Archive for the ‘The Gibson Brothers’ Tag

Favourite Roots Albums of 2017, so far   Leave a comment

School ended two weeks ago, and I have been able to take the last week to relax, read, and listen—a great start to this summer. It appears that almost every online outlet has released their ‘best of 2017 (so far) list,’ so I figure I might as well get in on the action. If nothing else, hopefully someone reading will find an album they haven’t previously heard, and will be inspired to purchase it.

Americana, bluegrass, and their associated roots music are what I love, and I’ve been fortunate this year to listen to some amazing albums. Here is a list of my favourite fifteen roots albums of 2017 (so far)—and I found it difficult to narrow it down: I have no idea what I will do if this pace continues through the end of the year.

Whose albums didn’t make the list? Jason Isbell, Willie Nelson, Angeleena Presley, Jim Lauderdale, Fred Eaglesmith, Chuck Prophet, Amy Black, Slaid Cleaves, Jesse Waldman, Ray Davies, Jeffrey Halford…

Links are to my review or, where I haven’t reviewed, to the artist site.

  1. Mac WisemanMac Wiseman & Various Artists- I Sang the Song (Life of the Voice With A Heart) Yes, it is that good. My review.
  2. ronsexsmith_3Ron Sexsmith- The Last Rider Continuing a streak of excellence, Sexsmith’s 16th (!) album may just be his finest. Excellent songs, catchy melodies, accessible production…I’ve seldom been so proud to have shown support for a musician. A very strong album, just the latest in a series of memorable, standout recordings. The songs alternate between playful and introspective, catchy and maudlin. Layered, but not flamboyant. I am really glad that I bought the album, and even more glad that I took the time to make the trek to see Ron and the band in Edmonton. Surprised and disappointed that this one didn’t receive deserving Polaris Music Prize attention. “Radio” is my favourite song of the year.
  3. OtisOtis Gibbs- Mount Renraw I have been listening to Gibbs for a close to a decade, but never have I attended to this degree; a singer who was always on the periphery for me has eased himself onto my ever-narrowing list of favourites. My review.
  4. made_to_moveChris Jones & the Night Drivers- Made to Move Another excellent album from Chris Stuart & the Night Rangers. My review.
  5. CrowellRodney CrowellClose Ties With the passing of Guy Clark, Crowell heads to the front of the line of Texas songwriters. A masterful creation.
  6. demeyer_and_will_kimbrough-mokingbirdBrigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough- Mockingbird Soul Largely taking the lead on alternating songs, they have produced an ideally balanced duet recording, with DeMeyer’s Side One Melissa Etheridge passionate huskiness pairing with Kimbrough’s restrained, telling honesty. Spirited, swampy, and Southern-country soul at times, in other places the songs more closely resemble what country music once was and could be again given a shot of 3614 Jackson Highway swagger. The arrangements are straight-forward rather than minimalistic, allowing the duet vocals prominence. The rest of my review.
  7. billBill Scorzari- Through These Waves Bill Scorzari lives where the Blues meets Texas Sam Baker. My review.
  8. gibson_2The Gibson Brothers- In the Ground Bringing their release total to thirteen, I believe, Eric and Leigh Gibson are at the top of the bluegrass world, a pinnacle at which they’ve resided for a decade. In The Ground may be their finest yet. An album of self-written songs, it isn’t like anything they’ve before accomplished. Still bluegrass, of course, but taking things to yet another level. My review.
  9. AMANDA-ANNE-PLATT-HONEYCUTTERS-ON-WALLAmanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters- Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters Platt is a strong songwriter and an impressive and memorable vocalist. She has that important capability to write in a variety of voices, making each genuine and authentic to the experiences conveyed. My review.
  10. richardRichard Laviolette- Taking the Long Way Home Earnest country records are few and far between. Ignoring the trappings of modern country recording, Laviolette has created a natural-sounding album, balancing the beauty and fidelity of old-time country and folk music (think Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson recordings with the refinement of original songs and expanded instrumentation) with the gravity of personal exploration and experience. My review.
  11. NellNell Robinson & Jim Nunally BandBaby, Let’s Take the Long Way Home One of my favourite guitarists and singers has teamed, over the course of four albums, with an impressive and natural vocalist, writing killer songs well-founded in the traditions of Americana.
  12. BIBB_MigrationBlues_livretEric Bibb- Migration Blues My review.
  13. brock zemanBrock Zeman- The Carnival Is Back in Town My review.
  14. lk-a-calm-sun-cover-webLesley Kernochan- A Calm Sun A bold, mature recording, free of gimmick and insincerity. My review.
  15. JebJeb Loy NicholsCountry Hustle Soulful country, as he has been doing for a very long time. Maybe my favourite album cover so far in 2017 (tho’ The Monkees Forever is giving it a run.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There you have them, my favourite roots albums of 2017, January to June.

