Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
2009-01-22On his fourth full-length effort titled Grandpa Walked a Picketline, singer/songwriter Otis Gibbs shares nothing less than his heart as he reflects on life, love, and the down-and-out through a mixture of folk, country rock, and bluegrass. With the opener, "Caroline," Gibbs ponders the hardships that Caroline has had to face as she "lives her life inside a daydream," allowing her the courage to press on. With the song "Everyday People," we get the impression that Gibbs is just that - an everyday kind of person writing and singing about the reality and travails of life. The short but sweet "Sometimes Angels" is a poignant reminder of the plight of the homeless as Gibbs sings: "no one looks you in the eye when you're sleeping on sidewalks / They wonder if you're alive but they keep walking past / Sometimes angels lose wings and end up strung out and high." Another song of reflection that is also worth a listen is the final song - "Bury Me On a Rainy Day." Here, Gibbs sings: "When I press on to that great bye and bye / I won't feel my troubles no more / won't you wrap me in a quilt some grandmother made / bury me on a rainy day." While there may not be any songs that really grab the listener from a musical perspective, Gibbs' storytelling seems to make up for it. It's the type of recording that beckons repeated listens in order to get at the message that Gibbs is proclaiming and to truly gain the appreciation it warrants. ~ Reviewed by Jeff Bouma
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