The Band of Heathens - Sunday Morning Record
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Sunday Morning Record (BOH, 2013)

The Band of Heathens

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

There is a retro feel to "Sunday Morning Record" from Austin-based The Band of Heathens with touches of the Beatles and '70s country rock. The Beatles influence appears strongest on Girl With the Indigo Eyes, which features harmonies and drums reminiscent of Long, Long, Long, and the opening track Shotgun with a guitar riff that recalls Here Comes the Sun.

Other tracks with Beatlesque harmonies are The Same Picture and Since I've Been Home, the latter also referencing retro technology ("The needle falls heavy on the soul/Wearing out the grooves until the song is just a ghost"). Similarly the tune Records In Bed looks back nostalgically ("Remember when?/ Rock and roll was sacred in your world and on the street") with the refrain "We are golden" seeming to reference Joni Mitchell's Woodstock.

An influence from The Eagles appears strong on such tracks as One More Trip and Caroline Williams, while the bluesy Miss My Life recalls both Little Feat and The Band. One of the stronger tracks is the ballad Texas, which seems to indirectly address the upheaval within the band due to personnel changes ("Spent some time to count the reasons/Loss and pain, the changing seasons").

The overall feel is more mellow than past efforts, presumably in part due to the departure of singer/songwriter and guitarist Colin Brooks, bassist Seth Whitney and drummer John Chipman. Founding members Ed Jurdi (guitars, keyboards) and Gordon Quist (guitars, lap steel) carry on nicely as the creative duo composing all 11 tunes, well supported by new band mates Trevor Nealon (keyboards) and Richard Milsap (drums). Fans of the Band of Heathens will enjoy the solid tunes and strong performances by this new lineup.

CDs by The Band of Heathens

Sunday Morning Record, 2013 One Foot in the Ether, 2009

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