Otis Gibbs: Joe Hill’s Ashes (Wanamaker Recording Company, 2010)
Otis Gibbs is a folk/country/blues songwriter from Wanamaker, Indiana. And mighty good songwriter I might add. He has released several albums, but this new album Joe Hill’s Ashes was the first one that found it’s way to my record shelf. However, there is a real danger that I may need to do some back catalogue shopping, because this is obviously such a fine album that I might need to hear more Otis Gibbs songs in the not so distant future. It did took me a little while to get used to Otis’ a bit rough voice, but after I got through that obstacle there was nothing that could stop me from enjoying this album. And do note that the vocals are actually really great. It’s just a little different than what one is used to, if he has spent ten years listening to skinny-tied moptops singing la-la-la-I-love-you in three part harmonies. The thing is that this sounds very convincing and real. When that down-to-earth voice that sounds like it belongs to a man that has seen life and experienced both fortunes and disastrous events tells you well-written stories in form of beautifully crafted folk songs you just sit back and listen like it was your grandpa telling you a story of how to become a good man.
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