Land Beyond the Mountains
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. 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.