Howe Gelb turns Giant Sand to Giant Giant Sand for new LP

What happens when you make Giant Sand even bigger? You get Giant Giant Sand, of course. Also, you get an expanded version of the band that pretty much took indie-rock in a Southwestern direction, and later yielded Calexico and influenced the likes of M. Ward, Neko Case and so on.

With a new “country rock opera” on the way, band leader Howe Gelb has made Giant Sand into Giant Giant Sand with the addition of a string section and pedal steel guitarist Maggie Bjorklund. The album, “Tucson,” follows a “semi-grizzled man with over boyish naïveté” as he leaves behind the comforts of home for a road trip that includes new love, jail time and a shitload of desert imagery.

Gelb gives you an idea what it’s all about with “Forever and a Day,” which he’s streaming in advance of the June 11 release of “Tucson.” The swift-flowing kiss-off song is full of deep twangy guitar, mariachi horns and Gelb’s dusty vocals. You can almost see the cacti.

Photo by Zuzana Oplatkova

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