An Evening With Otis Gibbs (Full Band)

An Evening With Otis Gibbs (Full Band) The Vogue
lördag 16 juni 2012

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Med Otis Gibbs

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lördag 16 juni 2012

The Vogue

6259 N. College Ave.
Indianapolis IN 46220
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Tel: (317) 259-7029

Otis Gibbs is a man in search of an honest experience. Gibbs is often
referred to as a folk artist, but that is a simplistic way to describe
a man who has planted over 7,000 trees, slept in hobo jungles, walked

with nomadic shepherds in Romania, was a fifth grade yo-yo champion
and once wrestled a bear (and lost). Otis has played countless,
theaters, festivals, bars and house concerts and has managed to carve
out a living, while remaining happily independent. Much of his work
concentrates on the world ignored by pop culture. Sometimes forgotten,
obsolete, or simply marginalized, it is a world that doesn’t fit into
a twenty-second sound bite, or talking point. Otis has spent the last
fifteen years traveling across America and abroad documenting this
world, and has a story to share about each stop along the way.

Harder Than Hammered Hell, is Otis Gibbs’ sixth album. It’s also the
fourth release by Wanamaker Recording Company, the East Nashville
based independent label he started in 2008 with long time partner Amy
Lashley. The album title was inspired by experiences Otis had when
he worked as a tree-planter in Indiana. Much of what he learned came
from a seventy-year-old friend/co-worker. The man would
describe ground that is too hard to dig as, “harder than hammered
hell.” He would also use the phrase when referring to a difficult job,
or a particularly tough person. Otis found it a fitting metaphor for
the difficulties of leading a creative life

The album features performances by Thomm Jutz on guitar, Mark Fain on
bass, Paul Griffith on drums and Amy Lashley on vocals. When asked
about his approach to making records Otis replied, “I’m silly enough
to believe that I’m the world’s foremost authority on what an Otis
Gibbs record should sound like. I tend to enjoy stripped down
arrangements that highlight the song and the vocal.” Jutz’ tasteful
playing style blends perfectly in this setting. Gibbs produced the
record, with Jutz engineering, making this their third collaboration.

There is a feeling of strength and perseverance that resonates throughout
this record. Otis’ work often speaks of accepting the harsh realities
of life without giving into them. Songs like Never Enough, Made To
Break and Broke And Restless are a reflection of that spirit.

“Somewhere outside the vacant world two fools stare fate in the eye,
singing oh you’ll never take us alive.” -Broke And Restless

“When the suffering world is about to uncurl and reaches up and under
your skin, you might sit there alone, but you’re about to be thrown
into a box you never could fit in, we were made to break.” -Made To

Don’t Worry Kid recalls childhood feelings of not fitting in. “I wish
that more people would be honest with kids and let them know that
there’s nothing wrong with feeling different. Any sane person would
feel out of place in a society that idolizes celebrities and trash
culture while catering to short attention spans. The good news is
they’re not alone and it does get better.”

“Don’t worry kid you know it’s gonna get better than this
there’s nothing wrong with you that you can’t work out
we’re all filled with doubt, don’t worry kid.” -Don’t Worry Kid

Big Whiskers was inspired by a childhood memory. In1966, the World
Record Flathead Catfish (79lb 8oz) was caught out of White River near
Gibbs’ childhood home. Otis fished that same river countless times and
heard many stories of huge catfish spotted there. Otis asked his
friend, Adam Carroll to help him finish a song based on some of these
tall tales. Gibbs and Carroll met up at a rundown hotel outside of
Austin, Texas and finished the song in an afternoon.

Otis currently resides in East Nashville with his partner Amy Lashley.
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