 

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Favourite Bluegrass of 2017, so far   Leave a comment

Over at Fervor Coulee Bluegrass, Country Standard Time’s sister blog for Fervor Coulee, I have posted my five favourite bluegrass albums released between January and June of this year. If you are interested, follow this link to get you there.

Mac Wisemanmade_to_movegibson_2dannybarnes3BCB

As always, I thank you for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald @Twitter

The Gibson Brothers- In the Ground review   1 comment

gibson_2 The Gibson Brothers have been a Fervor Coulee favourite since their Sugar Hill debut Bona Fide was released in 2003. It was a very strong album, ticking off all the requirements of a bluegrass album of the day: a railroad song, a Tom T. Hall classic, a road song, a song about bluegrass, another about a favoured instrument, an instrumental standard, a metaphor-laden gospel piece…Despite this seemingly contrived set of requirements, it warranted notice, and still does.

Fourteen years and eight albums later (bringing their release total to thirteen, I believe) Eric and Leigh Gibson are at the top of the bluegrass world, a pinnacle at which they’ve resided for a decade. In The Ground may be their finest yet. An album of self-written songs, it isn’t like anything they’ve before accomplished. Still bluegrass, of course, but taking things to yet another level. My review has been published by Lonesome Road Review; I hope you will consider giving it a read.

The Gibson Brothers- Brotherhood review   Leave a comment

2740746I appreciate each and every PR and label rep, band member, manager, and spouse who is willing to take the time to send me a real, live compact disc to review. In these days of shrinking budgets and miniscule margins, I truly am thankful that some folks still see the value of servicing independent writers with discs. I can’t do what I do without that support.

This weekend I wrote a review for the new album from The Gibson Brothers. It is a wonderful tribute to the music that influenced Eric and Leigh as they were developing their musical sensibilities.

Comparing my musical development to the Gibsons’ seems apt: if I ever released such an album, I’d have to cover Three Dog Night, Clarence Carter, Mark Dinning, The Monkees, David Dundas, Sammy Davis, Jr., the themes from Gilligan’s Island and My Mother the Car, The Angels, Mouth and MacNeal, Suzi Quatro, and Brian Hyland…which, if we are honest, has a  chance to be the greatest bluegrass album ever created!

But, I have digressed myself.

The Gibson Brothers, Brotherhood, reviewed at the Lonesome Road Review.

I am kinda ticked they didn’t take my suggestion to include “Cuba” as a bonus track.

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee. Donald

Fervor Coulee’s Favourite Roots Music Albums of 2013   2 comments

These types of lists are fairly self-indulgent, but most things we do seem to be. What the heck, then?

I am fairly confident in my choices this year- I created lists as the months passed, and have considered well in excess of a hundred albums for placement.  Here then are my favourite roots music albums of the year, accompanied by links to longer pieces I’ve written or, alternately when I didn’t write about a particular album, video.

[Update: #25 has been revised. Someone asked why so little mainstream country. Answer, I don’t listen to most of what would be considered modern country. I didn’t listen to the Brandy Clark album enough yet to place it in my Top 25, but I am really enjoying it. Whether that is mainstream…]

Favourite Album Covers-

skaggs1. Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby- Live Cluck Ol’ Hen

2. Guy Clark- My Favorite Picture of You– Great story behind this one. Well executed.

3. Noam Pikelny- Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe– some concert posters in the background may have pushed it over the top

4. Sturgill Simpson- High Top Mountain

5. Jack Lawrence- Arthel’s Guitar

Favorite Covers and Tribute Albums-

1.Don Rigsby- Doctor’s Orders: A Tribute to Ralph Stanley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MNcu_x6_xY

