Funky in the Country
This homegrown masterpiece of simplicity captures one of Bob's charismatic performances, circa 1974, at Amazingrace Coffeehouse near Chicago. It was his first live recording since Gibson & Camp at the Gate Of Horn went gold in 1961. That's the Way It's Gonna Be, co-written with Phil Ochs, showcases Bob's trademark bass runs on his ringing 12-string guitar. The song was later recorded by John Denver, Glenn Yarbrough and others, including a hit for Lee Mallory. Abilene is Bob's most famous song. He often introduced this version, with the 2:19 Blues bridge, as "a medley of my hit." His rendition of Shel Silverstein's I Never Got To Know Her Very Well may explain why he's been described as "the poor girl's Frank Sinatra." Silverstein wrote Living Legend for and about Bob. Thinking the song hit too close to home, Gibson was at first reluctant to sing it, but it soon became a signature tune. Farewell Party is a how-to guide for a jubilant final send off-ironic, since years later Gibson hosted his own wake. The interplay between Bob and accompanist John Guth shines on Come on Back Baby, One & Only and Brownsville. The album also highlights some of Bob's Mendocino songs, including the bouncy title track, Funky in the Country. Gibson's electrifying performances always left the audience wanting more. This recording is a perfect example. BIO Bob Gibson revitalized Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, introduced Day-o and wrote Abilene and Well, Well, Well, songs which have all become an intrinsic part of American folk music repertoire. He popularized the 12-string guitar, banjo and folk music in general, recorded more than 20 albums and performed coast-to-coast. His musical legacy lives on through the many musicians he mentored (Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and David Crosby), the writers he introduced (Shel Silverstein, Tom Paxton) and the generations of banjo players, guitarists and troubadours who keep his music alive by making it their own (Roger McGuinn, Josh White, Jr. and troubadours the world over).
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