The Gibson Brothers' next album, titled They Called It Music, is due out on March 26, so you’ll hear some new Gibson Brothers songs at this concert in addition to some of your favorites from their catalog! They perform in Raleigh for one night only on Friday, March 1 at Fletcher Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Progress Energy Center). The concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be reserved by calling PineCone's box office at 919-664-8302, online via Ticketmaster, or in person: at the Duke Energy Center box office, or at the door beginning one hour before showtime.
According to Eric and Leigh, the original songs on the new album – inspired largely by the loss of their father last year – come from a more emotional place than on previous albums. Eric explains: "Although this isn’t a grieving album some of that energy found its way into the music." But it was a comment that bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien made after listening to their last album (2011’s award-winning Help My Brother) that proved to be the emotional rudder for the new project. "Tim told us to 'keep digging deeper.' We thought about that comment a lot and I think we've accomplished that with the new CD," comments Eric.
Standout originals on the new project include "Something Comin’ To Me," and “The Darker The Night, The Better I See,” a hell-raising, tongue-in-cheek hint at the Gibson Brothers' resilience over the years. The album’s title track, “They Called It Music,” is a soon-to-be classic that praises bluegrass music for the power of its simplicity and universal appeal. The cover of Mark Knopfler’s upbeat “Daddy’s Gone to Knoxville” is sure to garner a lot of radio attention as well.
The Gibson Brothers are the latest in a long line of brother vocal duos in bluegrass and country music. Like many other brother acts, their musical path was paved by earlier duos like the Louvin Brothers, Jim & Jesse, the Blue Sky Boys and the Monroe Brothers. But, unlike those duos, The Gibson Brothers are Northerners with roots extending far north of the Mason-Dixon line. Initially that created some controversy - when the Brothers received the Emerging Artist of the Year award from the IBMA in 1998, there were some who were skeptical. "Other players would say to us, ’You guys are from New York—how do you anything about bluegrass!?’ I was so intimidated playing in the south because all of our heroes were from the south and we weren’t," says Eric.
But, after all, the Brothers do share an agrarian upbringing with many of the iconic artists in the genre – it’s just that the small family dairy farm where they grew up happened to be in the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. And over time the controversy over their Northern-ness began to ebb. Eric remembers: "We were slowly accepted and I finally felt like I didn’t have explain our credibility to anyone. Leigh and I have barnyard credibility if you need that."
These days, The Gibson Brothers are at the pinnacle of bluegrass music, bringing their unique northern take on the music to audiences from coast to coast and earning praise from critics and fans alike. As bluegrass legend Del McCoury says: "When I hear the Gibson Brothers, I know it’s them from the first note. They have that little thing in their voices that no one else has.” Eric adds, “Bluegrass has so much heart and soul. That’s what I hope comes from our music.” Emotionally charged and spiritually uplifting, that heart and soul comes through loud and clear on They Called It Music.
Help My Brother, the Gibson Brothers’ 10th album, earned them the prestigious IBMA Album of the Year Award in 2011. That same year, they were named the IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, the first time a brother duet has been honored with this award.
Learn more about this concert: http://www.pinecone.org/
Learn more about PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music: http://www.pinecone.org/