Drew Gibson pours forth a very unusual sound within a recognizable context, and I'm not sure how to describe it; that's what attracted me to this disc in the first place. The lead cut, I Know I Miss You More, pretty much wraps the tone of The Southern Draw up in one attractively mysterious package. His collision of a number of adjuncts within a folk baseline is not unlike John Matryn's wont yet highly unlike Martyn's work. Maybe that's the trick. Whatever it is he's doing, he's damnably good at it, and you can't help but drift ever more towards a sound that leaves you wide-eyed while satisfyingly content.
Childhood buddy and fellow musician Paul Curreri did a masterful job of producing, co-engineering, and mixing Gibson's work, preserving it like a fine musky mead to be savored drop by drop. That couldn't have been an easy task because there's so much going on in cuts like Love You No More, a track that shimmers and rings like a softly tolling bell in a morning fog breaking into sunlight. I catch more than a few JP Jones elements in Gibson's work as well, and FAME and Perfect Sound Forever readers well know of my regard for that East Coast gentleman, one of the best modern folkers in America, in my opinion.
Devon Sproule dropped in for a couple of cuts, lending her distinctive voice in duet and refrains, and Gibson's band is often not unlike Bruce Cockburn's early ensembles, carrying an otherworldly tang within established modes. Gibson's voice is mildly rough but reassuring, a deeper echo away from David Wilcox and ilk while kindred. More, his lyrics carry the mixed poeticism of gesture and definition, Lonnie Johnson and Sugar Blue two excellent examples, moods wherein you know exactly what he's writing as you reach for more, never to quite quench curiosity 'cause that's exactly what good poetry is supposed to evoke. More, the guy plays a damn fine guitar with not only killer choices in chords and lead lines but an eerily wistful electronic sustain that starts to pull at the corners of the heart. For only a second effort, this disc is rich and dusky, as seasoned as they come, and evidence of a musician who's going to pull things in a different direction.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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