Gourds: Lower 48 [purchase]
First of all, happy 232nd birthday, America. You don't look a day over 180. I don't care what Canada says. So, in tribute to the American continent, I present to you "Lower 48," a tune that celebrates the continental U S of A. Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii.
The Gourds have been stirring their Texas gumbo for over a decade now and this is fairly representative of their Doug Sahm-meets-Los Lobos sound. This album (Blood On The Ram) actually marked their departure from a strict acoustic sound ... except for Jimmy Smith's bass, anyway ... to a template that now features electric guitar and Nord keyboard. The Gourds are best known for their rendition of "Gin 'n' Juice," but the novelty of that cover shouldn't obscure the fact that they're one of the most unique and soulful roots-rock bands of the last couple decades. Enjoy ... and happy 4th.