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The Gourds, with the Sidehill Gougers

Thursday, August 4, at Heritage Place Amphitheatre, 500 Collins Street in Conroe, 936-525-4782. Free.

You can tell a lot about the Gourds by the artists they cover: Hank Williams, Minutemen, Doc Pomus, Velvet Underground, Ted Hawkins, Fleetwood Mac, Snoop Dogg. Having cleared up that matter, we turn to their subjects: barbecue, the Bible, banana republics, wannabe gangstas, homemade pickles, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and mimosa trees in the rain. To sum up, the Gourds are either cranks or geniuses or hopelessly ADHD. Over a decade and some nine records, their sweetly clattering, weirdly harmonic Salvation Army Band sound has never really changed. If they haven't sampled or looped, orchestrated or tuned their drums, it's not for want of ambition. If they've barely discovered electricity, it's not because they're purists. They're just too baked to find a power strip. The band has yet to take the main stage at Bonnaroo, but the hippie kids have started trading bootlegs, so catch them now -- at this free show hosted by the city of Conroe's Parks & Rec department -- before the twirling kills their buzz.

 
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