Howe Gelb & Maria Mochnacz

‘Sno Angel Winging It is a music documentary which follows the collaboration of alt-country troubadour Howe Gelb, his band and the Voices of Praise gospel choir. Filmed in the UK, Spain and Canada over 2 years by Maria Mochnacz (film-maker, PJ Harvey – On Tour: Please Leave Quietly (2006)), it shows the coming together and subsequent recording session and tour of musicians from very different backgrounds.

Howe, the lead creative force behind alt country legends Giant Sand, has spent the past thirty years producing some of the most classic, ground-breaking albums in the genre both solo and with the collective – giving birth to an extended musical family tree that fostered the likes of The Band of.. Blacky Ranchette, The Friends of Dean Martinez, OP8 and Calexico.

His fifth solo effort ‘Sno Angel Like You’ has taken his collaborative, experimental leanings to a new level: he brilliantly fuses rock and gospel in a widely-adored career high that juxtaposes his rough, salt of the earth voice and guitar with the warm, sweeping soul of the Voices of Gospel choir.

‘Sno Angel Like You’ (2006) was the result of a serendipitous encounter with the Canadian Voices of Gospel choir at a music festival. Howe approached the choir’s director on the possibility of combining the dizzying heights of their voices with his own self-labelled “sonic durge” and was met with an affirmative answer – as long as he promised to “keep it positive”.

In this rare UK appearance Howe and Bristol-based filmmaker Maria Mochnacz joined Watershed’s Head of Programme Mark Cosgrove to discuss the making of the documentary, complete with a live perfomance of two songs from Gelb.

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Howe Gelb

Posted on Thu 24 Sept 2009.