RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Howe Gelb; Sno Angel Like You (Fire/Southbound)

 |   |  1 min read

Love Knows No Borders
RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Howe Gelb; Sno Angel Like You (Fire/Southbound)

The astonishingly prolific Howe Gelb (Giant Sand, the Band of Blacky Ranchette, numerous albums under his own name) has yet another new one coming in late November.

But meantime there is the 10th anniversary reissue of this album which seems to come in various formats including a double gatefold LP as Sno Angel Like You/Sno Angel Winging It.

We here just have the original 16-song single disc (in the vinyl cover), an apparently there is a CD/DVD/book edition also.

At the time Joey Burns and John Convertino had left Giant Sand (to form Calexico) so it was an opportunity for a re-think by Gelb, and inspiration came from an unusual source: gospel choirs he heard while playing solo at a festival.

The result was this album where he delivered somewhere between a country-flavoured and more empathetic speak-sing Lou Reed, Bob Dylan if he'd heard the Velvets rather than country music in '67 and of course the voices of the gospel-styled choir.

So it is sort of alt.country with sprawling lyrics and stories delivered with an up-close intimacy over rolling and sometimes rollicking rhythms . . . with swathes of appealing gospel-soul.

He plays a few Giant Sand songs and some by his late pal Rainer Ptacek but comparisons with their previous versions are irrelevant.

This is where Gelb takes liberties, whispers or rides a groove, and weaves odd imagery and soulful sounds together in a way which invites you in and keeps you there.

If you've never heard this – or worse missed out on Gelb's vast catalogue completely – then here is the perfect in.

For more on Howe Gelb including a lengthy interview see here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Taken by Trees: East of Eden (Rough Trade)

Taken by Trees: East of Eden (Rough Trade)

This ethereal and exotically charming album by Swedish singer-composer Victoria Bergsman (aka Taken by Trees) is something of a rarity: she travelled to Lahore where she encountered not just the... > Read more

Ryan Bingham: Fear and Saturday Night (Universal)

Ryan Bingham: Fear and Saturday Night (Universal)

This 33-year old Americana/alt.country singer who played the Tuning Fork last year with his new band has a road-hardened, Bourbon'n'catarrh voice which belies his years. As some wag noted, he... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

KATCHAFIRE (2005): Slow burning their way to consciousness

KATCHAFIRE (2005): Slow burning their way to consciousness

Reggae is one of the bloodlines of New Zealand music. It is there whenever an acoustic guitar comes out on the marae or suburban barbeque, and you can hear it in the hi-tech dub incarnation in... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren Watson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren Watson

Darren Watson of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, has long been a multiple-threat; powerful and souldful singer; excellent blues guitarist; great songwriter. He first came to attention... > Read more