Otis Gibbs (from the album Once I Dreamed of Christmas available on Wanamaker Recording Company)
Memories of the past have not been a friend for Otis Gibbs. The power of music for both the musician and the listener may be the wheel that turned the season around for Otis Gibbs though what happened is not quite as important as the gift he gives back to the world with his release, Once I Dreamed of Christmas. Of the album and his personal experience, Otis Gibbs sends a open letter reading ‘as if there weren't enough Christmas songs floating around, I decided to throw a few more on the pile. I've never been a big fan of the holidays. My parents were barely able to make ends meet when I was a kid, so we rarely got presents. They couldn't even afford to buy me clothes, so I wasn't able to go outside in those early years. My first ever Christmas present was from my aunt Sophie. She bought me a hat, so I could look out the window. Writing these songs and recording them with my friends here in Nashville helped me find a bit of joy in all of this holiday nonsense. Hopefully, some of that joy made it onto this record. Thanks for giving a damn, Otis Gibbs’.
Another message gets read aloud on Once I Dreamed of Christmas when a knock at the door opens on “A Man Named Jesus”, who has some questions about holiday celebrations. In the holiday season of 2018 there are no secrets and Otis Gibbs shares a tale he received directly from the man in the red suit with “Looks Like a Hippie”. Once I Dreamed of Christmas looks into the nighttime visions of a child for “Mr. Santa Claus”, plucks out a humbug on a string band beat with “Crap for Christmas”, and fills the air with magic spinning a “Color Wheel”. Opening to a tragic page from holiday history, Otis Gibbs tells the tale of “1913 Massacre” as he sadly enters a home without festivities in “Lonely Mistletoe Night”. Once I Dreamed of Christmas welcome friends in for the holidays, muttering a ‘bless their hearts” as it tells of “Carl and Mavis” while Otis Gibbs strums a hello for “Mr. Santa Claus” and his lesser known buddy, “Lloyd the Reindeer”.
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