2013-01-31 / Entertainment

Gibson Brothers Blue Grass Band to appear at the Barre Opera House

The Northfield News


The Gibson Brothers Blue Grass Band The Gibson Brothers Blue Grass Band The Barre Opera House welcomes the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2012 Entertainers of Year –The Gibson Brothers - on Saturday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. The show is sponsored by Guys Farm and Yard with media support from WDEV and WLVB.

Eric and Leigh Gibson grew up on a dairy farm outside of Ellenburg Depot, New York in the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains. It isn't the typical beginning for a bluegrass band but sometimes things just come together. "My parents loved music but they didn't play," says Eric. "My father, I think, always wanted to play but he worked like mad from the time he was 9 years old. He was a dairy farmer. He'd go to an auction and come back with a fiddle or they ordered a guitar and a banjo through the Sears Roebuck Catalog, so we had instruments around the house but nobody knew how to play them. When I was 12 and Leigh was 11, we came home from school and dad said 'there's a guy giving lessons at Dick's Country Store and I'd like one of you to play the banjo and one to play the guitar." Eric chose banjo and Leigh, guitar, and the die was cast.

They caught the Bluegrass bug after their teacher introduced them to the music of Flat and Scruggs. But still they never intended to actually make it as musicians. But, by the time they were in their early 20s, the brothers couldn't deny the lure of the requests that were coming in for them to play shows and festivals.

With each album they got better and better, and they began writing songs and defining their own sound. In 1998, they received the award for IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year. In 2003, the brothers released Bona Fide, which went to #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited album chart and placed high on the Americana and Billboard charts. Two more releases followed -- Long Way Back Home and Red Letter Day. The Gibson Brother's ninth release, Ring the Bell came out on Compass Records in 2009 and was followed by Help My Brother, the 2011 IBMA Record of the Year.

The Gibson Brothers are widely recognized as the finest brother duet in bluegrass music today, but theirs is an ensemble effort. The band is one of the strongest groups playing bluegrass today. Instrumentally, it’s a classic lineup of banjo (Eric), guitar (Leigh), bass (Mike Barber), fiddle (Clayton Campbell) and mandolin (Joe Walsh). Each player is steeped in the tradition of his instrument, but they always play to the song.

“The Gibson Brothers lead a bluegrass quintet that can pull off traditional Bill Monroe-style picking and sweet, Louvin Brothers like harmony singing,” says The Washington Post. “ "The brothers and the band have it all: lead vocals, brother-duet harmony, instrumental virtuosity, ensemble sensibilities, and great original material” adds Bluegrass Unlimited.

Tickets for the The Gibson Brothers are $26 – order online at www.barreoperahouse.org or call the Barre Opera House at 802-476-8188. The Opera House is handicapped accessible and equipped for the hearing impaired.

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