They are songwriters, so chronicling changes within The Band of Heathens universe was a natural thing for Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi. The pair are founding members of the group, and the sole survivors from a growth period that began when a group of songwriters got together in their Austin, Texas base for a show at the sorely-missed Momo’s. Beginning a recorded output with two live discs and a 2008 studio album debut, The Band of Heathens notch studio album number four with Sunday Morning Record. Joining Gordy and Ed are keyboardist Trevor Nealon, who pledged allegiance to the group in 2009, and new drummer Richard Millsap. Line-up changes, geographical moves, family expansion and a lot of life all went into the back story for the songs of Sunday Morning Record. The album title is referenced in the album cut “Records in Bed”, a hammock friendly song that remembers tunes that made you feel less alone, a time when “Rock’n’Roll was sacred”, a friend you could rely on. Ed Jurdi talked about the new album, “we set out to chronicle the journey of the band through a really difficult and uncertain time. In the midst of all this, Gordy and I were writing songs, starting families, moving families, and trying to find a thread to hold onto with our music.”
On full listen, Sunday Morning Record does not have the sonic swings of previous albums. Though quieter, there is sharp clarity to the album. There is no doubt, that this is an album from The Band of Heathens. Heart and mind are both represented and appealed to in their songs, and Sunday Morning Record continues to deliver smart stories of real lives, with all the bumps, bruises, smiles and hurdles left in. “Shake the Foundation” rumbles underneath as love leaves the building, “Shotgun” enters on the wisp of a breeze before its edge turns deadly as fingers are pointed and “Caroline Williams” finds bubbles burst and addresses changed. The Band of Heathens have laid a fine step on the path of a long career with Sunday Morning Record.
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