Review by Greg Haymes
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.