North Country bluegrass favorites the Gibson Brothers have graduated from the regional spotlight to the big time several years ago. In fact, they were named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainers of the Year for two consecutive years.
So the opportunity to catch the pickin’ and singin’ aces recently in the intimate confides of Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs was a real treat.
For the second consecutive year, brothers Eric and Leigh Gibson (on banjo and guitar respectively), along with their band (bassist Mike Barber, fiddler Clayton Campbell and mandolinist Jesse Brock) walked off with top honors as Entertainers of the Year at the ceremonies.
The Gibson Brothers received nominations for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group, Album of the Year (They Called It Music), Song of the Year (“They Called It Music”) and Gospel Recorded Event (“Home on the River”).
2012 was a knockout year for North Country bluegrass band the Gibson Brothers, culminating in September by winning top honor as Entertainers of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Associations awards show at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
The musical term “bluegrass” means different things to different people these days, even within the bluegrass community. The Gibson Brothers, for example, took home two trophies – including the most prestigious Entertainers of the Year Award – from the International Bluegrass Music Association back in September. But in January, despite three nominations, the Gibsons walked away empty-handed from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America awards show.
Last month, The Egg in Albany offered a knock-out, sold-out bluegrass double-bill with the Gibson Brothers and Grammy nominee Noam Pikelny & Friends showcasing music from the opposite ends of the ever-widening bluegrass spectrum.
In the headlining slot, the Gibsons – brothers Eric Gibson (banjo/guitar) and Leigh Gibson (guitar) – showcased their vocal firepower and held court on the more traditional end of the playing field, while Pikelny and his all-star combo took their primarily instrumental sound out into the more adventurous newgrass territory. And although neither group held exclusively to their designated musical turfs, they both rocked the house in their own way.
The Gibson Brothers – Nippertown’s own bluegrass kingpins – have been busy racking up yet another big batch of very prestigious award nominations.
Led by brothers Eric and Leigh Gibson (on banjo and guitar, respectively), the band has earned four nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association, including a nod in the top category, Entertainers of the Year.
The Gibson Brothers don’t hail from the bluegrass country of Kentucky or Tennessee. No, they’re North Country boys, upstate New Yorkers.
So you might not think they’d have much of a chance to get recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Wrong. This year guitarist Leigh Gibson, banjoman Eric Gibson and their band earned seven nominations from the IBMA – Entertainer of the Year; Vocal Group of the Year; Album of the Year for “Help My Brother”; Song of the Year for “Help My Brother”; Song of the Year for “Walkin’ West to Memphis”; Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year for “He Can Be Found”; and Male Vocalist of the Year – Leigh Gibson. Wow!
Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson and their band – fiddler Clayton Campbell, mandolinist Joe Walsh and upright bassist Mike Barber – earned a pair of the ceremonies’ most prestigious trophies – Vocal Group of the Year and Album of the Year, as artists and producers of their latest Compass records recording “Help My Brother.”
The Gibson Brothers went into the ceremonies with a whopping seven nominations this year, including a first time nod for Entertainers of the Year (which they lost to Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Band.)
Previously, the Gibson Brothers had been named IBMA Emerging Artists of the Year back in 1998, and last year, the band took home a pair of trophies from the ceremony – one for Best Gospel Recorded Performance and one for the prestigious Song of the Year.
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