It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed since the release of Valley of Rain, the first Giant Sand album. And it’s nearly as long since the late ‘80s follow-ups (Ballad of a Thin Line Man, Storm, and The Love Songs) that helped to form a template for what the alt. country scene of the ‘90s and ‘00s could be. Much as Howe Gelb has been keen to unburden himself of any such “godfather” role, there is no denying that the cross-pollination of country styles with punk, psychedelic rock, jazz, sunbaked acid blues, and more that “defined” alt.
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