Gelb still at the helm of Giant (Giant) Sand (Created May 29, 2013)
If Giant Sand sounds like an oxymoron, fear not. This American rock band takes it name from the original 'Giant Sandworms', a reference to those slimy creatures in the Dune books penned by Frank Herbert. But that's where the connection begins and ends … or does it?
Just like a worm, Giant Sand has (in a sense) regenerated its membership with each album. Yes, Pennsylvania-born lead singer-songwriter Howe Gelb remains at the helm, but members have included keyboardist Chris Cacavas, bassist Paula Jean Brown, Mark Walton, drummer Tom Larkins, drummer Iain Shedden, and John Convertino and Joey Burns in the rhythm section. And that's before Gelb 'reinvented' the band again in the early 2000s with a lineup of musicians from Denmark.
Guitarists in the band have also numbered more than a dozen strong, including the likes of Victoria Williams, Neko Case, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey and so many more. It's a wonder, indeed, that the members of Giant Sand (also known as Giant Giant Sand) have managed to put out close to two dozen albums, beginning with 1985's "Valley of Rain" all the way to their latest release "Tucson" in 2012.
In addition to Giant Sand, Gelb also records under the moniker The Band of Blacky Ranchette, which has become an outlet for his country sound. In fact, "Tucson" is very much a self-described country rock opera, and runs an impressive one-hour-and-10-minutes. One critic even called it a 'slightly schizophrenic, sometimes honkey-tonk, alt-country patchwork quilt.'
Perhaps it's apropos that patchwork was used in that description, with Gelb and Giant Sand still crawling along after 25+ years of music. And counting.
date city state venue 5/10/2015 Tucson AZ Club Congress 5/18/2015 Heidelberg BB Karlstorbahnhof 5/19/2015 Nurnberg BY Hirsch 5/21/2015 Leuven Het Depot 5/23/2015 Schorndorf Baden-wurttemberg Manufaktur 5/24/2015 Bern BE Dachstock 5/26/2015 Aschaffenburg Bavaria Colos - Saal 6/1/2015 Leeds Yorkshire Brudenell Social Club 6/2/2015 London Lnd Union Chapel 6/3/2015 Liverpool Liverpool St George's Hall 6/24/2015 Pilton Som Worthy Farm 7/31/2015 Happy Valley OR Pendarvis Farm 8/3/2015 Seattle WA Triple Door
date city state venue 4/19/2013 Tucson AZ Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater 4/23/2013 San Francisco CA The Warfield
date city state venue 7/26/2012 Phoenix AZ Rhythm Room 8/10/2012 Charlbury Oxfordshire Cornbury Park 10/30/2012 Phoenix AZ Rhythm Room 11/2/2012 Austin TX Auditorium Shores