2. Let Us In Americana- The Music of Paul McCartney

3. Unsung Hero : A Tribute to the Music of Ron Davies

4. Joe Mullins & Junior Sisk- Bluegrass Hall of Fame https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/junior-sisk-joe-mullins-hall-of-fame-bluegrass-review/

5. Jack Lawrence- Arthel’s Guitar arthel

6. Martyn Joseph- Tires Rushing By in the Rain

7. Ben Sollee- The Hollow Sessions

8. You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold

9. Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs- Under the Covers, Vol.3

Favourite Reissues and Archival Releases of the Year-

1. George Jones- The Complete United Artists Solo Singles george

2. Steve Forbert- Early On: The Best of the Mississippi Recordings and the Alive on Arrival/Jackrabbit Slim twofer, more concise and accessible than the previous Rolling Tide reissues

3. Townes Van Zandt- Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Sessions & Demos 1971-1972

4. Guy Clark- Dixie’s Bar & Bus Stop

5. The Bottle Rockets- The Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn SideThe Bottle Rockets was and is one of the greatest Americana/alt.country albums ever recorded. The bonus tracks provide further context for the days that I wasn’t aware of until they were over. So enthralled with that album, I’ve allowed The Brooklyn Side to sit on the shelf untouched since the first and only time I played it all those years ago. My mistake. One I won’t allow to be repeated.

6. Billy Bragg Life’s A Riot with Spy vs Spy, 30th Anniversary Edition A most concise vision of the power of words and music; comes with a recent live encore of the 7-track e.p.

7. James Keelaghan History: The First 25 Years

Favourite Various Artists and Compilation Albums-

1.  Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War imagesJ2S505VN

2. The Daughters of Bluegrass- Pickin’ Like A Girl https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/daughters-of-bluegrass-pickin-like-a-girl-review/

3. God Didn’t Choose Sides

4. Classic Banjo from Smithsonian Folkways

5. Ghost Brothers of Darkland County

The following are my favourite stand-alone albums of 2013, often the albums I spent the most time with this past year (or, in the case of late year releases, the albums I feel I will end up spending the most time with):

1. Guy Clark- My Favorite Picture of You: The elder statesman does it again, producing another exceptional collection of songs, all but a cover of a Lyle Lovett song co-writes. Beautifully sung and played. Clark’s thirteenth album of new material, recorded at age 71, was head and shoulders this past year’s finest roots music album. If there is justice, and voters were actually listening, he’ll receive a Grammy in January. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIftiMZPVsE&list=RDntpyFfef-NA

2. John Reischman- Walk Along John https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/john-reischman-walk-along-john-review/

3. J. R. Shore- State Theatre https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/j-r-shore-state-theatre-review-the-polaris-music-prize/

4. Slaid Cleaves- Still Fighting the War: Gives ol’ Guy a run for his money. http://slaidcleaves.com/category/videos/

5. Mike Plume- Red and White Blues: Following up the very excellent 8:30 Newfoundland, Mike Plume returned not only with a most sincere Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute, but a set of songs- almost equal parts Maritime stomper and prairie balladry- that will soon stand with his best. http://mikeplume.com/steelbeltedwebsite/?page_id=19

6. Kimberley Rew- Healing Broadway: Pub roots. http://www.kimberleyrew.com/

7. Bruce Foxton- Back in the Room: If by roots you mean rock n roll. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syxMnWmrACM

8. The Gibson Brothers- They Call It Music https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/the-gibson-brothers-they-call-it-music-review/

9. Chris Jones & The Night Drivers- Lonely Comes Easy https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/chris-jones-the-night-drivers-lonely-comes-easy-review/

10. D. B. Rielly- Cross My Heart & Hope to Die https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/d-b-rielly-cross-my-heart-hope-to-die-review/

11. Darden Smith- Love Calling https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/darden-smith-love-calling-review/

12. Robbie Fulks- Gone Away Backward http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T00vjRCmf3g

13. The Del McCoury Band- The Streets of Baltimore: Experience counts for a whole lot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_K_7pcdvck

14. Leeroy Stagger- Truth Be Sold  https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/leeroy-stagger-truth-be-sold-review/ http://exclaim.ca/MusicVideo/ClickHear/leeroy_stagger-cities_on_fire_video

15. Alice Gerrard- Bittersweet https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/alice-gerrard-bittersweet-review/

