Sometimes itís the "happy accidents,Ē rather than elaborately laid plans, that lead to something lasting, and thatís precisely the case with award-winning Austin rock and roll stalwarts, The Band of Heathens.
"Itís really funny how the loose, tequila-fueled weekly side-project that started almost 14 years ago has evolved into what the band is today,Ē singer and songwriter Gordy Quist says with a laugh as he recalls the bandís road to success.
But planned or not, the band has enjoyed sustained success for more than a decade, racking up 10 albums and more than twelve hundred performances in thirteen countries. Quist and Ed Jurdi, the bandís other principal singer and songwriter, are the only founding members still in the group that first came together in 2005. The core lineup of Jurdi and Quist on guitars and lead vocals, were joined by Trevor Nealon on keys in 2009 and Richard Millsap on drums in 2012. Bassist Jesse Wilson came on board in 2017.
Between 2008 and 2016, The Band of Heathens released five studio albums, four of which went to either number one or number two on the Americana Radio Albums Chart, and earned a pair of Americana Music Awards nominations. Then in 2018, they released the acclaimed A Message from the People Revisited, a recreation of the legendary 1972 Ray Charles album, A Message from the People. Also in 2018, Quist and a friend purchased The Finishing School, a studio in Austin where the band had frequently worked, after the passing of the studioís owner, their longtime friend and producer, George Reiff.
"Weíre really fortunate to be in a position to have access to a creative workspace like The Finishing School. Itís allowing us to take the final step in realizing some greater creative vision. Weíve laid down about 15 new songs over the past several months, with plans for some of this material to be included on a full length album in 2020, says Jurdi.