Mar 30, 2023
In the fall of 2005, four musicians—Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, Brian Keen and Colin Brooks—all had residencies at Momo’s, the since-shuttered music club on West 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Ultimately, the four songwriters found themselves jamming each week, sharing a bill in what was lightly called “The Good Time Supper Club” on the Momo’s stage.
It became a local staple of the thriving Austin music scene and the stage became “an extended hang,” as Quist noted, somewhat joking that the performances “specialized in tequila and trainwrecks.” He said it was, “a good time for cutting our teeth on danger and taking chances on music and experiencing the magic that comes from that.”
After a misprint in a local newspaper billed the act as "The Heathens," the collective became known as “The Band of Heathens”—our latest guests on The Load Out Music Podcast.
Over a 16-month-period, the group began to galvanize into what would become what remains a force today in Americana-driven rock-and-roll. Now led by Jurdi and Quist, The Band of Heathens has built one of the most dedicated followings for an independent act worldwide.
“It was exciting,” said Jurdi of those formative years. “Everything was very new at that point. So, we were sort of sharing in all these experiences together.”
There was an unquestioned magic that they all could sense, even in the beginning. The band’s first recording, Live from Momo's, brought the band national attention and they were voted "Best New Band" at the 2007 Austin Music Awards.
“The fact that we received ‘Best New Band’ was a nice reflection of Austin and the scene and the collaboration of the scene,” Jurdi said.
Ultimately, the great Ray Wylie Hubbard—a past guest on The Load Out—signed on to produce The Band of Heathens’ self-titled first record.
“Ray is a legend and is a great guy,” Quist said.” He took us under his wing and said, like, ‘let me show you how to make a good record.’ He specializes in vibe and cool.”