Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Album Review: One Foot In The Ether by The Band of Heathens

After three albums and an Austin Music Award, The Band of Heathens are finally set to release their second studio release this week. Their new album, One Foot In The Ether, will not only win them more awards but also more fans. Even though you’ll probably find it in the “country” or “Americana” sections of most record stores, it also belongs in music collections of Black Crowes fans, John Mellencamp fans and even Eagles fans. Reason being, there is so many more musical elements in place on One Foot In The Ether; roots rock, gospel, soul, blues, and southern rock even. They are just too talented and musically diverse to be put in a box.

Speaking of diverse, part of that diversity comes from having three talented frontmen: Ed Juri, Gordy Quist and Colin Brooks. On the album’s opener, “L.A. County Blues”, a blues guitar riff and an organ introduce you to Ed Juri. With its country sensibilities and Juri’s vocals, “La County Blues” is one of the album’s many sure fire singles. I am going to go out on a limb early and call it a “beer drinkin’ classic. It also happens to be about journalist and author, Hunter S. Thompson. 

After a few beers and the blues country sounds of “L.A. County Blues”, take it to church with the gospel stylings of “Shine A Light”. If that’s not enough for you, then turn the volume up on “What’s This World”. A feel good but reality check on life, “What’s This World” is certainly a spiritual calling in its own right. Someone looking for a campaign song or a song for a campaign commercial needs to give it a listen.

My personal favorite on One Foot In The Ether is easily “Look At Miss Ohio”. This bluesy, country, folk-rock hybrid is about a girl wanting to do right… but just not right now. The soulful rasp of the vocals and blues guitar riffs blend really nicely with the piano. The musical composition outshines the song’s lyrics, as they are rather simple. Sometimes the “KISS” method can be the way to go. I’d love to ask Gilian Welch (the song writer) one day about the story behind “Look At Miss Ohio”.

Overall, One Foot In The Ether is a solid album from beginning to end. Its musical diversity is to be commended and the critical acclaim should be flooding in soon if hasn’t already. Add The Band of Heathens to the list of artists you used to be able to see for around ten bucks. After this album, those days will be long gone. (Review originally published on September 14th on

One Foot In The Ether is available today nationwide on BOH Records. 

For more on The Band of Heathens, visit their official website at

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