1994’s ‘Glum’ was to be Giant Sand’s largest record and in order to make it so, Howe Gelb invited everyone along to the party. This carnival helped create Giant Sand’s best record to date and ‘Glum’ is now proudly re-issued by Fire.
Howe Gelb explains Glum’s story, “This was our best record for a long time. It had Malcolm Burn producing it with me and it was done up at Daniel Lanois’ studio in New Orleans. Since it was our first big budget session, I tried to get everyone who ever took part on a Giant Sand record to come to Dan’s mansion and stay and be on the record somewhere. This made the atmosphere in the house more entangled then it had to be, but seemed like the way it should be. For some reason I began singing like an old man on this record, or maybe was inspired too much from my new talking distortion pedal on my guitar. At the moment this record was due to be released, the label shut down its operations and it got lost. but these things have a life of their own. (I wrote ‘faithful’ for Marianne, whom I just met through our label rep, kate Hyman. When she heard it she said: “but Howe, where is the melody ?”)… and that’s the story of my life.”
“Giant Sand is a mood,” says Howe’ of Giant Sand, as if trying to o er a low-key explanation for his dizzying array of artistic exploration that includes a back-catalogue of some 40 albums as a singer, band-leader and producer. After growing up in Pennsylvania in the 1970’s, it wasn’t until he moved to Tuscon, Arizona that he met his musical soul mate, the guitarist Rainer Ptaceck. The two formed Giant Sandworms and issued only a handful of recordings before the worms were put to rest: since then, Giant Sand have released 24 albums – an impressive haul when considering Howe’s equally proli c output under other projects including Black Ranchette and Arizona Amp & Alternator as well as his solo releases.