16. Noam Pikelny- Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqys8Ez7Cno

17. Marshall Chapman- Blaze of Glory: Another great album of honest roots rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azPRk89nKaQ

18. Holly Williams- The Highway: Purchased after reading a couple reviews and having never heard her; glad I did. http://www.hollywilliams.com/portfolio-items/the-highway/

19. Sturgill Simpson- High Top Mountain: I’m glad all music isn’t this well-grounded in the country tradition. Makes it all the more special when you find it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNV16tz1NK0

20. John Paul Keith- Memphis 3 A.M.: A long-time favourite singer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWk5Yo9dIG0

21. James King- Three Chords and the Truth: Only bought this one before Christmas; need to listen more, but nothing to lead me to believe it isn’t going to stay with me for a long time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWnKoIXS1KU

22. Kim Beggs- Beauty and Breaking: an exceptional collection of song that are already familiar. With more listens, I’m confident  it will become even more appreciated. http://www.kimbeggs.com/videoplay.html?video=http://www.youtube.com/v/mL45VqBql00

23. Jeff Black- B-Sidea and Confessions, Volume Two https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/jeff-black-b-sides-and-confessions-volume-two-review/

24. Peter Rowan- The Old School https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/peter-rowan-the-old-school-review/

25. Blue Mafia- My Cold Heart https://fervorcoulee.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/blue-mafia-my-cold-heart-review/ Was in consideration right up until I wrote the final draft. Another listen brought it forward, knocking Emmylou & Rodney out of the 25th spot. I’m sure they will recover.

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell- Old Yellow Moon: Once upon a time, an album this stunning would be much higher that #25; that is one indication of how great the last year has been. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MNcu_x6_xY

Thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee so often in 2013, and I hope you will continue to find roots music opinion of interest in 2014 and beyond.

As always, Donald @FervorCoulee on the Twittering thing.

The Gibson Brothers- They Call It Music review   2 comments

gibsonThe last month has been tough on me; many things are calling for my attention, and writing has had to fall by the wayside. I have been listening to some great stuff- the new Peter Rowan, the Frank Solivan, some great Steve Forbert music from the past. The Gibson Brothers’ new album They Call It Music is spectacular, and my review of it has been posted at the Lonesome Road Review.

The Gibson Brothers
They Called It Music
Compass Records
5 stars (out of 5)

By Donald Teplyske

At a time when select Americana labels seldom release a bluegrass album, Compass Records is coming to the fore as a consistent source of good bluegrass: the Special Consensus, Dale Ann Bradley and Larry Stephenson, of course, but also Peter Rowan, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Rebecca Frazier, the Bankesters, and Claire Lynch… the new releases keep coming.

The Gibson Brothers joined the Compass fold a couple albums back, and since that time have rapidly built upon the foundation they established recording with Hay Holler and Sugar Hill. Each of the album’s I’ve heard from the Gibson Brothers has had much to recommend it, but there comes the time where a new album from almost any superior bluegrass band is met with a bit of a shrug. We tend to take our “stars” a bit for granted, expecting every album to be “great,” whatever that means.

Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but I suspect I’m not.

By near any measure, the Gibson Brothers are at the pinnacle of the bluegrass world. They are the reigning International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainers of the Year, and have picked up a handful of awards from that organization the past three years. At various times, they have topped the most significant bluegrass charts- Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Today, and Bluegrass Music Profiles.

They Called It Music is pretty darned fabulous. One cannot accuse the Gibsons of resting on their laurels; they continue to push themselves toward producing stronger, more varied music, recording songs that they have spent time uncovering, as well as more than a few they’ve written themselves. The gentler, songwriter-type songs are adroitly mixed with catchier radio numbers, a pair of which—”Buy A Ring, Find a Preacher” and the title track—are frontloaded.

No two songs can be confused, and the album’s closing number, an Eric Gibson composition entitled “Songbird’s Song” is incomparable; transcending bluegrass while strengthening its definition, this one may prove timeless.

There is no mistaking the vocal intensity of the Gibson Brothers, and on They Called It Music the emphasis on harmony is as palatable as ever. Leigh Gibson, the younger brother, has a smooth, pleasing voice while the Eric’s is higher, more piercing and Del-like: lovely, that.

