What is a compilation album? A bespoke tribute to a singular artist might be considered to be a compilation, but for this writer it’s basically a bunch of otherwise available songs slung together for one reason or another. Usually the reason is to sell more records of course. Much has been made in these pages of Uncut’s series of Americana themed cover mount CDs. It’s like your friendly neighbourhood drug dealer wheeling you in as he whispers, “The first one’s free…” And ofttimes, that dealer was a record label. There’s an honourable tradition of labels selling compilations of their artists at loss-leading prices, sometimes with an otherwise unavailable track as an additional incentive. Some of those albums are now revered. Think of Island Records’ ‘We Can All Join In’, the CBS sampler, ‘The Rock Machine Turns You On’, or Atlantic Records’ ‘Age Of Atlantic’. Here we’d like to make a case for this 1987 release to join that pantheon. Continue reading “Classic Americana Compilations: Various Artists “Acres For Cents” (Zippo 1987)”
Whether creating solo material or records with his band, Giant Sand, Howe Gelb has been consistently turning out engaging music for decades. The way he effortlessly blends genres and traditions is striking. In this video, Gelb wanders into a jazz bar in Pennsylvania to perform and stir up old memories. It begins with a fabulous conversation with the bar owner, Tunsie Jabbour, in which Gelb says: “I live like jazz: I’m improvising all the time.” Lovely. Then, we’re hooked before he even begins to play when he strokes his plectrum on the microphone. Sit back and enjoy.
Giant Sand main man and indie legend Howe Gelb has been announced as a special guest on the upcoming Lost Brothers Irish Theatre Tour this December. Based in Tuscon Arizona since 1972 Howe has collaborated with artists such as M Ward, PJ Harvey and John Parish, and his band Giant Sand spawned and inspired bands such as Calexico who are part of Howe’s extended musical family. Continue reading “Howe Gelb to join Lost Brothers on dates next month”
Never a man to resist a whim, Howe Gelb has resurrected the band title he retired a few years back and re-recorded the first album which came out under the Giant Sand name, 1985’s ‘Valley of Rain’. The whys and wherefores for this are myriad perhaps but Gelb reasons that the original album suffered from being too clean, his Roland amp being one of the guilty culprits, preferring the final three songs he recorded for the album using an old Fender Tube amp (previously owned by Robbie Krieger, trivia fans). So, having secured an old 80’s Fender 30 amp late last year, Gelb set about recording ‘Return to The Valley of Rain’ and even managed to round up the original band to play on several of the songs. Job done, Giant Sand then set about a European tour to play the album live, tonight’s show the second last in the UK after a swirl around Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Continue reading “Giant Sand + Patsy’s Rats, Oran Mor, Glasgow, 10th June 2018”
35 years after releasing their debut album, ‘Valley of Rain’, Howe Gelb and his Tucson based tearaways Giant Sand have only gone and re recorded the whole shebang and following on a clutch of shows in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway they come to the UK and Ireland this week to let us hear how it’s sounding these days. Continue reading “Giant Sand return to their Valley of Rain”
It has just been announced that on Friday June 8th the Lost Brothers, Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, will have very special guests at their homecoming gig at Dublin’s historic Liberty Hall Theatre on Eden Quay. For one night only the Irish duo will be joined onstage by the Tuscon Arizona band with whom they recorded their recent critically acclaimed album. Continue reading “The Lost Brothers announce special Dublin show with Howe Gelb”
Valparaiso release their debut album ‘Broken Homeland’ tomorrow and they’ve shared the track Bury My Body from the record with us which features some striking vocals from Shannon Wright. The Parisian musical collective deriving from the cult band Jack The Ripper also features the voices and poetry of Phoebe Killdeer of Nouvelle Vague, Howe Gelb, Spain’s Josh Haden, Dominique A, Moriarty’s Rosemary Standley, Venus’ Marc Huyghens, Mansfield Tya’s Julia Lanoë, and is recorded, mixed and produced by John Parish. Look out for a tour soon with different guests each night (we’d lay money down one of them won’t be Ronan Keating).
This French collective rose from the corpse of Jack the Ripper (the French Band – named for the Nick Cave song) and provide a particularly Gallic flavoured brand of Americana. The four corners of their world are populated by Giant Sand, Spain (both Howe Gelb and Josh Haden guest), PJ Harvey and the Tindersticks, so it’s slow burning Desert rock with an overcoat and a bucketful of attitude. It’s produced by John Parish (who also appears) and it sounds beautifully organic, suffused with as much atmosphere as a Joseph Conrad novel. Continue reading “Valparaiso “Broken Homeland” (Zamora, 2017)”
Antonio Gramentieri has worked with a host of Americana favourites from Howe Gelb, Richard Buckner and the Friends of Dean Martinez. If you blend those together, add in an Italian view of life (I like to think of Inspector Montalbano) and a dose of noir, you get a sound that is at once Mediterranean and universal. There’s a mix of louche instrumentals like Il Turco that’s like an ill-advised drug fuelled tour of a souk, sardonic stories like ‘Sera’ narrated by Hugo Race and then strange little twisted slices of seedy europop like Baballo. A complete stew of styles all slightly skewed into Gramentieri’s worldview. Continue reading “Don Antonio “Don Antonio” Santeria/Audioglobe 2017”
The Parisian musical collective deriving from the cult band Jack The Ripper is releasing its first album under the Valparaiso alter ego on September 22nd, featuring the voices and poetry of Phoebe Killdeer of Nouvelle Vague, Howe Gelb, Shannon Wright, Spain’s Josh Haden, Dominique A, Moriarty’s Rosemary Standley, Venus’ Marc Huyghens, Mansfield Tya’s Julia Lanoë. The album is recorded, mixed and produced by John Parish. The first track to be released from it features a duet between guests-singers Phoebe Killdeer of Nouvelle Vague and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb. The video which you can watch below has been directed by filmmakers Richard Dumas and Amaury Voslion who comment on the minimalistic black and white clip starring a young lady eating savagely a bloody pomegranat (nice) while taking her bath: ”To drown or not to drown… Are you experienced?” Continue reading “Valparaiso featuring Howe Gelb release debut album September”