The Gibson Brothers,
Ring the Bell
(Compass, 2009)

Bluegrass has never been so lush in recent years as on this excellent collection of 12 tracks that will inspire, enthrall and even convert many non-aficionados.

The Gibson Brothers make the banjo sing as it has seldom sung before to accompany some fantastic lyrics and other accompaniment. This is apparent from the opening track, "I Know Whose Tears," which is a hymn to motherhood that is neither maudlin nor over-sentimental but very true. "I Can't Like Myself" is another wonderful track that plays beautifully with the lyrics and will have you listening intently as your toes tap independently.

The tongue-in-cheek humour is exemplified in the "The Wishing Well," in which the protagonist complains that his true love did not succumb to his heartfelt investment in the well, so he reckons the well "aint working" and the owner must be a millionaire.

Of a dozen top-class tracks, one of my favourites is "Ring the Bell." This is a song that could be a hit for any singer with enough airplay, and the Gibsons are the ones who should get it. A close second in my favourites has to be "What Can I Do." This is a lovely song of love in trouble, countered by the beautifully melodic and intensely sung "Forever Has No End."

This is an album to cherish but most of all it is one to play over and over and over and over and then to start again.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

19 June 2010

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