Review by Dan Rozman
Photos by Mark Raker
On Friday, April 21st The Gibson Brothers took over the AMP stage. The quartet consisted of brothers Eric Gibson (guitar and banjo) and Leigh Gibson (guitar), Mike Barber (stand-up bass), and local DC area artist Frank Solivan (mandolin).
The intimate listening room at AMP by Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD was ideal for dinner and drinks while seeing this show. The award-winning Gibson Brothers have been entertaining audiences all over the world for more than 30 years and the friendly back-and-forth banter during the show highlighted the talent and friendship of the brothers. In addition to playing original songs, they also played some covers. Many of the songs were from their new album Darkest Hour, released in January. They began the album before COVID. Produced by Jerry Douglas Darkest Hour has never-before released songs written over the past 20 years. Although it has “darkest” in the name most of the songs on the album are upbeat and inspirational.
Each member of the band had his moment in the spotlight. The Gibson Brothers showed their versatility by playing old-time Bill Monroe bluegrass as well as jams, ballads, and deeply soulful songs. Both Eric and Leigh are excellent songwriters. Although many of the songs are personal to their lives they are relatable to most people. “One Minute of You” was written by Leigh when his daughter got her driver’s license, the lyrics are relatable to any parent who has been through that experience. The banjo and mandolin interaction and solos brought out the bluegrass lover in everyone.
Be sure to check out other shows at the AMP; it’s a great place to see a show. The Gibson Brothers and Frank Solivan can be seen Memorial Day Weekend at DelFest in beautiful Cumberland MD.
Additionally, The Gibson Brothers are featured on the PBS Mountain Stage show airing May 19th.
Other upcoming opportunities to see them are:
May 18, Rams Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD
May 19, The Tin Pan, Richmond, VA