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Howe Gelb: Hisser
Howe Gelb: Hisser
turnover time:2024-06-25 05:50:26

Giant Sand was never much of a band. It was more of a musical co-op, with various players and eccentric personalities checking in and out of the colony. Giant Sand's one constant has always been enigmatic desert guru Howe Gelb, a cult of one with an ear for atmospheric Southwestern songwriting. Gelb is truly some sort of visionary, even if his vision is often elusive. His loose musings make the meandering songs of his fellow sun-and-sand-and-smoke chroniclers in Meat Puppets seem downright lucid. Though he does get some help from his busy friends Joey Burns and John Convertino—veterans of Giant Sand and Calexico—Gelb himself dominates Hisser, yet another excellent voyage into the land of sagebrush and saguaros. After dozens of albums, his gently hallucinogenic songs still sound like the product of frequent night crossings of the Mexican border carrying payloads of peyote and an acoustic guitar. His warbly, weary voice is like the indie-rock answer to Jimmie Dale Gilmore's, his music like Lou Reed at a campfire. Anything goes in the realm of Gelb, but Hisser stays relatively sedate and consistent. When the guitar does well up, as on "Like A Store Front Display," it sounds like it's coming from another world. Gelb's brand of Americana is unique, and Hisser is as good a place as any to begin your exposure to his fine songwriting.

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