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Land Beyond The Mountains

Howland, Don

Land Beyond The Mountains

Birdman
CD $12.00

02/19/2002 607287003825 

bmr 038CD 


***Don Howland is best known for founding seminal blues-roots-deconstructionist outfits The Gibson Bros., The Bassholes and supergroup Ego Summit (with Ron House [Great Plains, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments], Jim Shepard, early Gibson Bro Tommy Jay, and Mike Rep); as well an appearance on the Cheater Slicks' Forgive Thee double-CD. 
 
Our colleagues at Matador have praised the Bassholes' "fine unrefined distillations of Howland's various likes, from Skip James to disco, the Germs to Bob Dylan." The fine folks at Revenant also note that Howland's work "has consistently hewn closer to music's great primordial gloop than anyone since Hasil Adkins." But it took some hack at Tucson Weekly to nail it: "Howland is a blues purist with a long list of punk-related credentials… [including writing for Village Voice, Spin, New York Rocker, and Trouser Press. His] vocals possess the raw emotional depth of Rufus Thomas or Skip James, and he brandishes his six-string weapon [with] trashy exuberance.… If David Johansen decided to unearth the corpse of Charley Patton and start a crude, punk-meets-Delta blues band, Howland might be elected to carry the shovel, [having been] historically aligned to the twisted and fucked up roots of Americana music." If you're still sitting there thinking, "Don Who?," it's your own damn fault, okay, igmo? 
 
On The Land Beyond the Mountians, Howland is by himself with guitar, piano and unidentified percussive instruments. This is Howland's music how it's meant to be heard - recorded in a basement on a four-track for under fifty bucks. Darker and moodier than previous works, thanks in no small part to the covers he's chosen (Pearls Before Swine's "Sail Away," Jessie Mae Hemphill's "Cowgirl Blues," Furry Lewis's "Judge," and the Edgar Allen Poe poem "The Conqueror Worm"), Land Beyond The Mountains stands as one of his finest achievements. 
 
* Lo-fi solo outing by Americana scholar whose pedigree includes Gibson Bros. and Bassholes 
 
* Dark and moody distillations hewn close to the primordial gloop, as it were 
 
* Past recordings on In The Red, Matador, Anyway and Revenant have primed worldwide pumps 

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