It was 2006 when I first saw the Band of Heathens in concert. At Momo's, the iconic concert venue on West 6th and Rio Grande in Austin, TX. It was more of a bar with aspirations of becoming a concert venue at the time. Tables and chairs packed in around a central bar, with an elevated stage in one corner. I was surprised by how good the acoustics were, and they played three sets of songs from the album that they had recorded 'Live at Momo's' a few months earlier.
I'm no music critic, but their sound was refreshing and a mix of folk and country lyrics underpinned by guitar riffs. They have tweaked their lineup over the years and released several other albums, but this first album clearly stands out.
Gordy Quist, Colin Brooks, and Ed Jurdi were all playing separate sets at Momo's on a Wednesday night and decided to combine their talents as the 'Band Of Heathens'. As Ed Jurdi said at the time, " This is a pretty high stakes industry, but by focusing on writing good songs and giving good performances, everything will take care of itself.
Nearly fifteen years later, and with a loyal audience, after each live performance, they make that particular set of songs available on a USB drive, and you can also go to live.bandofheathens.com, where audio recording s are available either by subscription or a la carte download.
They have appeared on the PBS show, 'Austin City Limits,' and remain true to the definition of 'Indie' by building the band's business from the ground up and keeping everything in-house, from their own record label to merchandise. Also, check out their 2013 album, 'Sunday Morning Record,' which was described by the Bakersfield Californian Review as " A love letter to the past and, at the same time, a postcard to the future."
I've seen the band four times now, Momo's, at the University of Texas, Gruene Hall (New Braunfels), and believe it or not, in London, England.
If I were asked to pick my favorite song, it would be from that first album, and the song is 'Judas Scariot Blues.'