The Gibson Brothers are not Nickel Creek. Their music is not cutting edge, andit need not be. Leigh and Eric Gibson are keepers of the flame, playing a traditional brand of bluegrass very well. Both are able singers capable of effecting the "high lonesome" tenor pioneered by Big Mon.
Their songs here, all original save for a single Tom T. Hall cover, are red-hot bluegrass pieces with rippling banjos and mandolins. The brothers lyrics deal with the characteristic themes of bluegrass: love, poverty, death, and music. Their harmonies, vocal and instrumental are as infectious as the flu while being a lot more fun to suffer from. "The Open Road" provides the disc's title and sets up a groove, painting the song as a road trip. "Ragged Man" and "Don’t Forget the Coffee, Billy Joe" are tomes of everyday life on the margins, while "Railroad Line" talks a good line but smells like desperation. This is a fabulous addition to the Sugar Hill and bluegrass catalog.