Friday, May 16, 2008

Laura Gibson

I've simply fallen in love with Laura Gibson and her new six song EP Six White Horses: Blues & Traditionals, Vol. 1. It's quiet. It's haunting. It's full of covers and reinterpretations. But it's also wonderfully original. And I love it.

I'd like to just stop here and let my brevity stay the course, as it does on the EP, but I'll add a little more to try and get you to love it, too.

The texture of Gibson's guitar work stays fairly true to the original blues compositions, but she does an incredible job of playing around with the timing, drawing it out, and somehow making it more haunting and powerful in a different sort of way than the originals. When it was recorded, Gibson's voice and guitar were projected and recorded through the speaker of an old-record player, adding that other-worldly feel to it. Accompanying her is Jason Leonard, who adds a washbucket, newpaper drums, porch stomping, bells, whistling, vibraphone and glockenspiels to support her vocals and guitar. The six tracks on the EP include the following:
1. All The Pretty Horses (Traditional)
2. One Dime Blues (Blind Lemon Jefferson)
3. Freight Train (Elizabeth Cotten)
4. One Thin Dime (Mance Lipscomb)
5. Black Is The Color of My True Love's Hair (Traditional)
6. Dry Land Blues (Furry Lewis)
Laura really does an incredible job of taking these timeless songs and making them her own, while still retaining links to the past. You can listen to the first track, All the Pretty Horses, below. I've also added some of the originals for the other tracks so once you pick up the disc (which I'm very much hoping you will), you'll be able to compare and see how Laura has reinterpreted them.

And finally, you can also check out some video of Laura playing four live songs for NPR here, in the first of their "Tiny Desk Concert" series.

Visit her website, her label Hush Records, and become her friend on MySpace.


Blind Lemon Jefferson - One Dime Blues
: Complete Classic Sides Remastered (Disc B)

Elizabeth Cotten - Freight Train : Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes

Mance Lipscomb - One Thin Dime : Texas Songster

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