Lambchop w/ Howe Gelb
Sunday, May 6th 7:00PM
It’s been nearly two decades since Lambchop released its first album, at the time pronouncing itself “Nashville’s most fucked-up country band.” Provocative it may have been, but the description made sense: at the heart of all that ruckus was a band at once defying and embracing the musical legacy of its hometown. Since then, Lambchop has evolved into an accomplished ensemble, adding palpable depth and substance to singer-songwriter-guitarist Kurt Wagner’s songs—and the band sounds as commanding as ever on its 11th album, Mr. M, acollection of meditations on love and loss and the detritus of everyday existence.
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.