Don Howland
The Land Beyond The Mountains

Available from 11 February 2002
click to order

*Low-fi solo outing by Americana scholar whose pedigree includes Gibson Bros. and Bassholes

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 else since Hasil Adkins." But it took some hack at the Tucson Weeklyto 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 Mountains, 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.

Track Listing.

click song titles for RealAudio excerpts:

1. Sail Away
2. Barren Woman
3. Desdemona
4. The Cowboy and the Cowgirl
5. Roots
6. Life Goes On Here
7. Cowgirl Blues
8. (I am in) Hell
9. Judge
10. The Conqueror Worm
11. Return to Cinder
12. Angel of Death
13. Above the Clouds
14. Sayanara
15. bonus track

Selected Discography...
Bassholes - Deaf Mix Vol 3 (In The Red)
Bassholes - Haunted Hill (In The Red)
Bassholes - When My Blue Moon (In The Red)
Cheater Slicks - Forgive Thee (In The Red)
Gibson Bros. - Columbus Soul '85 (In The Red)
various/ Stayed Up All Night (Anyway)
various/ Tard & Further'd (Siltbreeze)