Sometimes hearing about new acts and listening to a song or two isn’t enough for them to get your attention. Sometimes you have to discover them on your own, you could be consciously looking, stumble upon them, or they can run you over. I had heard of The Gibbonses but I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first saw them opening for The Statesboro Revue a few months back. Some nights it’s good to be a klutz.
Brandon and Jackie Gibbons have been getting some off and on buzz since the release of their first full album, “Among The Rubble”, a year ago. Like a lot of Texas acts, The Gibbonses build their following one fan at a time with lots of windshield time in between. It’s blue collar, or to steal a hashtag from their Instagram account, it’s #diyasfuck. Call it whatever, it’s the work ethic that folks around here tend to appreciate.
The Gibbonses describe themselves as a “Southern Soul, Americana, Rhythm & Blues” outfit. That shoe fits well enough. It’s just the two of them, Jackie on lead vocals and a plethora of percussion (more on that in a sec), Brandon on guitar and backing vocals.
They have a fun origin story – the short of it is the two met on a Carnival Cruise ship, Brandon being the Director of Music had just cleaned house and took on newbie showband singer, Jackie Pock. They immediately hit it off musically and one thing lead to another…then marriage…it happens. After a short stint in Seattle, family health issues brought the young couple back to Jackie’s home state of Texas. It was out of those experiences that “Among The Rubble” was born.
The album is deeply personal, full of loneliness, tragedy, struggle, loss, mourning, resilience and hope. It’s not a Happy Birthday kind of record, the song progression forms a cohesive emotional narrative describing a trying journey. The writing is legit and I’d say their transition from cruise ship cover band to songwriting has gone well.
Jackie’s powerful voice, along with a thundering kick drum, drive you through the storm. The vocals are soulful and hypnotic in that way that only the female voice can be. She’s got some Linda Ronstadt/Bonnie Raitt vibes going on and I’d put her voice up against any of the ladies in our scene.
Listen to “Tough As Nails” where she brings her potent dose of soul.
“Keep on Keepin’ On” closes the record and is the closest thing to an upper. It’s a good one.
Finally, I’m going to evoke the “you need to see them live to fully appreciate them” catch phrase. Seeing Jackie do her percussion parts one woman band style while still managing to bring those killer vocals is mesmerizing. Meanwhile Brandon is up on there on guitar, all smiles and having fun. You can tell the guy has had to entertain people before.
Here’s a peek at them covering some Turnpike:
The Gibbonses are a hidden gem in plain sight. Get to see them if they are in your neck of the woods. Until then check out “Among The Rubble” and be looking for a follow up album during first half of 2018.