The Band of Heathens toke and twang their way through “Green Grass of California,” the new video for which offers up three minutes of smoke, smiles and sun-baked country-rock.
While recording the track in Nashville, the Heathens got into an appropriately sativa-friendly spirit by breaking out some medicinal pot cookies. One of their guests, an East Nashville-based songwriter who’d been recruited to sing backup vocals, reportedly ate too much, quickly ditching the session altogether and heading back home to ride out the buzz in private. In his place, frontmen Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist share the spotlight more or less equally, piling their voices into harmonized stacks while a pedal steel guitar swoons in the background. The result is a campfire sing-along that traces the history of California’s most hippie-approved crop.
The song’s music video mixes performance footage with clips of a cannabis-friendly celebration, with more than a half-dozen Austin-based friends and musicians sharing a joint in front of an American flag. Along for the ride are local photographer Greg Giannukos and singer/songwriter Jonathan Terrell. The band gets a piece of the action, too, with a slit-eyed Quist even wearing a blond wig during the song’s bridge. A band of heathens, indeed.
Duende, the group’s latest album, was released independently on January 13th.