Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gibson Family Christmas & Getting There Through Vermont & NY

We've traveled to Ellenburg, New York for the Gibson Brothers annual Christmas show in their home town high school, Northern Adirondack Central School. December in New England and The North Country of New York is always problematic, and we prepare for cold as well as ice and snow. People who live in the North Country know how to stay warm and, generally not let the weather keep them from living their life, There was a pretty good snowfall north and west of our home in Keene, NH on Thursday, so the plows had had time to do their work. The roads were generally clear, giving us a winter wonderland drive along the 218 miles to Ellenburg,

Ludlow, Vermont

When you listen to the national weather forecasts, you often hear references to upstate New York, but to New Yorkers upstate generally means "Not New York City," which gives you little idea of the variety of terrain, cultures, and opportunity New York offers. North of the state capital in Albany lies the massive Adirondack Park (the biggest piece of wilderness east of the Mississippi, designated "forever wild" in the 1892 state constitution. We skirted the Adirondacks, driving north beside Lake Champlain to Plattsburgh, where we checked into our hotel, and then west across the southernmost reaches of the desolate Canadian shield, a rocky substructure extending to Hudson Bay the Arctic Ocean. The former Gibson Family farm (The Farm of Yesterday) lies a mile or so South of the border, as does Northern Adirondack Central School.

The Mountains Rise from the Champlain Valley Along NY 22

Lake Champlain

The Adirondacks Rise to the West

While Farms Still Exist, Wind Farming is Now the 
Big Industry Between the Adirondacks & the Border

WAMU's Bluegrass Country, the forty year old 24/7 bluegrass radio station's drive time DJ is two time IBMA Broadcaster of the Year Katy Daley's musical home. She's a native Washingtonian who thinks that snowfall requires rubber boots enough to get her to the car in order to drive to the basement garage of WAMU for her daily show. She and Shannon Gibson, the matriarch of the Gibson Family have become fast friends. Katy is here for a week of Pie Camp, rest, and to emcee the show.

Katy Daley & Shannon Gibson in the Kitchen

Shannon Gibson

Northern Adirondack Central School

Well....the picture above is the best one I could find, but on December 13 it's all surrounded by snow, and the wind comes sharply across a couple of thousand miles between Ellenburg and the North Pole. But North Country people are a hardy bunch. The Gibson Family Christmas brought a sell-out standing room only crowd of around 600 on a cold evening to welcome this popular family which has lived nearby since the turn of the last century. The auditorium was warm and comfortable in every sense. It was so crowded that a dozen chairs were placed at the back of the stage to provide additional seating. 

A Packed House

Gibson Family Christmas Set 1, Part 1 - Video

Sam Zuchinni & Kelley Gibson Warming Up

Brother and sister Tom Venne & Julie Hogan are the principals in a regional Plattsburgh band called Beartracks. Well known in the North Country and New England, they play a pleasing mix of bluegrass and classic country. Their country band, The Clem Hawkins Revival, featuring Eric Gibson on the electric guitar, plays around the area when Eric is available. They can be seen at the Wednesday evening Pot Luck supper at Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival.
Tom Venne

Julie Hogan

 Kelley, Eric & Leigh Gibson

Leigh Gibson

Mike Barber

Eric Gibson

Kelley Gibson (Eric's Son)

Leigh, Eric & Kelley

Mike Barber

Eric & Leigh

Erin Gibson LaClair - The First Noel - Video

Julie Hogan, Tom Venne & Leigh Gibson

Eric Gibson & His Other Guitar

Leigh, Tom & Jule

Tom Venne & Julie Hogan

Gibson Family Christmas Set 1, Part III - Video

The Merch Table

Merry Christmas!

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