Giant Giant Sand’s Tucson features music for a country rock opera written by Howe Gelb. It’s the story of a young man who leaves his home and sets out on a road trip in the desert, the series of adventures that follow teaching him something about life.
Just when you thought Giant Sand couldn’t get any bigger, Howe Gelb has done just that by regrouping, expanding and magnifying his vision with the newest version of Giant Sand, calling it (appropriately enough) GIANT GIANT SAND. As a sort of homage, he’s named the album “Tucson” after the town he’s called home for forty years. This self-described country rock opera by one of music’s leading risk-takers, is set to be released on June 11th, 2012 on Fire Records.
In GIANT GIANT SAND you will recognize the members all hailing from Denmark who have been a part of Giant Sand for the last 10 years, plus the new string section now added and also the inclusion of stunning pedal steel player Maggie Bjorklund.
In addition, you’ll be introduced to the new musicians from Howe Gelb’s native Tucson making their Giant Sand debuts along with long time collaborator Lonna Kelley lending her smoldering warble from Phoenix.
The inspiration for assembling these collaborators (or cast if you will) for an album was the idea of a country rock opera, a vision that has followed Howe for decades.
Taking place in the town of Tucson , the story revolves around a “semi grizzled man with overt boyish naÃ¯vetÃ©” who sets off to escape the trappings of hometown life and embarks on a life-changing road trip; eschewing all his worldly goods and leaving behind his girlfriend, encountering jail at the Mexican border, finding new love at a train station saloon, all while ‘the end of the world’ provides the landscape game changer. The album is a dusty work of art, conjuring images of the all knowing desert and a confused river inside the cacti-strewn sound scape.
The GIANT GIANT SAND lineup includes Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan and Jon Villa who bring their Mex-Amer-i-can zing to the album with a permeating cumbia style of playing, drawing on South American traditional music. Joining them is a string section from Aarhus, Denmark introduced to the band by SeÃ±or Lopez (where coincidentally the rest of Giant Sand are from) including violinist Iris Jakobsen, who, ironically, was born in Tucson. No man could’ve planned it better here when Fate is the founding father.
‘Tucson’ is available on CD / 2XLP and Digital Download