Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

164

Billy Gibson Band: Southern Livin'

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
A surefire way to annoy, insult, upset or even anger a Mississippian is for some Northerner to spell the state's name in a silly chant: "Em, eye, crooked-letter, crooked-letter, eye, crooked-letter, crooked-letter, eye, humpback-humpback, eye—Mississippi. Billy Gibson and his band get away with it, partly because he's a Southerner who knows, all too well, how the chant can infuriate the locals. It doesn't hurt that he put it into a delightful song on Southern Livin'.

Gibson, a fixture on the Memphis blues scene, spent his early career in the Mississippi Delta town of Clarksdale, honing his craft with the harmonica while playing in guitarist Johnnie Billington's band, The Midnighters. A native of Clinton, Miss., who spent many years in the Jackson area, Gibson was strongly influenced by the music of his surroundings. Since then, he's gone on to participate on recordings by such artists as Deborah Coleman and Michael Burks.

On Southern Livin', Gibson is joined by his regular band, David Bowen on guitar and backing vocals, Charlie Wood on keyboards and backing vocals, James Jackson on bass and Cedric Keel on drums and backing vocals, as well as a few guest musicians.

On "Mississippi, one of five songs written by Bowen, Gibson sings about going to his home state and having the time of his life. With clever innuendo, he sings of country girls and getting a taste of the South in his mouth. It's a cool track that celebrates many aspects of Southern living, aided by a subtle yet effective rhythm track by the band.

Guest guitarist Preston Shannon delivers a sharp solo on "I'm Single, an upbeat tune wherein Gibson let's the ladies know he's available, supplemented by the horn section.

"Hey, Hey Pretty Lady is Gibson's own composition, a slow swing where the artist tells his woman to prepare for a long night. Kirk Smothers' baritone saxophone gives this piece some extra soul, but Gibson's harmonica also adds a nice touch.

Southern Livin' is an ideal soundtrack to typical Southern pastimes: cookouts, backyard swimming pools, lounging on the patio and chatting with friends around a backyard table. With seven original songs, including one written by Wood, it's another example of Gibson's straightforward approach to the blues, previously exhibited on The Billy Gibson Band (Inside Sounds, 2005). The excellent music makes it easy to forgive his "crooked-letter transgressions.

Track Listing: Fireman; Mississippi; I

Personnel: Billy Gibson: vocals and harmonica; David Bowen: guitar and background vocals; Charlie Wood: organ, piano, Rhodes and background vocals; James Jackson: bass; Cedric Keel: drums and background vocals; Preston Shannon: lead guitar (3); Daddy Mack Orr: lead guitar (10); Jeff Burch: congas, percussion; Jackie Johnson and Z-Da: background vocals; Scott Thompson: trumpet; Jim Spake and Howard Lamb: trombone; Kirk Smothers: baritone saxophone.

Title: Southern Livin' | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Inside Sounds

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Amour Cruel" CD/LP/Track Review Amour Cruel
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Organ Monk Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk Blue
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "I Know I Dream" CD/LP/Track Review I Know I Dream
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017