It Was A Good Night for (Mostly) Traditional Bluegrass
Last summer, I enjoyed seeing The Gibson Brothers at the Freshgrass Festival (an amazing bluegrass festival, for those of you who are interested) so much that when their recent show at Johnny D’s was announced, I knew I had to see them again.
It was a bonus to find Twisted Pine, winner of the Freshgrass best band contest, opening the show for the Gibsons.
The band came to the stage sporting business suits and colorful ties; this is not uncommon for bluegrass and jazz bands, who tend to dress up more than other types of musicians.
The Gibsons are a traditional bluegrass band but they are much more than that. Eric Gibson, who plays mandolin and guitar, and Leigh Gibson, who plays guitar, sing some of the sweetest harmonies I have ever heard.
The other members of the band are Mike Barber on bass, Clayton Campbell on fiddle, and Jesse Brock on mandolin and backing vocals. They may not be related, but their chemistry as a band is so terrific that it is easy to imagine that they are actually all brothers.
Fresh on the heels of their most recent release, Brotherhood, they performed some songs from that album which is a tribute to some of the brother groups that have influenced them – Louvin, Everly, and Righteous (who were not related by birth) Brothers.
Eric and Leigh bantered throughout the show, something that they did not do when I saw them last summer. There was some brotherly teasing, but they clearly respect and love each other.
The Gibson Brothers are one heck of a tight band; if you are a fan of bluegrass, you should enjoy them.
What a thrill to see Twisted Pine open the show! I have seen them perform a number of times, and always enjoy them. Ricky Mier on banjo (he won the gold medal as best banjo at the Freshgrass Festival last year), Kathleen Parks on fiddle and vocals, Adam Moore on bass and vocals, Rachel Sumner on guitar and vocals, and Dan Bui on mandolin comprise Twisted Pine.
They are just getting started with what should be a long and successful career, and I feel lucky to have gotten in on the ground floor with them. They have their own twist on traditional bluegrass; it is not quite the ‘bluegrass on speed’ of Trampled by Turtles, but at times they play just as fast.
One of the things I enjoy most about bluegrass is that the music is pure; the instruments may be amplified, but there is not much manipulation of the sounds they produce. The improvisation most bands do highlights the quality of the musicianship, which both these bands have. This show was well worth seeing.
Ticket courtesy of Johnny D’s; all opinions are my own.
Posted on March 31, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Bluegrass music, boston, Clayton Campbell, concert review, Eric Gibson, Jesse Brock, Johnny D's, Kathleen Parks, Leigh Gibson, Mike Barber, music, Ricky Mier, The Gibson Brothers, Twisted Pine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.