Sure, you can call The Gourds a rock band from Austin. And you can call Austin a city in Texas. And in so doing, you can miss all of the reasons why people across the world get giddy and starry-eyed when they talk about The Gourds, or Austin, or both. In many ways, The Gourds are the musical distillation of Austin’s colourful culture itself: genre-defying, boundary-pushing, unpretentious, gregarious.
Enter All The Labour: The Story of the Gourds, a documentary by Montana filmmaker Doug Hawes-Davis that takes aim at the elusive, ever-moving target that is The Gourds. Comprised of candid conversations, blazing performances, on-tour media interviews and insight from friends and family, the film captures the unbreakable backbeat and creative spark of “the national band of Austin” (New York Times).
Filmed over the course of eight months and featuring archival footage shot nearly two decades previously, All The Labour is itself the product of an unconventional yet uniquely fitting collaboration. Hawes-Davis, a veteran documentary filmmaker with over 30 titles to his credit, has made a career of explaining the virtually unexplainable in his films. But little prepared him for the challenge of chasing The Gourds around the country in a beat-up tour van, trying to capture all the mystique.
“As a filmmaker, I am most attracted to subjects that aren’t easy to put in a box; the same is true for my musical tastes,” said Hawes-Davis, an avid music fan with a record collection that numbers in the thousands. “The passion that people all over the country have for The Gourds serves as evidence that they’ve tapped into something really powerful and unique. The fact that it is hard to describe doesn’t mean it can’t be understood. So that is what I set out to do – gain an understanding of what this band is all about and share that with film and music fans.”
“Rousing, soulful” – Mojo
- BBFC rating
- Running time
- 96 mins
- Other features
- Doug Hawes-Davis