For a Rock and Roll band to last 30 years, they must be doing something right! Giant Sand have had many line ups, and in truth, the present one is little more than Howe Gelb and others, but when they were at their best, they were quite special. If you want to argue the point, have a listen to the BBQ suite below!
This gig is billed as a celebration of the last 30 years, and with the new album containing guest appearances from Jason Lytle, Grant Lee Philips, John Parish and more, you never know who will turn up at this one.
Giant³ Sand – Whelan’s – 8th September 2015.
GIANT SAND MARKS 30th ANNIVERSARY SINCE DEBUT WITH EXCITING NEW ALBUM, HEARTBREAK PASS, OUT MAY 5, 2015 ON NEW WEST RECORDS. FEATURES PAST AND PRESENT MEMBERS AND FRIENDS JASON LYTLE OF GRANDADDY, STEVE SHELLEY OF SONIC YOUTH, GRANT LEE PHILLIPS, JOHN PARISH, MAGGIE BJORKLUND, THE COMMON LINNETS, LOVELY QUINCES
GIANT SAND, the iconic and influential band fronted by luminary Howe Gelb, celebrates 30 years of freewheeling and ever-evolving music making on new album, Heartbreak Pass, due May 5, 2015 on New West Records. The album spans founder Gelb’s far-reaching career and mixes the rollicking nature of the band’s 1985 debut, Valley of Rain, with the dusty alt-folk, desert-rock and jazzy lounge-piano explorations of his most recent releases. “There are 3 volumes of 15 songs here representing living 2 lives for 30 years. Don’t do the math. It doesn’t figure,” explains Gelb. “The 1st volume is a loud and lucky abandon, as if there’s no choice. The 2nd volume is more heady, steady and direct, what they call Americana these days. The 3rd volume is the heart in constant turmoil from the effect of crossing the pond way too often, the blessed curse of the indie transponder.” GIANT SAND will unveil the new songs at SXSW in Austin at two special shows, They will then follow with a European tour this spring including a date at Whelan’s Dublin this September.
Self-produced by Gelb (producing credits include KT Tunstall and Sylvie Simmons) the album was truly a global undertaking and made all across the world in between his ping-ponging from the desert to Europe, where he does most of his touring these days. “It first sprouted in Brussels,” Gelb reveals. “Some strings attached in Crete… a choir acquired in Canada… a wall of sound in Berlin… then a little noodling in Italy… and a dash in Nashville… a vocal quotient in Croatia… a couple linnets in it in Holland … Jason’s portal in Portland … the rest slowly simmered in Tucson… and the whole thing was mixed in one place… bristling in Bristol.” Heartbreak Pass features the current GIANT SAND lineup of Thøger Lund, Gabriel Sullivan, Brian Lopez, Jon Villa, Peter Dombernowsky, Nikolaj Heyman, Anders Pedersen, Iris Jakobsen and Asger Christiansen who trade off on instruments from song to song like a game of musical chairs. Frequent collaborators Maggie Bjorklund plays pedal steel on several tracks while Lonna Beth Kelley offers a smoldering counterpoint to Gelb’s gravelly warble on a couple of tunes.
The album also features Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, Grant-Lee Phillips, Croatian indie folk singer Lovely Quinces, Ilse DeLange & JB Meijers of Dutch Americana band The Common Linnets, treasured alumni Paula Jean Brown and frequent PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish, who also mixed the record. Original Giant Sand drummer, Winston Watson, who went on to play with Bob Dylan, guests on the album and brings things full circle.“Heaventually” opens the album with Gelb’s characteristic clever wordplay and Italian singer Vinicio Capossela’s Waitsian recitation and from there moves to the upbeat indie rock of “Texting Feist” and garagey “Hurtin’ Habit.” “Transponder,” a collaboration produced by Jason Lytle, has all of the signatures of his former band Grandaddy – spacey synths, unsettling noise and vocal chorales, and features former Giant Sand member and ex-member of The Go-Gos, Paula Jean Brown, on bass.
Tickets priced €28 (including booking fee) go on sale Wednesday 25th March at 9am through http://www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.