By this point, everyone knows about local musician Sam Brown sitting behind the kit in the indie-rock supergroup Divine Fits, who will return to town Wednesday at the Newport Music Hall. Less known, perhaps, is the Columbus connection of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which was recently added to the Newport bill (moved from the Basement).
In the early ’90s, sometime around the dissolution of Spencer’s previous band Pussy Galore, he and wife Cristina Martinez joined an incarnation of the off-kilter country/blues/rock Columbus outfit Gibson Bros. with Don Howland (Bassholes) and Jeff Evans (’68 Comeback), who had recently relocated to Memphis. A couple years ago, Howland told me about playing an RL Burnside cassette for Spencer during a Gibson Bros. tour.
“He was stunned by it,” Howland said. “By the time we got to Memphis to record the last album, we were covering an RL Burnside song with Jon singing it.” Spencer went on to record and tour with Burnside, exposing the bluesman to an audience he’d never before reached.
Columbus folks also speak about the influence of Evans’s “twisted-Elvis” onstage persona, and how it shaped Spencer’s approach as a frontman. You know all those self-referential “Blues Explosion!” shout-outs? It was part of the Gibson Bros. schtick very early on. “Gibson Brothers, ladies and gentleman, Gibson Brothers!” Evans would exclaim like a snake oil salesman during live shows.
Posted in Columbus
Tagged Blues Explosion, CDR, Cheater Slicks, Cold Cave, Divine Fits, Don Howland, Gibson Bros, Jeffrey Evans, Jon Spencer, Khyber Pass, Newport Music Hall, People's Temple, Siltbreeze, tom lax
If 2009 was the year of Larry Jon Wilson, 2010 was the year of Bill Fox and the Gibson Bros. I think I listened to Bill Fox’s two reissued albums — Shelter from the Smoke and Transit Byzantium — more than anything else. (Shelter got a deluxe vinyl reissue, and Scat promises a similar treatment for Transit in 2011.) Go get ’em. And working on a story about the Gibson Bros. reunion show back in July occupied my brainspace and held my interest for months. I don’t know if CDR has any copies of the Build a Raft reissue left, but if they do, it’s required listening for any Columbus music fan or anyone with a passing interest in twisted, noisy country/blues/rock.
But in terms of new stuff, here’s what I liked this year, starting with national releases and ending with Cowtown LPs.
1. Strand of Oaks – Pope Killdragon
I didn’t immediately hit repeat when I heard this album, but once I came back to it, I never stopped. Who knew a record with songs about John Belushi (from the perspective of Dan Akroyd), a 12-foot man and JFK could be so engrossing. Devastating, too. If you think Tim Showalter is just another pretty-voiced folkie, the layers of synth and Sabbath-like riffs on “Giant’s Despair” prove otherwise. The best way to get Killdragon digitally or on vinyl is through Strand of Oaks’ Kickstarter page.
2. The Black Keys – Brothers
Posted in 2010 Favorites, Columbus, Review
Tagged Anais Mitchell, Andrew Graham, Bill Fox, black keys, Black Swans, Deathly FIghter, Deerhunter, earwig, Ghost Shirt, Gibson Bros, Hadestown, Jana Hunter, Justin Townes Earle, Kanye West, Kyle Sowashes, Local Natives, Lost in the Trees, Love Language, Lower Dens, Mavis Staples, Micah Schnabel, Mountain Man, mumford and sons, Nick Tolford, Patty Griffin, Sam Amidon, Shearwater, Spoon, Strand of Oaks, Sufjan Stevens, Sun Kil Moon, super desserts, surfer blood, Time and Temperature, Vampire Weekend
Thanks to Davey Highben and his treasure trove known as the Never Ending Compilation for pointing me to this video of the Gibson Bros playing “Big Pine Boogie” at Comfest in 1987. Apparently it’s from one of the band’s self-released tapes called “Has anybody got an assburn?”
The Gibson Bros will reunite at the CMC’s Parking Lot Blowout in Columbus on July 10. New poster after the jump. Continue reading
We told you before about the Gibson Bros, Scrawl and New Bomb Turks. Here’s the full deal, including after-party w/ Ted Leo:
The CMC has a fancy new website, too.
(And some dude wrote about the Gibson Bros reunion in this week’s Other Paper.)
Posted in Columbus, Music Festivals
Tagged Columbus Music Co-Op, EYE, Fat Girls by the Snack Table, Gibson Bros, New Bomb Turks, Old Hundred, Parking Lot Blowout, Scrawl, Sweatheart, The Randys