To the uninitiated, the title Stadium Blitzer is more likely to conjure up images of German metal music than Americana by way of Texas. Americana, however, complete with accordions and mandolins, is what the Gourds are all about. Originally recorded in 1997, this album received a wider 2001 release, thanks to the folks at Sugar Hill.
Stadium Blitzer is a shambling, loose, slack-jawed mess. And, my, what a beautiful one. “I like drinking,” the boys stammer on the song of the same name, and it’s not hard to believe that much of this album was written under the influence on some hot-summer, mosquito-infected porch, an alcohol infused acoustic hootenany. Rambling guitars, wandering accordians, meandering mandolins–and don’t forget the handclaps, grinder wheels, sizzles, chest thumps and “accidental noises”–mesh with Claude Bernard’s boozy vocals and suggest a mix that lies somewhere between bluesy Americana and New Orleans’ stomp. While the Gourds sound achingly tender and lost on slow cuts such as “Raining in Port Arthur,” it’s when they rev up and let loose on such barn burners as “Magnolia” and “LGO” that the real magic starts. An amazing record, sure to stay in heavy rotation throughout the hot months.