As reissue programmes go, few can be as deserved as Fire’s current project for Giant Sand. The records are being released to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the band in Tucson, Arizona. Over this time the band and their leader Howe Gelb have developed a cult following. Although they may not necessarily be the first name that jump to mind, Giant Sand’s influence has spread far and wide – one need only take a quick look at people who have appeared on their records or live over the years to see the respect in which Gelb is held: M. Ward, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey, Vic Chesnutt, Jello Biafra to name but a few. On their most recent album, Blurry Blue Mountain, Gelb seemingly acknowledges his elder-of-the-scene status: “Now I amble 50, and the longest hours move so swiftly / such young fresh folk look to me as a pathfinder.’
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 past ensembles, 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 12th on Fire Records. Taking place in the town of Tucson, the story revolves around a “semi grizzled man with overt boyish naivete” who sets off to escape his hometown and embarks on a life-changing road trip; eschewing all his worldly goods and leaving his girlfriend, encountering jail at the Mexican border, finding love at a train station saloon and fearing the end of the world. The album is a dusty work of art, conjuring images of the desert, rivers, and a cactus-strewn landscape.
mp3 320 kbps | 164 MB | DF
Giant Sand’s first two albums, Valley of Rain and Ballad of a Thin Line, were reissued on a single compact disc. Even at the beginning of their career, Giant Sand had a distinctive take on dusty country-rock in the vein of Neil Young, and while both records have some clunkers, Howe Gelb’s songwriting is often quite impressive.
Fire Records re-issues the rare and regarded Black Out recording from 1993. Forged from the embers of the recording session which was Purge & Slouch, and wholly acoustic, this collection of takes was originally released only in Germany. Black Out sits proudly amidst the Giant Sand re-issue project. ”When we gathered for the grand experiment of ‘purge & slouch’ Howe Gelb recalls, ”the idea of which was to record without having written anything prior for it. Some actual songs did pop out perhaps for the sake of warm-up or while mics were being wired .. maybe just for the sake of vigorous deployment .. re-living some old songs there and then, we bundled em up after the fact for what would become ”stromausfall” instead.
mp3 320 kbps | 109 MB | FSo
“The Love Songs” was originally released in 1988 and is the fourth reissue from Fire Records. Often called Giant Sand’s best album of their early period, 1988’s “The Love Songs” features an expressiveness and songwriting maturity that rivals Bob Dylan. “Giant Sand is a mood,” says Howes of Giant Sands, as if trying to offer a low-key explanation for his dizzying array of artistic exploration that includes a back-catalogue of some 40 albums as a singer, band-leader and producer. After growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1970s, it wasn’t until he moved to Tuscon, Arizona that he met his musical soul mate, the guitarist Rainer Ptaceck. The two formed Giant Sandworms and issued only a handful of recordings before the worms were put to rest: since then, Giant Sand have released 24 albums – an impressive haul when considering Howe’s equally prolific output under other projects including Black Ranchette and Arizona Amp & Alternator as well as his solo releases.
mp3 320 kbps | 131 MB | FSo