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One Foot In the Ether

The Band of Heathens

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Customer Reviews

Austin-style country, rock, folk, gospel, blues and soul

The Band of Heathens’ second studio album (their fourth overall, having started their recording career with two live releases) is a big step forward. The artistic palette of last year’s eponymous release is carried forward here, but the result sounds less like a collage of influences and more like a band that’s discovered its own groove. The twin inspirations of Little Feat and the Band remain particularly strong, but as channeled spirits rather than imitated sounds. With three singer-songwriters contributing a dozen originals to this self-produced release, the group clearly knows they have the goods. Their experience as a live unit pays dividends in the studio, as they sound like a band running through their set rather than musical architects constructing a recording. The group’s comfort is immediately apparent on the chorus harmonies of “Say.” Their multipart singing is tight as a drum but also as loose as a casual back porch harmony session. The same is true for the gospel backing of “Shine a Light” and the lead passing on both the Little Feat groove “You’re Gonna Miss Me” and sad-sack blues “Right Here With Me.” This is a group that’s clearly spent time getting comfortable with one another. Their musical sympathy is heard in jamming solos and instrumental codas, and the seemingly ad libbed exhortation to “keep it going” as “You’re Gonna Miss Me” threatens to wind down. The band’s name proves ironic as their songs are laced with biblical images. They sing of non-conformists, petulant ex-lovers, and independent ramblers, but these tales are filled with doubt and remorse. Gospel influences, both musical and liturgical, praise the hard work of salvation, cast an accusing eye towards the contradictions and hypocrisy of modern society, and call for reconciliation with one another and, seemingly, a higher power. The clanking blues “Golden Calf” warns of a false idol’s allure, and even songs of busted relationships have an eternal ring as they sing “you can give up, you can give in / but you can never quit.” Last year’s studio debut climbed to the top of the Americana chart and promoted the band from scattered local club dates to a full touring schedule. Their continuing musical growth is evident in both the absorption of their top-line influences and the addition of new touches, such as the dripping Dark Side of the Moon styled guitar of “Look at Miss Ohio.” The results are organic and unforced, and by producing themselves and releasing on their own label, the group remains free to chase their singular, yet multi-headed musical muse. The adage “you have a lifetime to record your first album and a year to record your second” doesn’t seem to have vexed the Band of Heathens at all. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

Electra Glide 6

The Band of Heathens are a Band with a purpose. Deliver real music to those in the know, that is, those that know real music.Listen or continue to be blinded by corporate music, your choice.

Judge for yourself

You won't find a country album here - try Band of Heathens debut (studio) album if that's your thing. Nor will you find a southern rock album - try "Top Hat Crown and the Clapmaster's Son" if that's more your style. 'One Foot in the Ether' falls right in between, and in doing so, earns the myriad classifications bestowed upon it. But honestly, the album escapes classification, providing something for everyone. Please do yourself a favor, and listen to the samples of every track before judging the album. You may just find yourself (pleasantly) surprised.

Biography

Formed: Austin, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Formed in Austin, Texas, the Band of Heathens became a band totally by accident. Songwriters Colin Brooks, Gordy Quist, and Ed Jurdi were all doing regular sets at Momo's in Austin when they began sitting in with each other, eventually making the whole thing one big show that they called the Good Time Supper Club, which was essentially three singer/songwriters in the round backed by a solid rhythm section of John Chipman on drums and Seth Whitney on bass. What started out as a spontaneous side project...
Full Bio
One Foot In the Ether, The Band of Heathens
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