The Gibson Brothers gave their all to a relatively small but very enthusiastic audience at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir, NC on Friday evening. With a newly released CD The Called It Music they added to their luster in this magnificent venue. It was particularly good to see old Gibson Brothers friends from as far away as Wisconsin, to meet Howard and Ruth Price from Tennessee, and to reacquaint with a young woman who may have been a student of mine at Saranac Lake High School back in the eighties. Her parents, from Bloomingdale, NY in the Adironcack Park were also there. North Country people pop up all over to see the North Country's contribution to bluegrass music, The Gibson Brothers. The Broyhill Center is a 1000 seat concert hall with not a bad seat in the house and a warm, full sound perfectly suited to the music of this 2012 IBMA Entertainer of the Year winning group. Tired from a year of touring and just in from Nashville where they had done a track-by-track with Kyle Cantrell on Sirius/Xm radio, an interview on WSM radio, and other promotional gigs, the band nevertheless performed with the enthusiasm, grace, and wit their fans, old and newly acquired, expect of them.
Anchoring the band on each end are two remarkable performers in their own right who sublimate their own versatility and virtuosity to the demands of the music. Joe Walsh on mandolin has been with the band for four years, bringing his remarkably creative approach to playing the mandolin, which is emerging into a sound that may, in the not too distant future, be deemed distinctive enough to be called "Walsh style mandolin." The mellow sounds he draws from his Gilchrist A-style mandolin coupled with the subtle yet astounding ascending chorded glissandos are simply breath taking, but never interfere with the intent of the song. Clayton Campbell on fiddle, with the band for nine years, rises to his tip toes as his bold yet subtle fiddling screams out when necessary while complementing the brothers with just the right licks and chops at quieter moments.
Leigh & Eric Signing
"Who's the meanest?"