Unitarian Fellowship: 67 S. Randolph Avenue – Poughkeepsie, NY
If the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association had a house band, it would be the Gibson Brothers. Their HVBA concerts have usually been sellouts, and we’re guessing their appearance at the Unitarian Fellowship at 7:30 on Friday evening, April 3 will be sold out as well.
And for good reason. The dulcet harmonies and driving instrumental work of Eric and Leigh Gibson spring from a youth of playing together as North Country farmboys, yet it has led to the sophisticated musicianship that has made them one of the most popular contemporary-bluegrass duos and bands in the East. They have won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Best Entertainer, Best Album and Best Group awards multiple times.
No small part of the brothers’ appeal is their onstage–and off–warmth and openness: these are musicians you can’t help but love and admire.
Revealing the brothers’ desire to strike out on a distinctly new path, their most recent album, “Mockingbird,” sees them drop their acoustic guitars and sling a set electrified Telecasters for a new, rock-roots sound that reviewers have called both country soul and country cool. In the words of one of the Gibsons’ most popular bluegrass hits, “They call it music.”
For their 2020 bluegrass-based HVBA appearance, Eric and Leigh Gibson will be joined by longtime (27 years!) bandmember and bassist Mike Barber, whose father preceded him as a Gibson Brothers accompanist; Barber is frequently referred to as “the third Gibson Brother.” Rounding out the quartet is Dobroist Justin Moses.
Moses is rapidly becoming a new bluegrass phenomenon. Though he plays anything with strings, he won the IBMA’s Best Dobro Player award in 2018 and was nominated again last year. Moses has appeared with everyone from Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris to Peter Frampton and Barry Gibbs, and his appearance before the HVBA marks another of the Association’s foresighted concert “gets” of musicians on the cusp of fame. Moses is married to award-winning bluegrass and country singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Sierra Hull.
It bears mentioning that the documentary film “The Madness and the Mandolin” provides an insight into the humanity of Eric Gibson and his wife Corina in their life with son Kelley’s autism–the kind of compassion that is revealed throughout the Gibson Brothers’ voices and lyrics. It’s available on Amazon and is a must-watch movie for any Gibson Brothers devotee.