Sunday, December 8, 2013
When it comes to awards, the five-piece bluegrass band from upstate New York called The Gibson Brothers has had its share. From the 2010 album, "Ring the Bell," came the International Bluegrass Music Awards Song of the Year and Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for the title cut. The following year the group's 10th album, "Help My Brother" (which held the top position on the Bluegrass Unlimited Album chart for eight months), won the 2011 IBMA Album of the Year Award and the band was named the 2011 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year (the first time a brother duet has won this award). Last year, The Gibson Brothers took home the 2012 Entertainer of the Year Award at the 23rd annual IBMA in Nashville. That same night they also won the Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year Award for "Singing As We Rise." Now, they have a new album -- "They Called It Music" -- and will bring their music to the Blistered Fingers Family Bluegrass Music Festival at the Litchfield Fairgrounds (www.blisteredfingers.com) on Saturday, Aug. 24. In setting up a phone interview, I discovered that Leigh Gibson (brother to Eric Gibson) was just a few miles south of me, on the road between Harrison and my old hometown of Bridgton, where his wife's family has lived for a long time. Talk about a small world!
Q: You and your band will be at the Blistered Fingers Bluegrass Festival later on this month -- have you performed there before?
GIBSON: I have -- we actually were there in June and are set to be there twice next summer. It's always kind of an easy "yes" for us, or me, anyway, when buyers and promoters inquire about booking us in Maine -- especially in the summertime -- because it's nice to come up and see family. It's a little bit harder with my schedule to break away and go and do that.
Q: Well, as far as your music goes, I'm a huge fan of vocal harmonies -- especially sibling harmonies, like the Everly Brothers, you know?
GIBSON: Gee, I listened to the Everly Brothers the entire way on the drive from home up here. Our next record is going to be a tribute record to the brother harmonies and I've been trying to put my finger on what makes it so special so I can explain it to other people. Not only do you have the genetic tie, but also a phonetic one that comes from learning to speak from the same people -- use the same phrases, pronounce words the same -- so they share that similarity. There's certainly something really special about those classic brother duets.
Q: Any idea when that album might be coming out?
GIBSON: Hopefully sometime late next year, and we'll be tackling some of their material rather than our own as a tribute.
Q: How long has "They Called It Music" been out?
GIBSON: That was released at the end of March.
Q: How's it going over as far as your fans go?
GIBSON: Oh, it's going over really well, a lot of people are looking at it as our best work yet, and in the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine it's No. 1 as far as airplay goes -- and that's nationally.
Q: Is there a single from it out now?
GIBSON: The title track, "They Called It Music." The last I heard, that one is at No. 2 and there's another one at No. 16 or so called "Buy A Ring, Find A Preacher."
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