Bluegrass Duo Feels the Music
Things kick into high gear in Aberdeen Thursday night, Nov. 5, as the Poplar Knight Spot hosts the bluegrass duo The Gibson Brothers.
The music starts at 7:30 p.m.
Eric and Leigh Gibson grew up on a dairy farm outside of Ellenburg Depot, N.Y., in the shadows of the Adirondack Mountains.
Those mountains aren't typically associated with bluegrass, but it just worked out that way.
"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, and 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.
They caught the bluegrass bug after their teacher introduced them to the music of Flatt and Scruggs, but still they never intended to actually make it as musicians.
"I was just as much into baseball, if not more so, than music," Eric says. "I either wanted to pitch at Yankee Stadium or play at the Grand Ole Opry, and I've gotten to do one of those. I always had monster dreams. But each year we'd get more and more serious about music."
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. At the same time, Eric was having problems balancing his career as a schoolteacher with his drive to play music, so he took a leave of absence from teaching.
"It was hard decision," he says. "You take the safety net out from under you. We couldn't have accomplished what we've done if we hadn't gone into it full bore. To be a good teacher it has to be your passion, but music is my passion. I always felt pulled by the music. I felt like I had to make a choice."
By this time, the brothers had a few albums out on the Hay Holler label, and in 1998, they won the 1998 IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year award. In 2005, the brothers signed with Sugar Hill and subsequently released four albums: "Bona Fide," which went to No. 1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited chart, "Long Way Back Home," "Red Letter Day" and 2008's "Iron and Diamonds," which is a reference to their hometowns, two known-fors: iron ore mining and baseball.
Their most recent CD, "Ring the Bell," on Compass Records, was released in May.
The Poplar Knight Spot is located at 114 Knight St, Aberdeen.
For information or tickets, call (910) 944-7502 or visit www.theroosterswife.org
Contact Faye Dasen at email@example.com or (910) 693-2475.
More like this story