Giant Sandman

yup, mm-hnh.  So. I also promised y’all some Giant Sand a long while back there when Howe put out his ‘flamenco’ album didn’t I? Well mister Gelb has got hisself another solo record out already and gifted us an intro into writing about his band by putting out a new Giant Sand record earlier in the year –  ‘Blurry Blue Mountain‘. He keeps busy for a guy who always seems so damn laid back don’t he? First up, here’s a couple of tunes off of this year’s album. What can I say about that? It’s a Giant Sand record, it has acoustic loveliness and outbursts of loud guitar and piano and all kinds of whatever sprinkled here and there. Here’s what Mr. Howe says.

“These recordings were done in the space between the waking world and the sleeping one. there exists a point there with a broad landscape that has seldom been loitered in. as with every previous album, none of this was planned. every record has its own atmosphere. for me they are always a new place to live in and spend some time before moving on.”

Howe’s described Giant Sand as being ‘a state of mind’. I ain’t alone in thinkin’ that might be the Grand Canyon State of Arizona, or maybes some fever dream of what the state might be. The space, the huge sky, the desert. It’s not that hard to see what he means, after years of listening to Giant Sand it’s come to feel like a place you can travel to, warm and comfortable, lived in – a lot like that beat up ol’ place on the front of the new record. Time is different here, it ain’t the destination but the ride that we’re here for, y’know? that kinda thing. I couldn’t honestly say if that’d be something that’s obvious straight off or it takes some time with the music, so many people have come along in their wake to do something like it but nobody is like them.

fields of green

ride the rail

meantime the new solo record is called melted wires it was made about a year ago with Howe and John Convertino now out of Calexico plus a couple of other guys one from each o’they current line-ups. I think it’s all from one session, new stuff and old songs wander through it, it makes a great companion to Blurry Blue Mountain, reminds me of Long Stem Rant (just the two of them. In a shed.) and illustrates a lot of what makes Giant Sand so damn great. Not only all o’that but it’s a pay what you like download type deal  – git it here. There’s bonus tracks in the form of 15 other versions of the short and wryly titled ‘hit single’, here also is a lovely lazy take on ‘Yer Ropes’. Yup. mn-hnh.


Hit Single

Yer Ropes

their excellent website

almost comprehensive discography type thing

~ by Mumblin' Earl on December 6, 2010.

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