steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

live review
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info opinion


Howe Gelb
with Triple Burner

Feb 27, 2006

@ Sala Rossa

part of April 2006 update

A complete foreigner to both acts, more embarrassingly so Gelb rather than Triple Burner, I was overjoyed to realize the latter's guitarist was instrumental-folk's very own Harris Newman, whose past two albums I had reviewed and enjoyed. The other member, interestingly, was an ex-member of GY!BE (but who isn't?), though that had little relevance to the brand of dynamic instrumental folk we were subject to. The guitar playing was clearly the highlight (and, trust me, it made for one of the best live experiences I've ever been a part of), though the drums and assorted sounds were vital to the true impressiveness of the music. If there's one band I've seen recently that I definitely want to catch again, it's Triple Burner. Incredible.

But Howe Gelb was the man most of the audience came to see, be them fans of his solo work or his stuff with Giant Sand. I, however, had no idea what type of live show he was known for, and truth be told I could never have been prepared for the type of entertainment he provided. Be it the little stories between songs (a common thing at shows, but he was good), or his multi-instrumentalism (guitar and piano at the SAME TIME, how does he do it??), there was a constant sense of enjoyment and pure style behind everything. It was a smooth performance, and though he didn't travel with the gospel ensemble featured on his most recent album, seeing him entertain the crowd so well was worth the twelve dollars.

Matt Shimmer