The Gibson Brothers wsg Chicago Farmer
Friday, March 08, 2019 7:30 PM
$15 adv / $20 day of show
7pm / Show:
19+ (minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian)
All tickets are general admission. Purchasing a ticket does not guarantee a seat.
Bluegrass royalty Leigh and Eric Gibson step into what some might at first see as uncharted territory on their country-soul breakout Mockingbird, the new album produced by Grammy Award winners Dan Auerbach and Fergie Ferguson. The celebrated bluegrass duo — named back-to-back Entertainers of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2012 and 2013 — played the Nashville game two decades ago, while in their early 20s, and were offered a major label deal, only to be told at the last minute that they were too "retro" for modern country music. Today, such characterizations, along with their authenticity, set them apart and describes the marvelous Mockingbird.
A mix of country, soul and seventies rock, the album further cements the sibling duo as musical trailblazers. As players and vocalists, they are superb, harmonizing as only siblings can; as songwriters they stand without peer, having long been a band awarded for their songs and songwriting. The 11 tracks on Mockingbird, their 14th album, draw on much of the brothers' experiences being raised on the family farm in Northern New York. As Northerners growing up in a Southern business, they had to work twice as hard as the bands from the South to achieve the success they had, and were the first from that far north to carve a path to IBMA Entertainers of the Year.
"The songs on this album are the sounds we heard growing up, riding around with our dad, who was a farmer, in his pickup, or with our mom in her station wagon. This sound was on the radio," says Leigh, citing the Eagles, Bob Seger, Tom Petty, and the warm country sounds of Don Williams, Emmylou Harris and Waylon Jennings as influences for Mockingbird, produced by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach with Fergie Ferguson (Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers).
Songs like "Cool Drink of Water" and "Love the Land" exemplify that late-Sixties and early-Seventies vibe. The former sounds like something Elvis, at the height of his '68 Comeback cool, would have recorded, while "Love the Land" is inspired by the simple desire to spend more time in nature. "I love the land that loves this man / and sets his soul at ease," goes the centerpiece lyric. The song also provides the album with its title, as Leigh sings about the "song so sweet" of the mockingbird. "They're an interpreter of different sounds and that's what we're doing here," says Leigh. "We're known for one sound, but we're interpreting another part of our musicality."
Coloring outside the lines is not unfamiliar to the Gibson Brothers, whose innate talent as writers and vocalists allows them to float seamlessly between genres. In that way, they're outsiders — refusing to be confined to just one sound – which is why they chose to work with a rock producer and a band of legendary session players like drummer Gene Chrisman and guitarist Billy Sanford for Mockingbird.
Listen to "Come Down," which evokes the 70’s sound of radio rock kings America or the passionate Exile on Main Street style R&B of "Lay Your Body Down." Both dispel any notion that the Gibsons are solely a bluegrass act and prove Eric and Leigh's gift for penning boundary-pushing songs. Likewise, "Sweet Lucinda," with its shuffling rhythm, taps into country-rock, and "I'm a Better Man" slinks along with Bobby Wood's Wurlitzer electric piano.
Mockingbird's most left-field track, however, is a cover of R.E.M.'s 1993 weeper "Everybody Hurts." Suggested by Ferguson, the ballad became the ideal duet for Leigh and Eric, with the brothers making the song their own via their yearning delivery and the house band's lush arrangement. "I think it's a beautiful song, but I couldn't picture us doing it," says Eric. "It surprised me with how it turned out. It was too good to not put on the record."
The members of R.E.M. certainly agree. "It's incredible! They did a great job," says vocalist Michael Stipe. "It really re-focuses the song and lyric in a great way." Bassist Mike Mills offers, "Wow. I really didn't see that one coming. I love it," with guitarist Peter Buck echoing those remarks: "Wow. Incredible." Even Bill Berry, R.E.M.'s former drummer, and one of the original writers of the song, chimes in, saying, "It's the best cover of it I've heard."
However, it's "Travelin' Day," the countriest song on Mockingbird, that packs a poignant punch. The first tune they wrote with Ferguson for the session, it was born of grief: Ferguson's stepfather had just died. The Gibsons lost their dad six years earlier and together the writers bonded over their loss. "We were talking about how Ferg's stepfather faced death and how impressive it was," says Leigh, "and it really inspired us."
Looking back on the brisk week and a half of writing and recording Mockingbird in Nashville, the Gibson Brothers are confident in what they've accomplished. This is an album that exemplifies the sibling bond and is poised to introduce them to an entirely new audience.
"We'll be able to reach more people than we have in the past," says Eric. "I don't want to downplay what we accomplished in bluegrass, but I didn't know our voices would suit this variety of music so well."
His brother agrees. "If you thought you knew the Gibson Brothers and had them figured out," Leigh says, "well, maybe you didn't."
The Redstone Room at River Music Experience is a standing room only concert venue. All tickets are General Admission unless otherwise stated. For the comfort of our guests, a limited amount of seating is available on a first come first serve basis:
- Reserved Tables: a limited number of tables are for sale in advance, sold through our ticketing service. You will need to add both your General Admission tickets AND your Reserved Tables to the cart for purchase. Reserve Tables come with 4 seats to a table.
- General Admission Tables: A number of tables are available when doors open. First come first serve.
- Disability: If you require handicap accessible seating, you will need to purchase your General Admission ticket first, and then call the box office to reserve up to 2 seats. Tables must be purchased separately.
All tickets for RME events are sold via Eventbrite and all carry applicable transaction fees. Tickets can be purchased the day of event online, at the RME Box office during business hours, and at the door (subject to availability). All tickets purchased with credit cards and/or cash will be subject to all applicable service fees whether the purchase takes place online, over the phone, or at the RME box office. Ticket fees also still apply for admission at the door.
TICKETS MAY BE PURCHASED AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS
River Music Experience
129. N. Main Street
Davenport, IA 52801
Mon: 12pm - 5pm
Tues: 12pm - 6pm
Wed: 12pm - 5pm
Thurs: 12pm - 6pm
Fri: 12pm - 5pm
*Box Office hours may vary due to event schedules
Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Most shows in the Redstone Room are 19+, unless otherwise noted, but minors may attend if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
RME & The Redstone Room are in the heart of downtown Davenport, and accessible by public transportation or cabs & ride-share apps (Uber, Lyft). There is a paid parking garage right next to the RME that only costs a couple of dollars for an evening. When using the ramp, make sure that you prepay at the pay stations in the garage stairwell or on the Parkmobile app. Free street parking is available, but sometimes hard to find on concert nights.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
You may call the RME's box office at (563)326-1333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What's the refund policy?
Purchased tickets are nonrefundable.