Gibson Brothers (from the album Mockingbird available on Easy Eye Sound)
“Mockingbird” is a dose of country music history, the title track for their recent release showing as something that has been apparently studied and reproduced on the Gibson Brothers latest album offering. Mockingbird is a collection of songs that hits on the various eras of country music, going from Bluegrass and Old-Time music acoustic numbers, honky-tonk rambles and Outlaw Country cuts to richly produced tracks relying less on twang and more on Pop. The result is a song by song stroll through sounds representing country music through the years of recorded music. “Travelin’ Day” is a beautiful album opener, a woeful number with a Charlie-Rich feel when the pedal steel guitar can be tries to be heard from behind the bluesy piano. “Cool Drink of Water” is perhaps the radio hit of the album, where a big hook kicking into a narrative about having a truck and a need to escape. It is ripe for a sing-a-long and ready for a video on CMT, a fan-loving tune ready-made for blaring out of a boom-box for fans tailgating at a country music jam.
“Lay Your Body Down” would make Conway Twitty proud, a bouncing number from the time when country music was transitioning from outlaw-grit to pop-polish. The curveball comes from their cover of REM’s “Everybody Hurts” and they do it up with plenty of R&B inspiration, subtle twang making the cover extra-weepy. Co-produced by Dan Auerbach (solo, The Black Keys), Mockingbird is an album that may be a bit out of the Gibson Brothers regular bluegrass wheelhouse. Traditionalists may shy away but fans of more modern country and 70’s country-rock may have a new favorite. (by Bryant Liggett)
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