Sound Advice: The Band of Heathens with The Perfect Children and Michael Moeller (July 28)

The Band of Heathens plays Indie Vol. 2017 at Fountain Square.

Jul 26, 2017 at 10:36 am
click to enlarge The Band of Heathens - Photo: Greg Giannukos
Photo: Greg Giannukos
The Band of Heathens

Although The Band of Heathens has been together for 12 years, the Austin, Texas quintet’s seeds were sown even earlier when the founding trio — Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist — were working as solo artists in the flourishing Austin scene. The musicians were fixtures at the now defunct Momo’s on Sixth Street, where they were routinely assembled on double or triple bills, so they eventually pooled their talents. With the addition of a rhythm section, the band dubbed itself The Good Time Supper Club and set about amassing a loyal local fan base. 

A new name was presented when the band was inexplicably identified in a newspaper ad as The Heathens; the inadvertent rebranding stuck. 

After a debut album, 2006’s Live from Momo’s, Band of Heathens swapped out its original drummer for beatkeeper John Chipman in 2007; that year also saw the band release its second live set, recorded at Austin’s legendary Antone’s, and receive Best New Band honors at the Austin Music Awards. The following year, the group released their eponymous debut studio album, produced by local icon Ray Wylie Hubbard and featuring a stellar guest list that included Gurf Morlix, Patty Griffin and the late Stephen Bruton. The album hit the top slot of the American Music Association’s radio play chart and made the association’s Top 10 of the year’s best albums.

In 2009, Band of Heathens appeared on PBS’s Austin City Limits playing songs from its debut and sophomore studio album, One Foot in the Ether — the group’s second album to hit No. 1 on the American Music Association’s radio chart. The band was also nominated for the New Emerging Artist award at the Americana Music Honors in 2009 and for Best Duo/Group of the Year at the American Music Association Awards in 2010. 

After the release of 2011’s Top Hat Crown & the Clapmaster’s Son, founding member Brooks announced his departure to pursue new musical projects and life directions. The band also said hello to new keyboardist Trevor Nealon and goodbye to drummer John Chipman, who was replaced by Richard Millsap in 2012.

The following Sunday Morning Record became Band of Heathen’s most acclaimed album to date and made a number of best-of lists in 2013, but it was last year’s Duende that found the band exploring its most diverse set of emotionally and politically charged songs, balancing raging Rock anthems with rootsy Country Grateful Dead Jam boogie, New Orleans Blues and Tex-Mex spice. It was a musical expedition that took on political overtones as the band toured during 2016’s contentious election cycle. There’s a good chance that The Band of Heathens has some fresh takes on the post election scene, too — turn on, tune in, drop up.

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Click here for details for this free show.