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Blood of the Ram

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Audio CD, October 19, 2004
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Lower 48 4:31$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. TTT Gas 3:05$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Escalade 4:57$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Illegal Oyster 3:24$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Arapaho 3:33$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Wired Ole Gal 2:17$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. On Time 2:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Do 4 U 3:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Let Him In 3:52$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Cracklins 4:25$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Spanky 2:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Blood of the Ram 4:40$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen13. Turd in My Pocket 3:42$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Whether you think The Gourds non-sequitur loving n'ere-do-wells or post-modern lyrical geniuses, their mandala-like musical vignettes and gulps of down-home authenticity can not be denied. Musical lifers and road dogs to the end, Kevin 'Shinyribs' Russell, Jimmy Smith, Max Johnston, Keith Langford and Claude Bernard remain at once roots music's envelope pushers and its torch ... Read more in Amazon's Gourds Store

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for 27 albums, photos, and 3 full streaming songs.

Frequently Bought Together

Blood of the Ram + Bolsa De Agua + Haymaker!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 19, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Eleven Thirty
  • ASIN: B0003JALIO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,502 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Blood of the Ram" is the Austin band's seventh album and once again their plate is loaded full of the uniquely organic, Cajunspiced gonzo music that have made instant fans of every lucky soul who chanced to see the Gourds live. The band - frontman Kevin Russell, former Uncle Tupelo/Wilco fiddler Max Johnston, Claude Bernard, Jimmy Smith and Keith Langford - has gotten the party started; now it's just up to you to grab a cold beer, kick off your shoes and join in. So, what are you waiting for?


Ten years together and the Gourds remain exactly who they set out to be: Austin's good-time answer to the Band. Their devotion to country rock and bluegrass, their free-spirited sense of fun and tradition, and their strange and surprising wordplay are still intact judging by these 13 new originals, which thump and swing through off-color boogies, dirt-road daydreams, raunchy sing-alongs, and baptisms in bourbon or, as on the title track, in gospel blood. Founders Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith have never harmonized with such scratchy spirit, and if their songwriting and arrangements stick to the acoustic, just-shy-of-stoned bop they long ago perfected, the sound and soul still ring true and joyously alive. --Roy Kasten

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
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See all 12 customer reviews
My kids like it, and i agree.
Bruce A. Davis
The music is good on those two songs, but the lyrics are just a bit hackneyed.
The first song is my least favorite.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By gourdsFan on January 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I love The Gourds and have seen them many time in concert and they are the best. That said, Blood of the Ram is not as good for me as their last few outings, but I still like it. There really aren't many(any?) other bands to compare The Gourds to, except themselves. So, Blood doesn't feel as easy or as generous as Cow Fish Fowl or Pig, which was an embarrassment of riches. I feel that Blood of the Ram needs more Max Johnson tunes(there's only one). Max's tremolo and traditional sound balances the off-kilter Jimmy Smith and down-home drawl of Kevin Russell offerings.

Blood finds the Gourds trying some new sounds that I haven't heard from them, like the soul of Escalade or the Allman sounding guitar of TTT Gas, complete with solo. Another more prominent thing that I heard on this CD that I can live without is the profanity. Personally, it doesn't bother me, but it limits who I can listen with. Jimmy, I'm looking at you :) The electric organ added to Turd in My Pocket adds a kind of odd revival feel to that song. As it is, it is really hard to classify any of the songs as most are a blending af several different styles into something new, with unconventional lyrics laid on top of that. My two favorites are "On Time," and the unusual "Blood of the Ram," which is kind of an old trail-ride sounding song about a ram and slaughtering. It sticks in your brain.

So, to rate the Gourds CDs:
Stadium Blitzer *****
Cow Fish Fowl or Pig *****
Bolsa de Agua *****
Blood of the Ram ****
Ghosts of Halleluja *** (couldn't really get into this one)
Dems good Beeble*** (Didn't listen to this one much, but maybe I should)
Shinebox ? Never managed to get this one
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on December 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Try as I might to find some substantial criticism of "Blood of the Ram," I just cannot find any withering, fatal flaw to this latest madcap outpouring from these purveyors of what has sometimes been called "beergrass." (The urge to criticize wells up because I'm a Virgo and that's what we do, or so I am told.) The more I hear this latest set, the more I like this collection of odd tales and odd musical arrangements all swirling with an undercurrent of gonzo mysticism.

The Gourds have never shied away from liberally infusing their work with local color and folk wit, and why should they? It's worked magically before and does so here as well. I cannot keep from stomping about during "Lower 48"---which is sometimes a problem when I'm on the highway. This time the fellows even borrow a page from the "magic realism" literary genre Borges popularized with the mysterious escape of the criminal narrator in "Cracklins." And the weird parade of images and ideas conjured up in "Arapaho" are worth revisiting.

Yet in a way, the better the Gourds get, the harder it must be to keep up the informal, odd-ball style that makes the Gourds so good and so distinct. But they do (sort of reminds me of the Pogues progression back in the `80s.)

"Blood of the Ram" also shows that the band is not going to back away from the sometimes disturbing imagery ("a pool of blood on a superhighway") or scatological meandering that is now intertwined in the Gourds mythos. This may be more "music for the unwashed and well-read," as they have declared which might explain why more folks are not listening to some of the best tunes being cranked out by any band these days. (Of course, don't expect to hear this music on the radio!)

OK, one criticism has come to mind. That is, there is only a single song by Max Johnston on this collection. Next time, more from Max, please.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By deltablues on October 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This isn't one of the Gourds best CDs, but it's still good. I am so impressed with this band that I would give every one of their other CDs five stars (except for "Shinebox"). I'm giving "Blood of the Ram" four because it's just not quite as stunning as most of the others. In "Blood of the Ram," I miss Kev Russell's incredible mandolin solos (as in "All the Labor" from "Dem's Good Beeble"). The songs on this CD lack the dark and Dylanesque lyrics that make the Gourds great. ("I saddled me a wounded priest, rode him wet through this August heat." - Lowlands, from "Ghosts of Hallelujah") These guys are talented musicians, but what has made their songs stand out was that they were out of the box - WAY out of the box sometimes. But with this CD, they seem to have at least poked their heads into the box. There are two songs on "Blood" about runnin' from the law, a tired and true worn-out country music cliche. The music is good on those two songs, but the lyrics are just a bit hackneyed. Maybe the Gourds have set the bar too high. I'm a big Gourds fan. I have all their CDs. I've seen them live several times, and I've BSed with them in bars. On every other one of their CDs, there was at least one song that floored me - "All the Labor," "Magnolia," "Layin' Around the House," "El Paso," "Web Before You Walk Into It." I didn't find one of those great songs on "Blood of the Ram."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hipbillydiva on November 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I feel a sense of sublime satisifaction after listening to this cd. The first song is my least favorite. Escalade and Illegal Oyster are excellent and the rest of the songs form a cohesive mix and are a good listen. This cd is right up there with my favorites of '04 right along with Old Crow Medicine Show-O.C.M.S., Mofro-Lochlossa and The Legendardy Shackshakers-Believe. All of them have something so real and elemental about them that you can almost taste dirt. By the by, the Gourds are also a great concert band. You get the feeling they are having a good time...with or without the audience but not in an arrogant way...these guys don't seem to have a smidge of pretension. I picture them jamming together even without the $$ incentive...or hanging out alone at home skanked up reading Neil Gaiman. All in all I think they should be christened the house band for the uni-bonger set.
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