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High and Dry: Where the Desert Meets Rock 'n' Roll
.the Bands

Calexico, a collective ofmusicians gathered together by former Giant Sand members Joey Burns and John Convertino, derive their eclectic “desert noir” sound from a wide variety of influences, including the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, mariachi bands, and jazz. Of all the Tucson bands, Calexico is most rapidly gaining commercial success, and have recently been seen and heard in the feature film Collateral.

Doo Rag

Doo Rag plays stripped-down Delta blues with a frenetic energy that is matched only by their marketing savvy. Fronted by enigmatic guitarist Bob Log III with Thermos Malling on percussion -- which could include anything from a Budweiser box to an iron shopping basket – this two-man band has been compared to and hailed by musicians such as Beck, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Tom Waits.

Howe Gelb

Howe Gelb's evolving musical project, Giant Sand, has released more than 30 albums over the past 20 years. Haunting and evocative,Giant Sand's music captures the essence of the alt-country aesthetic while diverging off onto a moody path of its own creation.Howe has been hailed as the godfather of the alt-country movement and has played with pj harvey, emmylou harris, evan dando, lisa germano and many others.

Machines of Loving Grace

Quite possibly the only industrial band to ever come out of Tucson, Machines of Loving Grace also are one of the city's biggest successes. Within a year of releasing their debut album, Machine's were playing to sold-out arena crowds, had a song on a major feature film soundtrack (The Crow), and were collaborating with industrial music pioneer Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.

Al Perry

Al Perry, the “unofficial mayor of Tucson,”has been performing his own particular blend of cow punk, surf and country for over 20 years. His affinity for artists such as buck owens, link wray and brian wilson is readily apparent in his music, and his albums “Losin’Hand” and “Always a Pleasure” have become instant classics, influencing a host of up and coming Southwest bands.


German-born, Chicago-raised blues musician Rainer found his way to Tucson in the 1970s. He played with Howe Gelb in both giant sandworms and the band of blacky ranchette, as well as with his own band das combo. Although never rising above cult status, he has been heralded as one of the most distinctive blues players of the last generation and numbers Robert Plant and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons amongst his ardent fans.

Sand Rubies

The jangly, country-tinged rock of the Sand Rubies (aka the Sidewinders) led critics to coin the monniker "desert rock" to describe this popular Tucson band’s sound. Despite various obstacles, including lawsuits, a name change, and record label consolidations, the Sand Rubies paved the way for many a "desert rock" act that followed them, most notably the chart-topping band The Gin Blossoms.


Since 1990, the Supersuckers have been rocking the world with their own trashy brand of supercharged, rockabilly-flavored punk. Although formed in Tucson, the Supersuckers are primarily thought of as a Seattle grunge band, due to their early move to the Northwest and their long tenure on the SubPop label. A recent excursion back to their desert roots has yielded collaborations with country greats Willie Nelson and Steve Earle.

Mr. Twisty

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