Sunday, January 13, 2013
I’ve never been disappointed by a performance by the Gibson Brothers since first hearing them at Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival in New Hampshire back in 93 or 94 when brothers Leigh and Eric were backed by Mike Barber on bass and Mike’s dad Junior Barber on resophonic guitar. They were already good performers back then and over the years they’ve just gotten better. So good that they won the prestigious IBMA “2012 Entertainers of the Year” award which surprised Leigh Gibson who thought it would take a little longer to reach that plateau. But it didn’t surprise those of us who have been fans for years. Decades of hard touring have made the Gibson sound powerful, exciting and always fresh. Their songwriting skills have set them apart from many bands on the circuit today as most of their sets are populated with self written songs. Songs of hardship, struggles and overcoming the heavy loads many of us face in our journey through life. After listening to the Gibson Brothers one thing pops to mind: These guys are really good people who deserve the success they are enjoying of late. Last night’s BBU sponsored concert at the beautiful “Museum of National Heritage” in Lexington, Mass. was sold out by ShowTime and with good reason. Opening for the Gibson’s was Mike Compton picking Monroe style mandolin and Joe Newberry on the frailing banjo. Joe wrote two songs for the Gibson Brothers “Ring the Bell” album: “Jericho” and “I Know Whose Tears.” The duo performed old timey tunes and were a big hit with the audience. The Gibson’s followed with songs from their large collection of self written material and a few new songs from their new album to be released in late March. One of the new tunes, “I’m Dying to find Someone to Live For,” written by Loretta Lynn and Shawn Camp sounds like a hit to me. The Gibson’s are backed by top tier musicians Mike Barber on bass, Joe Walsh on mandolin, and Clayton Campbell on fiddle. These guys are such a huge part of the Gibson Brother sound, there solos are innovative and exciting and add to the experience of the Gibson Brothers. The band received standing ovations several times and two encores.