NASHVILLE, TN. (Top40 Charts/ By Kissy Black
/ Lotos Nile Media) - On Tuesday, April 29, in celebration and anticipation of their first ever studio album, The Band of Heathens played a rollicking pre-release show at Austin's Gibson Showroom. Austin Mayor, Will Wynn, a perennial The Band of Heathens supporter, introduced the band, whose impressive talents slayed those in attendance, confirming them as unabashed and enthusiastic believers.
This enormously popular Austin-based group is poised to leap beyond their Texas borders with the May 20th, 2008 unveiling of their self-titled studio release, The Band of Heathens. The five 'rough around the edges' members of The Band of Heathens have a grit and authenticity that conjure images of other notable fan-driven rock bands like Little Feat, The Black Crowes and Drive-By Truckers.
While playing at Austin landmark Momo's in different bands respectively, the fellas started jammin' together, victims of fate more than circumstance. That these guys came together is surely no accident.
Music this soulful and tight can't be anything short of a preordained. 'This ain't genericamericana. This is greasy and right,' says KGSR Content Manager and recognized music tastemaker Jody Denberg. Ed Jurdi's bluesy Wurlitzer piano and Hammond B-3 organ are partly to credit for that, coupled with the no-single-front-man format that allows the band multi-genre appeal.
Living and performing in the live music capital of the US, The Band of Heathens have been fortunate to forge musical relationships with some great artists who contribute their talents to the new record. Produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard, the studio release features guests Stephen Bruton, Patty Griffin and Gurf Morlix. Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks are each showcased in their vocal delivery, songwriting and guitar interplay. The unified front downstage is cemented by a heavy groove courtesy of Seth Whitney on bass and Austin Music Awards' reigning "Best Drummer," John Chipman on drums.
Touring throughout the United States has added nuance to their songs. With raucous favorites like, "Bumblebee" and "Jenny Was a Keeper," audience participation is key. The guys definitely do not disappoint those looking for a live vibe on their latest record. Heathens' fans will eat up the buoyancy of "Cornbread" as well as the old time rhythm of "Jackson Station." Conducive to dancing and swaying, the release is a record that refreshingly does not take itself too seriously. There is a comfort and ease in the material and lyrics; a perfect marriage of roots and jam which allows the casual tone of the songs to work anywhere from a back porch party to a packed club, to just makin' you feel good about being stuck in traffic.
In their studio effort it is evident that The Band of Heathens love playing this music that they create together. These guys will continue their aggressive touring schedule with 200+ dates this year, including stops at Nashville's prestigious CMA Music Festival in June and the Austin City Limits Festival in September.
As the material on this album honors their relationship with their existing fans, The Band of Heathens genre-defying sound is sure to endear them to a whole new group of listeners. With this studio release they will make their creative blend more accessible to a variety of audiences in 2008 and solidify their reputation in the American music scene.
To engage new listeners online, The Band of Heathens are pleased to announce the launch of their new website design at www.bandofheathens.com. The site was designed and developed by Webber Design Creative Family of Austin and it is based on the cover artwork from the band's upcoming studio release.
Visitors to the new site are greeted by a swamp scene inspired by the Robert Deyber painting Swamp Gas. The Flash-based design allows visitors to explore the swamp as they navigate the various pages on the site. By clicking on the navigational links at the top, the visitor is brought to a new area of the "swamp" where they can discover images and other goodies from the band. "This is just the beginning," explains Ethan Bessey, the band's manager. 'The site leaves plenty of room for us to open up other areas of the swamp down the road.'
Connecting people through the music, online and through live performance.... The Band of Heathens...you have to listen to believe!
For performance video, hi-resolution images, listening tracks, as well as more supporting documents, please visit www.lotosnile.com and click MEDIA and ARTISTS. For review copies or interview requests, please hit reply.
"This is real spit and sawdust Southern rock with tremendously gritty vocals and scything guitars." - David Knowles, Maverick Magazine
"The Band of Heathens make the transition from live recordings to the studio pleasingly well on this 2008 release." - Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
"The Austin five-piece performs its original bar-band country and Americana music exceptionally well." - Pete Freedman, Dallas Observer
"The Band of Heathens' first, self-titled studio CD has a variety of good roots-rock songs that encompass folk and country and even a bit of gospel. It's a good listen." Tom Geddie, Buddy Magazine
"Don't miss this good time excursion into the roots of the Music of today, sure is hard to get its honest grooves and good time feel out of the system. " - Bob Gottlieb, FAME
"Austin is the hub of all things Americana, folk and alt-country. And The Band of Heathens have risen to the top of that heap." - Craig Bonnell, Songs: Illinois
"The Band of Heathens' self-titled album serves as a real treat to country rock and roots rock connoisseurs with its blend of rich vocals, ballad and upbeat sides, and rootsy rhythms propelled by good musicians." - Jeff Boyce, Jupiter Index
'If you're an Americana radio station and you don't play this record, then you're not an Americana radio station. The Band of Heathens are, by far, my favorite discovery in the last 2 years." - Mattson Rainer, KNBT
"Remember that you read it here first, The Band of Heathens are headed for stardom!" - Joe Montague, Riveting Riffs
"Smart southern/country rock that has some heartland heart running through it as well. A sure bet for anyone that's ever grooved to that vibe and wants more without it being more of the same." - Chris Spector, Midwest Record
"Definitely recommended: here's a new band that's worth keeping your eyes on." - Lawrence Kay, Joe Sixpack's Record Riot