Gibson Brothers to bring bluegrass to The ArkWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gibson Brothers are kicking bluegrass and taking on fans.
“Awareness of the band has grown a lot in the past year,” said Eric Gibson, singer and banjoist, during a call from his upstate New York home. “What I’m seeing out there on the bluegrass trail is that a lot of people that liked country music have been left cold by the newer stuff that … doesn’t sound anything like Merle Haggard or George Jones or Buck Owens — bluegrass is as close as people get to country music these days.”
After winning two International Bluegrass Music Association Awards in September, the group was psyched to record a follow-up to 2009’s “Ring the Bell.”
“I think it’s going to be called ‘Help My Brother.’ That’s one of the songs that my brother [Leigh, singer and guitarist] wrote on the record,” Gibson said. “The brother act has been a common theme throughout bluegrass history and country music history, from the Monroe Brothers to the Blue Sky Boys to the Louvins and the Everlys. We’re proud that we’re brothers and that we’re doing this; we’re one of the few left.”
There’s no denying that family harmony.
“When we sing lead, we sound quite different, but when we get together on a chorus, [our voices] just seem to blend and people tell me they have a hard time telling who’s singing lead and who’s singing harmony, and I love hearing that,” Gibson said.
He said the band has been playing songs from the disc due out early next year.
“We’ve been doing ‘Help My Brother,’ and we’ve been doing one called ‘Frozen in Time’ that I wrote,” Gibson said. “When I wrote it, I had just read a review somewhere that said the Gibson Brothers, if they had been born 30 years earlier, would be on every jukebox in America, and it made me feel good and bad at the same time; sometimes I do feel like we came along too late.”
There’ll be plenty of old-timey music when the Gibson Brothers play an 8 p.m. concert Dec. 4 at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $15; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Detour Bluegrass will open.
Taking the stage with Eric and Leigh will be Mike Barber on upright bass, Clayton Campbell on fiddle and Joe Walsh on mandolin.
Not that Joe Walsh.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever done one show where [Walsh] hasn’t been brought up,” Gibson said and laughed. “He’ll kick into ‘Life’s Been Good’ on his mandolin when he’s in a good mood about it.”