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Howe Gelb


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Howe Gelb is an American artist who fronted Giant Sand, and was a member of “OP8”.

THIS IS EROSION ROCK: Inaccurately yet affectionately dubbed “the Godfather of Alt. Country” by the British press, Tucson, Arizona-based musician Howe Gelb has remained the sole epicenter and creative force behind the ever-fluid configurations of Giant Sand for over a quarter century, giving birth along the way to an extended musical family tree that fostered the likes of The Band of…Blacky Ranchette, The Friends of Dean Martinez, OP8, and Calexico.

“Giant Sand is a mood,” explained Howe, as if to simplify the dizzying breadth of his prolific output as an artist. With an impressive catalog of material that stretches back to 1983, he can easily claim some 40 albums to his credentials as both a band leader and a solo performer, each of which maintains its own genre-defying singularity while also drawing on the not-so disparate threads of country, southwestern roots, lo-fi, jazz, and punk—or the “yippity and happenstance“ that arises to inspire the soundscape of
whatever project Gelb is involved in creating.

But Howe’s initial signposts were planted crookedly in Pennsylvania during the 1970s, among them being the rock opera ZEQE 24,088 which was recorded in 3 hours at a PBS radio station. In 1972, when floodwaters claimed his hometown and family house, ultimately sending him downstream to Arizona alongside the debris of his parents’ divorce, the song “Steadfast” was born as an articulation of that disaster. Soon upon arriving in Tucson, he met his sonic soul mate in the guitarist Rainer Ptacek, and as a result the two went on to form the Giant Sandworms.


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  • IL-91

    Последний альбом ну очень хорош

    31 Aug 10:47am Reply
  • Tymbolic

    I think it's How.

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • _duif

    Hey, here's a dumb question... is it pronounced 'how' or 'Howie'?

    5 Dec 2013 Reply
  • voredhelion

    11 Nov 2013 Reply
  • rompemonster

    New album is approved!!

    27 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Targetlive

    Howe plays East London's Village Underground This Thursday (May 31) For more info visit the Last FM event page here: or head over to the Village underground site: Tickets are just £12 and you can get them here -

    28 May 2012 Reply
  • WaspSummer

    Oh, just lovely music. Thank you.

    26 Aug 2011 Reply
  • MrSouljacker

    Howe Gelb & many others say happy birthday to Bob Dylan:

    23 May 2011 Reply
  • strajnic

    He is comfortable even in European jazz. Genius!

    6 Dec 2010 Reply
  • Norrage

    He is so good! I don't know what exactly is what I find so fantastic, but it's something! Incredible artist. Severely underrated!

    7 Oct 2010 Reply
  • mikelittlepony

    "How's Howe?" ... "Gelb's good!"

    19 Aug 2010 Reply
  • nooneastern

    Howe is the man

    16 Jun 2010 Reply
  • Gaston89

    Howe Gelb makes great music. Love and respect from Croatia

    17 Apr 2010 Reply
  • phinbar

    I've been a fan of Giant Sand since the mid-eighties, how I stumbled across them is up in the air. College radio, as music director, is probably where it started. I think back then they were on Ensign records, which I thought to be a good label, so anyone on it I would take a look at. I found that I was correct in my assumption, that labels were where to find music that was unfamiliar to you. Correct me if I am wrong about them being on Ensign. So, about Howe Gelb, I think he has the most unique voices out there. Definitely know it's Howe when he gets behind the microphone. His emotional quality, and the way he puts words together to bring out a deeper truth the may have been overlooked is brilliant on his behalf. I love this man, a true artist in every sense of the word.

    10 Aug 2009 Reply
  • AllFunkNoLuck

    Check out The Listener. Fantastic album. Also check out the newest Giant Sand album, ProVisions, I feel that it is as much as a solo album from Howe, though under the Giant Sand umbralla.

    29 Jul 2009 Reply
  • Indyalanjones1

    sorry, i totally forgot i asked which album to start with here...I bought Sno angel like you and love it. I have been told that thats not your typical howe gelb though, with the gospal choire and all. Still, this is fantastic

    19 Apr 2009 Reply
  • Indyalanjones1

    great music man.

    19 Apr 2009 Reply
  • marcodisimplici

    love it

    7 Apr 2009 Reply
  • Story_Ephemera

    let us not forget GIANT SAND: their new album (Provisions) has some great stuff on it

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • mietpistole

    show the world how much you hate christmas / by celebrating it every day

    20 Dec 2008 Reply
  • All 39 shouts

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