen. Everyone in the band sings, and they all play at least two instruments. Kevin Russell plays mandolin and guitar, Jimmy Smith handles electric and acoustic bass, guitar, and percussive embellishments (don’t ask), Claude Bernard contributes accordion, guitar, and B-3 Organ, Keith Langford delivers drums, maracas, tambo, and various other percolations, and Max Johnston nails down fiddle, banjo, and resophonic guitar. Produced by the Gourds along with Mike Stewart, the sound varies from damn-near perfect to just this side of abysmal. On the live cuts, like “Omaha” or I’m Troubled” the sonics are superb, so close to real live sound that you’d swear some drunk with beer breath is about to sit in your lap. Other selections, like “Jones, Oh Jones”, sound like it was done in a really primitive home project studio. Yuk.

Ever since I got this CD, about a month and a half ago, I’ve been trying to wear it out. I’m so jaded that usually a CD is lucky to last a week in heavy rotation before it gets alphabetically filed. Shinebox is a rare exception. This CD is so much fun, so thoroughly cool, so musically essential, that it has been living on my CD player. I even got more than one copy so I don’t have to hunt around for it. I dare you to listen to it just once.

 

 

Enjoyment: 95

Sound Quality: 95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

 

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Warsaw Audio Show 2018
New York Audio Show 2018 Report
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Copenhagen HighEnd 2018 Show Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest RMAF 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
CanJam SoCal 2018 Show Report
CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
STEREO Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

Social Media & Video
      

 

 

 

       

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright©  1995 - 2019  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.