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The Gourds’ recipe offers more than ‘Gin and Juice’

Submitted PhotoThe Gourds, from Austin, Texas, who gained fame during the file-swapping heyday of the late '90s for their cover off Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" take the stage at Carbondale's Mountain Fair Friday, July 23.
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The story of the Gourds can’t be told without gin and juice.

The Gourds have made a half-dozen albums, have been touring the country with a loyal fan base for 10 years, and had one of the most traded songs on the Internet during file-sharing’s heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, most people only know a small part of the story of the Gourds, an Austin, Texas, -based country-bluegrass-rock band.



A few years ago it was nearly impossible to walk through a university dormitory without hearing a the Gourds’ mandolin and guitar players strum the same two chords as a country singer crooned politely about “smokin’ indo,” “(wholesome young ladies) from the city of Compton,” and “sippin’ on gin and juice.”

The Gourds are the band that famously covered Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.”



“It’s got a life of its own,” said Kevin Russell, the band’s guitarist, mandolin player, singer and the one who wrote the band’s version of the song.

“It’s got to be one of the most downloaded songs of all time,” he said.

Though the song was everywhere in the few years after its release in 1998, The Gourds weren’t, and probably still aren’t, nearly as well-known as their song. The reason being is the song was often labeled as a Phish tune on music-sharing Web sites such as Napster.

“I think it sort of protected us,” Russell said.

When “Gin and Juice” fans learned The Gourds made the song, sales of the band’s “Gogitchyershinebox” album doubled, he said.

“Gin and Juice,” though often attributed to the wrong band, has definitely given the Gourds a reputation.

One weekend after playing a wedding at a west Texas mansion, the Gourds were on their way out the front gate onto the highway when the Texas State Patrol officers making sure no one left “too drunk” pulled the Gourds over, Russell said.

“Y’all the band?” the officer asked, barely opening his mouth.

Then he went back to his car and fetched the other officer.

“Man, you guys do ‘Gin and Juice,'” the second officer asked. Then continued, “Man, I love that. Just wanted to tell y’all that.”

Snoop Dogg himself has even heard the song. During an interview on the influence of rap on other genres of music Snoop said rap had influenced every musical genre in America except country.

The interviewer then played Snoop The Gourds’ version of “Gin and Juice.” Snoop tried to sing along.

“He can’t sing,” Russell said. “But that’s OK because I can’t rap.”

The Gourds are scheduled to play at 7:15 Friday, July 23, at Carbondale’s Mountain Fair.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520

rgraff@postindependent.com


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