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Review: 'GELB, HOWE'

-  Label: 'Fire Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '8th March 2019'

Our Rating:
This is a record which celebrates Howe Gelb's wanderlust.

The Giant Sand front man's journeyman inclinations draw sustenance from fellow troubadours in Ireland, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Gelb's home in Tucson, Arizona.

Fernando Vacas played host in Cordoba, Spain, the Lost Brothers revived weary spirits in Dublin. Matt Ward offered his talents for Leonard Cohen's romantic A Thousand Kisses Deep, Anna Karina brings her Parisian charm to bear on Not The End Of The World while sultry Danish singer Kira Skov proves her worth on Presumptuous.

Throughout, Gelb relishes his role as master of ceremonies half drawling, half crooning, tapping into a jazzy, seductive mood that is part Chet Baker, part Frank Sinatra.

Dutch producer JB Meijers was on hand to capture the brief twanging instrumental of The Open Road. Frank Birch Pontoppidan in Copenhagen produced several other tunes. In Tucson his 15 year old daughter Talula gives a youthful rendition of the classic Moon River.

All these collected musings are unapologetically self-indulgent, reveling in the spontaneity of storytelling in narratives that are personal in tone and communal in substance.

Gathered ,the title track featuring Iowa's Pieta Brown, is a wedding song. The line "We are gathered here today to let love have its way" is a sentiment that could be applied to the album's central concept in that it celebrates a union of musical soul mates and kindred spirits.

Howe Gelb's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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GELB, HOWE - Gathered