Honoring The Tradition Of Sibling Harmonies
By Derek Halsey

The Brotherhood album was bound to happen. At the heart of the sound of the IBMA Award-winning Gibson Brothers are the sibling harmonies they’ve been perfecting since they were teenagers. There were previous thoughts of making a tribute album in the past, fueled by Leigh and Eric Gibson’s desire to honor the great brother acts in history. But, those notions never saw the light of day as the Gibson Brothers began to reach the top of the bluegrass world. Still, the idea continued to reverberate within, and the end result is the wonderful new album Brotherhood. The project features new takes on songs made famous by the Louvin Brothers, the Everly Brothers, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, the Glaser Brothers, the Stanley Brothers, and many more.

“It’s one of those things that you put off for a long time,” says Leigh. “We talked and talked and talked about it for years, saying we’d really like to do an album of brother harmony. We thought about doing a specific album in tribute to the Louvin Brothers. But, now seemed like the right time to do it. If we don’t do it now, we’ll just keep saying, ‘The next album, we’ll do a tribute.’ But, we would write new songs and, once you write them, you want to record them. So we said, ‘If we announce that this is what we’re going to do, then we’ll have to do it.’ We did that, and I’m glad we did because it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. It wasn’t because we were afraid of being pigeonholed. If anything, I feel honored to be thought of in the same light as say Jim & Jesse or to be described a ‘brother act.’”

When it comes to the reasons why sibling harmonies blend so nicely, the Gibson Brothers agree that having the same accents and having intuition about what the other is thinking all plays a part. “When you’re growing up, you probably talk very similar to how your parents talk, and the same is true for Eric and me,” says Leigh. “You learn to speak from the same people, and you’re around the same people. And, you do have a bit of a genetic blend, as there is similarity to the tone of your voice. I can hear my kids talking in another room. They are 10, 8, and 7, and it’s hard for me at times to determine who’s speaking. The tones of their voices are the same. That’s a good leg up. I think another aspect is that Eric and I grew up on a farm in northern New York and it was pretty well removed from any kind of population. Kind of like these other brother acts from fifty or sixty years ago, we entertained each other and we entertained our parents with music when we were in our early teens. It was a source of entertainment for the family and was an activity to do.” Read entire article »

Tribute To Tut Taylor — Third Member Of The Dobrolic Plectoral Society Passes
By Derek Halsey

The Gibson Brothers — Brotherhood
Honoring The Tradition Of Sibling Harmonies
By Derek Halsey

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By Nick Crews

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Mac Wiseman And Mac Martin Both Turn 90
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June 2015 Reviews


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BLUE MAFIA PRAY FOR RAIN Pinecastle Records PRC1194 This fine band is as strong as ever. Edgy and driving like a fully-loaded locomotive, they bowl down everything in their path. Dara and Tony Wray form the nucleoli with strong support from singing fiddler Kent Todd. Michael Gregory on bass and Cody Looper on banjo round […]

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BILLY HURT FIDDLIN’ BILLY HURT Patuxent Music CD 260 All-instrumental fiddle records have been at a premium of late. Scanning BU from March 2014 to March 2015, I count three. This solo debut from Billy Hurt, an old hand at the sideman’s role and a current member of Karl Shiflett’s Big Country Show, makes four. […]

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WOOD & WIRE THE COAST No Label No Number You’ve got to love the free spirit of younger singer-songwriters especially when they sound a bit like Tim O’Brien and pull their influences from Celtic and folk sources more so than bluegrass. They do have a grassy feel. It’s just tempered with these other flavors and […]

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THE JAKOB’S FERRY STRAGGLERS THE LANE CHANGE No Label No Number There seems to be an influx of new young bands that blur the lines between bluegrass and old-time music. The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers, a southwestern Pennsylvania quartet that emerged from the remnants of a self-described “Appalachian power trio” called The Weedrags, manages to carve […]

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