In anticipation of Fire Records’ June 12th release of the country rock opera, Tucson, and Howe Gelb’s May 10th performance at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Giant Giant Sand release the new track “Detained.” The track, which just premiered on Brooklyn Vegan, was inspired “by the clutch of cumbia that fevers the many particles of this album,” says Howe Gelb.
As a sort of homage, he’s named the album Tucson after the town he’s called home for forty years. Taking place in the town of Tucson, the story revolves around a "semi grizzled man with overt boyish naïveté" who sets off to escape the trappings of hometown life and embarks on a life-changing road trip; eschewing all his worldly goods and leaving behind what he has loved, encountering jail at the Mexican border, finding new old love at a train station saloon, all while ‘the end of the world’ provides the landscape game changer. The album is a dusty work of art, conjuring images of the all knowing desert and a confused river inside the cacti-strewn sound scape.
The inspiration for assembling these collaborators (or cast if you will) for an album was the idea of a country rock opera, a vision that has followed Howe for decades.
In GIANT GIANT SAND you will recognize the members all hailing from Denmark who have been a part of Giant Sand for the last 10 years (Thøger T. Lund, Peter Dombernowski, Anders Pederesen and Nikolaj Heyman) plus now including a string section, as well as the stunning pedal steel player Maggie Bjorklund.
In addition, you’ll be introduced to the new musicians from Howe Gelb’s native Tucson making their Giant Sand debuts along with long time collaborator Lonna Kelley lending her smoldering warble from Phoenix.
The Tucson GIANT GIANT SAND lineup includes Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan and Jon Villa who bring their Mex-Amer-i-can plunk to the album with a permeating cumbia style of playing, drawing on South American traditional music. Joining them all is a string section from Aarhus, Denmark introduced to the band by Señor Lopez (where coincidentally the rest of Giant Sand are from) including violinists Asger Christensen amd Iris Jakobsen, who, ironically, was born in Tucson.
"No man could’ve planned this mother better when fate is the founding father."
– obscure country rock opera expression
Giant Sand – 2012 Tour Dates
05/20/2012 – New York City – Joe’s Pub: Howe Gelb
05/17/2012 – The Netherlands – Maastricht, de muziekgieterij: Howe Gelb
05/20/2012 – The Netherlands – Amsterdam, Paradiso: Howe Gelb
05/22/2012 – The Netherlands – Ottersum, Roepaen: Howe Gelb
05/24/2012 – Ireland – Dublin, Whelans: Howe Gelb
05/27/2012 – Austria – Linz Festival: Giant Giant Sand
05/31/2012 – UK – London, Village Underground: Howe Gelb
06/03/2012 – Switzerland – Zurich, El Lokal: Howe Gelb
07/06/2012 – Norway – Egersund Visefestival, Grand Scene: Howe Gelb
08/12/2012 – UK – Wilderness Festival: Giant Giant Sand
08/13/2012 – The Netherlands – Amsterdam, Paradiso: Giant Giant Sand