Last night, Saturday, April 26th, the City of Poughkeepsie got the treat of lifetime when the multi-award winning band, The Gibson Brothers, filled the Carroll Street Church with their un-matchable bluegrass sound, lyrics, energy, and humor to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association! How lucky each and every one of us was to be a part of such a memorable evening.
As if there are only twenty reasons that I could give for what makes Leigh and Eric Gibson and their talented band members so great, in honor of HVBA’s special 20th Anniversary occasion, I’m just going to plough (no farming pun intended) ahead, and tell you what the top 20 ones are:
Drum roll, please …
Number 20: As they’ve grown up near the Canadian border, both Leigh and Eric have names that flout the silly American English rule, “i” before “e” except after c.”
Number 19: They have the best band banter around and had no qualms about confessing that such talk is nothing more than an obvioius diversion while the musicians tune their instruments.
Number 18: Without a doubt, the Gibson Brothers have the most talented and endearing band members anyone could ask for – Mike Barber who brings nothing less than pure mastery on the upright bass, Clayton Campbell with his impeccable fingers finding their way up and down along the fiddle, and Jessie Brock who rocked the audience with his lightening speed magic on the mandolin.
Number 17: I swear they miraculously converted 15 self-declared non-bluegrass audience members into full-fledged bluegrass groupies by the end of the first set.
Number 16: Though they are all super talented and can’t help but make the rest of us completely jealous of how well they sing and play; they are down-to-earth real guys, with real lives, and real cell phones that ring repeatedly when not turned off before the performance starts.
Number 15: They played songs that were requested by the audience and even ones that they requested themselves.
Number 14: They sing harmony like nobody’s business and make you realize you’re moving to the music and smiling, even if you’re someone who never really smiles like that. You know who you are!
Number 13: They are gracious and humble and never failed to thank the special people who helped to make last night possible.
Number 12: Leigh said they never play the same set twice and they still managed to blow the audience away with their spontaneous one-liners – my favorite of which was when Leigh talked about their growing up on a farm and how Eric never had to work the fields because he conveniently was bovine-phobic, which he then followed up with by saying that was udder-ly ridiculous. And even though Eric thought the joke was corny, I don’t hesitate to say that we all utter-ly enjoyed the show!
Number 11: Leigh’s unstoppable wit only got better and better as the evening went on and we all applaud him for his single-contestant entry fiddle championship win as a mere youngster.
Number 10: Though Eric said someone blogged about Leigh being too nasty to him at a previous show, these two guys are unbelievably great together and their love and support for one another goes without question. Let it be said: “Though shalt not blog about how nasty Leigh is to Eric.”
Number 9: C’mon they are handsome, sweet, and cute.
Number 8: If their sons ever decide to be in a band when they grow up, they can call themselves the Gibson’s Son’s Band.
Number 7: If before last night you were one of “them folks” who didn’t know why they were named Entertainer of the Year… now you do.
Number 6: It’s no wonder Eric won song writer of the year, as his creative ability to weave his family’s life experiences and historic background into the band’s repertoire is reflective of his incredible talent.
Number 5: If they were a movie, we’d give them 5-stars.
Number 4: They’ve come to play in Poughkeepsie FOUR (4) times and we hope they’ll come back again soon!
Number 3: They got a standing ovation (duh!) and happily answered the audience’s plea to play another song, accommodating the crowd with a flawless grand finale waltz.
Number 2: They are headed to Nashville next week to record a new album of Brother Acts. We’re glad there are two of them and we’re glad they’re not sisters.
And the Number 1 reason that makes the Gibson Brother’s so great is simply because they’re just that damned good!
Mark: Favorite moment (out of many!) – sometimes you need your perspective shifted, or shattered. When the GB’s covered the Everly Brothers I doubt I was the only one struck with “Dang! These guys are GOOD!” 🙂