Close Lobsters – Headache Rhetoric / Foxheads Stalk This Land – CD


Howe Gelb has travelled many a long and dusty mile to get to his place of prominence as an elder statesman of freewheeling Americana and “Erosion Rock”; a brand of music changing with the elements on a daily basis as nature intended, like Giant Sand, believing that continuous evolution should be a palpable element in music, as when songs were first handed over again and again, before the frozen capture of a recording studio.

Born in 1956, Howe had moved to Tucson, Arizona, as a teen in the early 1970s after his home was destroyed by a flood back in Pennsylvania. When not on the road, he lives with his family in Barrio Santa Rosa. Although “Endlessly restlessly wanderlusted encrusted”, he’s well settled in the desert caliche where it takes him an hour to dig a small hole in the desert floor, there where the sunrise hurts.

In 1980, Gelb formed the post punk band Giant Sandworms, with his close friend Rainer Ptacek, the renowned slide guitarist and beloved Tucson icon. Rainer died from brain cancer in 1997, and you can’t talk long with Gelb without his name coming up.

Giant Sand emerged in 1983 and released that group’s debut album, ‘Valley of Rain’ in 1985. In the 30 years since, he has released an estimated 40 albums or so as Giant Sand, collecting his players and bands in Denmark and Spain, and another with a full gospel choir attached in Canada, but they call his music Americana anyway. Howe just says he’s “from Earth”.

Now ‘Beyond the Valley of Rain’ brings you ‘Valley of Rain’ on one LP, as originally intended. The second disc features ‘Giant Sandworms’ on the radio, KXCI to be precise, back in 1993, and Giant Sand performing at Vera in Groningen, Holland in 1986 and includes two songs written and performed by Rainer, ‘Funny How Time slips Away’ and ‘Round and Round’ Two instrumental live tracks, ‘Meet Me in the Morning’ and ‘Roofs on Fire’ are too long for the LP, so are brought to you via a download, along with all the audio on wax.

For this very special 30th anniversary release, ‘Beyond The Valley Of Rain’ will include liner notes written by the man himself, Howe.

“I think this was the best Giant Sand ever.. but I say that every decade” Howe Gelb

“Howe Gelb is an enigma, an inspiration and a genius” The Quietus

“Hugely prolific and just as erratic” Q

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