No matter which is singing, it sounds real good. Leigh’s finest of many lead turns may be on a terrific new song from Joe Newberry, “The Darker the Night, the Better I See;” this barstool anthem is pitiful and blue—absolutely beautiful. I was gobsmacked from the moment he sang, “I’ve honky tonked most all my life,  my day begins at the edge of night.”  Leigh also takes the lead on his brother’s “Dusty Old World,” a song that contains the album’s cleverest line: “My heart’s a loyal hound and when love it’s found, it won’t leave your side once its tracked you down.”

Meanwhile, Eric shines when singing Mark Knopfler’s “Daddy’s Gone to Knoxville” and the title track, a song that emphasizes artificial labels are less important than the music itself. Reno & Smiley’s (and the Paisleys’, and Cowboy Copas’)  “Sundown and Sorrow” serves as a fine snippet of what the Gibson Brother’s sound is all about—yesterday’s classic lines within a sleek outfit designed for today.

The duo return to Shawn Camp on this album. Written with Loretta Lynn, “Dying For Someone to Live For” flat out stops time; this one could go on repeat for an hour without bother. As well, with Camp the brothers wrote the reflectively sentimental “Something Comin’ to Me”, a song made more personal to the co-writers with the addition of lyrics in honour of their passed father.

Their band had been stable until the recent departure of Joe Walsh, who plays mandolin throughout this album. Walsh’s contributions to the album are obvious, and I appreciated his playing several times, including on “Dying For Someone To Live For” and his gentle kick-off to “Home On The River.” Fiddler Clayton Campbell lays out sweetness at every opportunity (as on the album’s lead song) while co-producer and bassist Mike Barber appears to be in for life considering how long he’s been part of the family; his exploration of deep tones is much appreciated within “Something Comin’ to Me” and “Home On The River.”

A masterful recording, this eleventh one from The Gibson Brothers. If it ever did, it should no longer matter from which state they originate, or whether their family roots are entwined with Kentucky grass. The Gibson Brothers know bluegrass like few others, and they perform it as enthusiastically and professionally as the finest in the business. Indeed, an argument could be made that, with this album, they demonstrate that they are the finest in the business.

IBMA Awards 2011- Lonesome River Band hits the stage   Leave a comment

9:04- I am not the biggest fan of LRB. When they came to Red Deer they performed very well and I enjoyed listening to them, and when I saw them at Stony Plain five or six years earlier they did the same. But their songs just don’t stick with me the way others’ do; without consulting notes, the only song I really recall from their Red Deer show is “I Bought Her a Dog,” and that’s not even one of ‘their’ songs. Still, folks love them, so I’m well in the minority. “The RCA Phonograph Record Time Machine” is a good one I have to admit. Nice guitar touches.

9:07- Dale Ann Bradley and Tim O’Brien- two of my favourite voices together- to present the next awards. A shout out to the radio hosts, bloggers and journalist- I’ll say, Thank you, for that, Tim.

EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Darin & Brooke Aldridge; Balsam Range; The Boxcars; Sierra Hull & Highway 111; Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers

With two of the listed bands having won awards tonight already, I’d say BR and Boxcars are the favourites- The Boxcars, not a surprise given how the evening has went.

I wonder what the impact of these awards have on a band like The Boxcars’ overnight and next week sales.

9:11- Zip file and project of the year nominees:

The All-Star Jam: Live At Graves Mountain; Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, The Crowe Brothers, Lonesome River Band, Mark Newton, Lou Reid & Carolina, Carl Jackson, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Carrie Hassler with Brand New Strings (artists); Mark Newton & Carl Jackson (producers); Rural Rhythm Records (label)

Almost Home, Larry Sparks (artist), Larry Sparks (producer), Rounder Records (label)

The Boxcars, The Boxcars (artists), The Boxcars (producers), Mountain Home (label)

Help My Brother, The Gibson Brothers (artists), Compass Records (label), Eric & Leigh Gibson and Mike Barber (producers)

Rare Bird Alert, Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers (artists), Tony Trischka (producer), Rounder Records (label)

Trains I Missed, Balsam Range (artists), Balsam Range (producers), Mountain Home (label)

This one could go several different ways- I am still hoping for the Larry Sparks album, but am not a fool. I’m sure it won’t win. I think I predicted Help My Brother, so…The Gibson Brothers- Help My Brother

 

Posted 2011 September 29 by Donald Teplyske in Uncategorized

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