The Gibson Brothers Debut 'Cool Drink of Water' From Dan Auerbach-Produced 'Mockingbird': Exclusive

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“This was what I would hearken to in my dad’s pickup truck as a child,” Leigh Gibson says of latest album, out Nov. 9.

With the Nov. 9 launch of Mockingbird (Easy Eye Sound), bluegrass energy duo the Gibson Brothers (Leigh and Eric Gibson) name upon the influences of all the things from the nice and cozy nation sounds of Don Williams to Elvis Presley’s '68 Comeback Special in an effort that highlights a transparent — if maybe non permanent — break from the style that has given them success for therefore lengthy.

Consecutive entertainers of the 12 months recipients from the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2012 and 2013, the Gibsons knew that they wished to take their music in a unique path after the discharge of 2017's In the Ground (Rounder). While it could have been simple to stay with the method that has introduced them a lot success, they couldn't assist however assume again to a Nashville deal that fell by means of 20 years prior.

"We labored on an album 20 years in the past that was extra conventional than what was popping out on the time," Leigh Gibson explains to Billboard. "We had been already 10 or extra years previous the New Traditionalist motion, and the large manufacturing sound of Shania Twain was ruling the business on the time, so we went again to creating music the best way we'd already been making it earlier than."

Mockingbird gained't change Nashville's opinion on the duo's classic sound, with presumably its strongest presence captured on "Cool Drink of Water,” which premieres beneath on Billboard. The genial track calls to thoughts the times of John Denver's crossover success with "Rocky Mountain High.” The recording course of that the brothers discovered as soon as they stepped into the studio with producers Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys and David “Fergie” Ferguson, greatest identified for his Grammy-winning engineering work on Johnny Cash's American Recordings albums, is one which they hope to take again upon their return to bluegrass, every time that could be.

Says Eric Gibson, "Who is aware of what the long run holds? Bluegrass is part of us, and I'm positive there may be extra bluegrass in our future, however I don't know when."

The Gibsons mentioned with Billboard their northern New York roots operating all through their southern music, in addition to working with the legendary musicians that Auerbach, who chimed in e-mail, set in place to assist craft their newest album's sound.

When did the idea of this album start coming collectively?

Leigh Gibson: We started significantly discussing what we’d do a few 12 months in the past. We'd gone forwards and backwards on the path earlier than we reached out to [Ferguson] about perhaps utilizing his studio to file a couple of issues. He talked about it to Dan Auerbach, and…Dan reached out and requested if we wished to simply get collectively, write a couple of issues, and see the place it goes.

Eric Gibson: These songs had been all model new [outside of the R.E.M. cover, "Everybody Hurts"], written simply earlier than strolling into the studio. That's the best way Dan likes to do it; he likes to file songs earlier than you've had time to overthink it. There's one thing about recording a track when [it’s] nonetheless contemporary, and it nonetheless excites you to listen to it, and there may be nonetheless a magic than may be captured.

What variations did you discover in your earlier work and dealing with Auerbach?

Leigh Gibson: The instant distinction was in not carrying the producer's hat, which is a brand new factor for us, as lots of our information we've produced ourselves. There are so many selections that come together with taking up that job, and having Dan produce it, it felt like we may simply be ourselves extra…It was the primary time we had been capable of let go of the reins, and it was an awesome expertise.

Eric Gibson: I can't keep in mind one other time [in the studio] that felt like that, the place it was so joyful. The days flew by after we had been in there, with days the place we'd work all by means of the evening, and would achieve this gladly. We cowrote all of these songs, so it wasn't like we didn't really feel part of it. We've written with some fairly heavy hitters by means of the years, and it's simple to really feel such as you've been steamrolled by the tip of the writing course of. That wasn't the method right here; we constructed these songs from the bottom up with Dan and the opposite writers.

Auerbach: I can truthfully say that all the things I hoped would occur, did. The brothers got here into this mission with open, inventive minds and that made it very simple to collaborate. We had a blast daily.

What was it like recording with a roomful of legendary session gamers like Gene Chrisman, drummer on such Presley hits as "Kentucky Rain" and "In the Ghetto,” and Billy Sanford, guitarist on Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County"?

Eric Gibson: I used to be blown away the entire time. I knew about these guys. They're speaking about working with Elvis, and Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich…and I'd simply pay attention. At one level Gene turned to me and mentioned, "You in all probability don't know who Hank Snow is," and I mentioned, "I do know each single particular person that you just guys are speaking about, and have been finding out their music for years”…These guys aren't younger males anymore, however they've nonetheless acquired a fireplace, and I really like that we recorded with them.

Leigh Gibson: I believe a number of the album's sound needed to do with the blokes who labored with us within the studio. It was very comfy as a result of it was such part of our musical data, having grown up listening to those identical guys. 

Auerbach: It’s all about capturing the magic that occurs once you get all these nice artists in the identical room collectively, they usually’re all working in the direction of a standard aim. It’s by no means actually been about anyone’s age…the audio system don’t care how outdated you’re.

Do you are feeling Mockingbird might ruffle some feathers inside the bluegrass institution?

Leigh Gibson: Being geographically eliminated [from the South growing up] allowed us to create music that was totally different from what bluegrass normally is, and a number of that has to do with the place we're from. Being from northern New York state, it took some effort to find out about bluegrass, and study what it’s. The music on this album was stuff that surrounded us rising up. This was what I'd hearken to in my dad's pickup truck as a child.