The Gibson Brothers – Ring the Bell

The Gibson Brothers - Ring The BellAs mentioned elsewhere, the Gibson Brothers’ Ring the Bell hit the street this week (5/5).

The first album that the Gibson Brothers have done for their new label, Compass Records, is now available. (Catalogue # 4506)

The collection of a dozen songs features six original pieces (including a co-write with Bob DiPiero); new songs by Shawn Camp/Paul Kennerly, Chet O’Keefe, Joe Newberry and Marshall Warwick; and a relatively obscure Tom Petty song, Angel Dream. Staying true to their farm boy roots, the Gibson Brothers recorded two agricultural-themed songs for this record, one written by Leigh (Bottomland) and one by Eric (Farm Of Yesterday). The latter was written as a tribute to their parents and the family dairy farm that belonged to the Gibson family from 1865 through to 2000.

Of the album as a whole says Eric Gibson …

“I think everything about it – from the album cover to the songs – is an attention getter and I hope folks will notice. Brother bluegrass acts are almost as old bluegrass itself, but I feel like we’ve carved out a special niche for ourselves. We’ve hung in there and toughed it out – we’re still in our 30’s but I feel like we’re bluegrass lifers.”

Produced by the two brothers plus bassist Mike Barber, Ring the Bell has an elated intensity. Eric agrees …

“There is a lot of joy in the music. I think you can tell in listening that we poured our hearts out – not that you can’t tell on our other records – but the joy in our playing and singing. At the same time, it feels like our most hard-driving bluegrass album; there’s more thump on it, a bigger sounding record than we’ve ever had.”

That bigger sound comes from having the whole band – Mike Barber (upright bass), Clayton Campbell (fiddles) and Joe Walsh (mandolin and guitar) – playing on every track. Guest Mike Witcher, from Missy Raines & The New Hip (resonator guitar), is added on a few tracks.

Audio samples are available on the Compass Records web site and in iTunes.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.