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Shinebox Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Gourds, Shinebox
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B00005NHNE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on January 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The buzz seems to be focused on the stunning, hilarious remake of Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice, but there is much more here to catch the ear. For starters, the clever "Everbody's Missing the Sun" is a modern working and partying person's lament. And the live versions of songs you might already have such as "Lament," "Maria," or "Plaid Coat" showcase the Gourds cuttin' loose (of course, these guys are the epitome of loose).
Now if you have never heard the Gourds before, listen to the samples for their songs before you buy any of their CDs. Their Texas style Gonzo rock grass whatever the hell this style is might not be your thing. But I think the Gourds are America's greatest working band. They will try about anything, and their rendition of "Ziggy Stardust" zones in somewhere between tongue in cheek and serious.
It's not just the fine singin', guitar, B-3 organ, fiddle, banjo, slide, drums, and percussion that make this music so potent. It's the way it all comes together, sometimes unexpectedly (like a stew). You may not like the first taste, but you will keep at it and ultimately come back for more Gourds.
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By A Customer on March 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the best CD I've heard in years! The remake of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" is an underground classic. It's not just hilarious: It's damned fine bluegrass music. If it wasn't for the lyrics, you'd never know that it was originally a rap song about South Central L.A., but that's what makes it interesting and gives it depth. It's not about broken hearts and the usual dreary stuff that country songs are about. Who would think that some white boys from Austin could take that song, countrify it and make it a head-bobbing, foot-stomping, singing-out-loud joy to listen to? But they did. The rest of the CD is excellent, too, but I must admit: I bought it for "Gin and Juice," and I'm very happy I did. When I give this CD to friends, they're floored. One of them told me today that he can't stop playing it over and over again.
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Format: Audio CD
The Gourds dig into the roots of American music with a greater, more expansive enthusiasm than anybody since the Band. Shinebox is an odds and ends collection, featuring 5 live tracks and assorted covers. The covers range from old traditionals ("Dooley", "Jones Oh Jones", "I'm Troubled") and expected contemporary twangers (Townes Van Zandt's "Two Girls", Billie Joe Shaver's "Omaha") to the left field additions of Nils Lofgren ("Everybody's Missing the Sun") and the gasp-inducing inclusion of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" and Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice". The latter brilliantly combines 100 years of music, offhandedly proving the similar bloodlines of modern hip hop and hillbilly jug bands. It's an unbelievably profound statement, and the fact that the Gourds toss it off with an irreverent ease only reinforces their genius.
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Format: Audio CD
I travelled 4 hours to see my first Gourds concert after having missed them here in Houston. Lemme tell ya, there ain't no finer live show for the lovers of classic texas country or progressive alt-country. Excepting the drummer, every one of the buggers plays at least one other instrument, and I think they play 3 apiece, but I was imbibing and dancing. Who knows. They are deliciously talented, musically tight and professional, and varied in their lyrical content. One of the songwriters is a staunch, small-town republican in the best of Texas' tradition and the other is a irreverently playful opportunist, wistful and surreal. Oh, it's good stuff. The Gin and Juice thing overshadows their talent and potential, but hey, it got them noticed. They don't have a bad album, but get dems good beeble or Cow Fish Foul or Pig first. This one save for when you've forgotten the damnable Gin and Juice and are jonesing for another fine album by the amazing and underappreciated Gourds. They're intellectuals with accordians and banjos, how much better does it get?
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Format: Audio CD
It's easy to focus on the falling-down-funny cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin & Juice" that opens this album. There's plenty to love, from the jangling mandolin to the resonant twang in the vocals to the yodel that ends the track. But to focus purely on that one song is to miss the wide rainbow of musical virtuosity and gallows humor that permeates the entire CD.

About half this album was previously released as an EP recorded in front of a live audience for broadcast on European radio. This half of the album consists of mostly new material, songs like "Maria" and the rousing rock-grass "Lament." Like most of the Gourds' work, these tracks combine styles, overlapping rock and country and bluegrass and blues and whatever else to create a sound proprietary to the Gourds themselves. The banter between the audience and the band is in short supply, but what there is, is punchy and direct. To judge by these live tracks, the Gourds are one of the better live bands playing out there today.

For the full-length CD, the original EP is fleshed out with studio tracks, mostly covers. In addition to "Gin & Juice," they hit Nils Lofgren's "Everybody's Missing The Sun," Townes Van Zandt's "Two Girls," and perhaps most eye-openingly, "Ziggy Stardust," the David Bowie classic. None of these sound quite like the original. Though they aren't as startlingly distinct as "Gin & Juice," they are just different enough to force you to sit up and pay close attention to what's being said. If you can listen to these cover versions and come away without a new way of looking at the content of these songs, well, you might want to get your hearing checked.

Not everyone will like the Gourds.
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