Monday, November 28, 2011

Eric Gibson at the BuscoDome - Churubusco, NY - Review

 Unfortunately, we never seem to drive to northernmost Clinton County New York, lying right up against the Canadian border about forty miles north of the massive Adirondack Mountains, in summer, when it's green and the rivers running through it sparkle in the sunshine.  No, we head there in late November or December to see a concert our friends The Gibson Brothers often give for their family and friends at Northern Adirondack High School, from which they both graduated. This year, with Leigh Gibson off hunting in South Dakota, we journey to Churubusco, NY to see Eric make an unheard of solo appearance singing his own compositions, new and old, at the BuscoDome across the street from Dick's Country Store & Music Oasis.

Rural Vermont in Winter
New York Provides the Background
Vermont Gets the Credit
The Just-Opened Lake Champlain Bridge

Eric Gibson - Picker's Blues - Video


We drive across Vermont and north into New York, stopping in Plattsburgh to check into our budget hotel, then north to Churubusco, about thirty miles northwest.  U.S. Route 11 throws a lazy parabola from Rouse's Point, New York, on the Canadian border,  around the Adirondack Mountains to Watertown on Lake Ontario before heading south to its terminus in Louisiana.  The landscape provides an increasingly flat and, in winter, pretty desolate contrast between the at times forbidding mountains to the south and the fertile St. Lawrence Valley in Quebec.  As The Gibson Brothers have chronicled in song, the livelihood provided from farming, mining, and the railroads has deteriorated to be replaced by...not much.

The Gibson Brothers - Farm of Yesterday - Video


Anyone one who has  attended a Gibson Brothers show has heard of their friend and early mentor Dick Decosse or Dick's Country Store and Music Oasis in Churubuso, but hearing about the wonders of the properly named rural outpost doesn't prepare a visitor for the reality. Neither does the subscript: groceries, gasoline, guns & guitars. The reality is a more than pleasantly surprising country store standing nearly alone except for the wind farm surrounding it with the generators silently turning, providing power in abundance for this rural region.  The music store and the gun shop, separated but attached, are full service stores which, in some other location, would be stand-alone operations. Here they co-exist comfortably. The convenience grocery, on this warm, drab Saturday afternoon entertains a constant flow of buyers.  All this is presided over by Dick, a genial and obviously canny entrepreneur who provides needed services for a population much larger than his immediate surroundings. 

Dick's Country Store and Music Oasis

Eric & Kelley Gibson

Eric Gibson - The Way I Feel - Video


Across the street from the store is the BuscoDome, a quonset-hut style storage building insulated and, for tonight's performance, fitted out with a small stage, lighting, a sound board, ably presided over by Tony LaClair, and about 150 seats.  The BuscoDome hosts regular local events as well as other visiting artists.  You wouldn't notice it driving past, but it's warm and offers excellent sound.

The BuscoDome

Eric Gibson, Dick Decosse, Kelley Gibson
Dick Decosse

Eric Gibson - Dixie - Video


Peforming with his family and friends as well as local fans and a few people who drove in some distance for the evening, Eric expressed his sense of expanding his zone of confidence and challenging himself.  He sang some of The Gibson Brothers best-loved songs as well as new material still being developed. If you attend Gibson Brothers appearances at festivals, you can look for some of these new songs to be showcased in their workshops over the next year or so before appearing on the next CD.  He particularly focused on his rich family life and the contribution his wife and children make to his music.  

Eric Gibson - She Paints a Picture - Video


A few years ago, with Leigh absent for the birth of one of his children, Eric sang a song we haven't heard since.  He wrote it when son Kelley was in the cowboy stage we all recognize in our own children. Here's this remarkable song.

Eric Gibson - I'm a Real Cowboy - Video


This lovely, intimate concert in The BuscoDome isn't likely to be repeated often. Eric rightly asserts "I'm a band-man." Even so, if you get an opportunity to see a solo performance by either Gibson brother, don't miss it.  The evening was warm and appreciated. One of Eric's new songs, "They Called it Music" is so good it was requested as a repeat song for an encore. Look for it to be recorded soon.  As we headed south through the fog, we were still enveloped by the wonder of these few moments. 

In the BuscoDom

Kelley & Eric Gibson

Eric Gibson

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