ALL THE LABOR (2013)

“Rousing, soulful. (4 stars out of 5: Excellent)” MOJO (UK)

“Terrific.”  Dallas Observer

“A beautifully shot film.”  Country Music People

“Magnetic…as the Austin, Texas, band kicks out Southern alt-folk and rock tunes, unbridled woots and whistles from fans fill the lulls.  You feel like you’re there.” Missoula Independent

“ALL THE LABOR does a fine job of capturing the Gourds’ obtuse lyricism, hell-raising live act, and music that is equally steeped in the Band’s musicianship, Doug Sahm’s cosmic weirdness, and ‘80s punk energy.” Vintage Guitar

“Very few great bands stick it out long enough to get a documentary made about their uniqueness and unmarketability. It takes years of touring, recording, suffering, frustration, and sheer doggedness to be recognized as one of the last bands standing. In the Gourds’ case, about 18 years. Their website once proclaimed them as ‘music for the unwashed and well-read’ and it’s a pretty apt description of the weirdly creative Austin-based roots rock combo who have slow-cooked their way into Lone Star mythology since their 1996 debut. Led by co-singer/songwriters Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith, along with mainstays Claude Bernard, Max Johnston, and Keith Langford, The Gourds have always followed their own star, embracing a distinctly Southern charm that seems like it should shoehorn them neatly into country, Americana, bluegrass, R&B, or any of the other subgenres of American roots music, but never quite does. Their ramshackle obscurity and artful songwriting (which is probably their greatest asset) have always kept them outside of any mainstream circles and left publicists, labels, and many potential fans scratching their heads. Thankfully, documentarian Doug Hawes-Davis recognized what a core group of fans have known for nearly two decades, and preserved the band’s unique story and some of their most inspired performances with his feature film ALL THE LABOR. Filmed during multiple tour dates from 2011 and 2012, the film’s soundtrack captures 18 classic, career-spanning songs from a very well-seasoned group of musicians who display both the tightness of many years together on-stage and the loose camaraderie of just as many years in the van.” All Music Guide

“Through interviews, live performances and scraps of footage, this documentary will have your foot tapping and you heart laughing.” Local Sightings Film Festival

“A fun, compelling film for both cult fans and neophytes who may only know the band from its cover of ‘Gin & Juice’.” Missoulian

“SXSW Film Report: 5 Must-See Rock Movies.  The Gourds have been rocking Austin with their rootsy brand of Americana for nearly two decades, but their only sniff at national fame came via an unlikely cover of Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice, which went viral in the days before most of us knew what that meant outside of its medical context. Unfortunately, their Internet hit was generally credited to Phish in those outlaw Napster days, so The Gourds remain a below-the-radar success story. Doug Hawes-Davis’ rockumentary may change that. Following the band on the road and in the studio as they navigate the perilous waters of the modern music business, ALL THE LABOR is a treat for longtime fans, as well as a great introduction to the raucous alt-country jams and surreal folk anthems of the band’s principle creative forces, Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith.” Rocker Magazine

“Great acts don’t always get the credit they deserve.  ALL THE LABOR, the new documentary from High Plains Films, is a testament to exactly that. Breaking the typical music documentary mold of an artist’s quick rise to fame and the destruction that then ensues, ALL THE LABOR presents the audience with the deeper discovery of a band’s genuine relationship with their music. Rather than capitalizing through their music, The Gourds live through their music and the audience won’t be able to leave this film without a sincere respect for that.” concertblogger.com

“ALL THE LABOR delves into the strange story of a fledgling Austin band that hit the virtual big-time via the file-sharing of a larkish cover song. The film tracks the band over a 10-year period, from an odd appearance on the Austin Fox affiliate in preparation for a 2001 SXSW showcase to the recording of 2011’s Old Mad Joy album and ensuing tour. They’re shown in the film as they come across in person: authentic, and not particularly concerned with the vagaries of fame. Given the fakers and takers Austin has produced over the years, that’s a labor deserving more than a little love.”  Texas Observer

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