Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens


I’m not really a proponent of indie folk/country. In fact, other than some of the genres more recently notable and highly regarded acts (Silver Jews, Fleet Foxes, Bonnie “Prince” Billy), I’d say that I do a pretty good job ignoring it. Occasionally I end up regretting this. Like, a lot. This is also almost certainly why Howe Gelb has flown under my radar for so long. I know this because Gelb isn’t exactly a musical recluse. Giant Sand alone has been releasing records since the 1980’s and Gelb has been involved in various projects for just as long, including releasing solo records and playing in the better known Calexico (a band I actually have listened to before, on purpose). Anyway, apparently this guy is really a force, but I’d have never noticed. Something about Provisions caught my attention though. I can only assume that it’s because it is really accessible to the uninitiated, but maybe I’m selling myself short. What I like about Provisions is its variety, the album starts Waylon and ends Waits. A mixture of country (and I mean country. See: “Can Do”) and wacky roots blues (“Increment of Love” and “Muck Machine” could just as easily have appeared on Rain Dogs) the songs range from delightfully tacky to eerily gritty and everything in between. As a complete package it reminds me a lot of one of my favorite records, “Tanglewood Numbers” by Silver Jews, perhaps this is actually why I like it so much. Appearances by genre sweethearts Neko Case and M. Ward might give you a better idea of what to expect.

For Fans of: Silver Jews, Calexico

Giant Sand on Myspace


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