C.GIBBS REVIEW
BIOGRAPHY
C. GIBBS is one of those who die a little with every show. With the applause, of course, he’s back among the living, uninjured, but exhausted, like after a successful stunt. All the same, it is almost impossible to play music with this much intensity, with every fiber of his body, every timbre of his voice, without losing a piece of yourself.

The new album “Medicine Bag” is the sixth full length record of this musician and singer from Brooklyn, NY, who teams up with collaborators such as drummer Russell Simins (John Spencer Blues Explosion) and Kristin Mueller (Lucinda Black Bear), as well as Swiss bass and cello player Frank Heer (Melomane, Bingo Palace).

The album will be released by the Zurich based label NOI RECORDINGS. For years, C. GIBBS has had a special connection to Switzerland, where he enjoys not only an enthusiastic fan base, but also has a number of close friends.

With the release of medicine MEDICINE BAG on Noi Recordings, this “Swiss-American friendship” takes shape in eleven new songs, two video clips and a tour of Switzerland. “It was our vision to capture the enthralling energy that Christian Gibbs releases during a live show on a studio recording – a live album, but without the audience,”, says Leo Sanfilippo of Noi Recordings.

The songs were recorded in a couple of days, partly in Brooklyn, partly in Admiral James T.’s studio in Winterthur, Switzerland. The film music composer Balz Bachmann mixed and mastered the record.

After Growing up in San Diego, CA, the 20 year old moved to London in 1986 with a guitar in his hand and a blazing fire in his heart. He soon found work with the british New Wave Band MODERN ENGLISH. But after extensive touring and an MTV hit (“I Melt With You”), the young whirlwind tired of playing second fiddle for other stars. He moved to New York and took up with FOETUS, the band of industrial pioneer JG THIRLWELL, and also formed THE MORNING GLORIES, a trio fronted by Gibbs.

A show at New Yorks famed club CBGB’s set a new course at the end of the 90s. An A&R-Scout was fascinated by the raw energy and melodic power of the band. Soon thereafter, Gibbs signed a contract as solo artist with Atlantic Records. The ensuing epic pop album “29 Over Me”, produced by Paul Fox (XTC, Björk, They Might Be Giants) was promoted by an extensive US tour with
JOHN MELLENCAMP and SON VOLT.

Styles and directions are changed along C. Gibbs’ moods. No matter what was on the radio at home in California in the 70s, it found its way into his music: Eagles, Young, Dylan. Springsteen, Beach Boys, Diddley. Beatles, Olivia Newton John, Roky Erickson. Later on, he was influenced by Punk rock, then country provided the outlet for all the big issues in later life: loss, addiction, reconciliation.

Each of his records opens a new chapter. “Parade of Small Horses” (2005) was one of the finest Americana longplayers of the last decade. “29 Over Me” (1999)
Takes its listener to an eclectic journey into Westcoast-Pop. “Capo My Heart And Other Bear Songs” (2008) comes with all the makings of a hit album, aided by the wonderful combo LUCINDA BLACK BEAR. The music flows weightlessly, enchanted by melody, causing to wonder if this is really the same man, who in the early 90s screamingly exorcised his rock’n’roll demons with the furious MORNING GLORIES.

And now MEDICINE BAG: The new songs pick up at the breaking points of his career; open wounds, the callow, self-doubt, trials and tribulations. For example in the title track, basically a blues riff. But Gibbs opens up the rusty riffs to create an instant classic - groovy, catchy rock music in wide screen.

Living room stadium rock for people who don’t like arenas, MEDICINE BAG is not an overly polished album, maybe even C. GIBBS’ most unwieldy, his loudest and his most quiet at the same time. Full of humor, yet angry.

But C. GIBBS – according to Swiss magazine “Züritipp” optically “the cuddly version of Lou Reed” – reveals on his new album his most personal and surprising collection of songs. A truly great piece for people new to his music as well as fans.

***

“C. Gibbs is so talented that it's frightening. His curly hair expands like a halo from his head and threatens to swallow you whole. His music is just as tangled and enveloping. He exudes music from his very pores, and his soulful voice comes from the deepest place. You may detect echoes of Elliot Smith, Neil Young, The Beatles but his vision is something uniquely his own. He creates timeless, transcendant music that embeds itself into your psyche.” - JG THIRLWELL of Foetus

 
 
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