As an Arizona resident for the past 18 + years, and a lover of many things Americana/roots, especially with a west coast / southwest vibe, it’s damn silly that I’m not more familiar with the Tucson’s Howe Gelb and his former band Giant Sand. I’m correcting that as we speak by dialing up all of Giant Sand’s early albums on Rdio. I started this morning with 1985’s Valley of Rain, which sounds like unmistakable precursors to the Pixies, and another Tucson outfit, Calexico (which makes sense – John Convertino and Joey Burns actually started out in Giant Sand).
Yes, I posted many moons ago about a great Giant Sand tune (“Big Fish”) on a Victoria Williams benefit CD. But overall since then, I’ve had – well – my head in the sand about Giant Sand.
So Mr. Howe Gelb has a new record on tap with a new band, A Band of Gypsies. It’s called Alegria, and was recorded in Spain with an actual band of Flamenco guitar-playing gypsies. Featured among them is Flamenco guitar virtuoso Raimundo Amador.
The new album will release stateside on May 10th.
Keep an eye on the Fire Records web site for a chance to order in the U.S. (you can already order overseas).