Heading north: Gibson Brothers planning country Christmas

Fans can expect to hear some holiday favorites
Leigh (left) and Eric Gibson.
Leigh (left) and Eric Gibson.

Categories: Entertainment

Leigh and Eric Gibson are homeward bound this holiday season.

The bluegrass musicians with the local roots — Leigh Gibson lives in Scotia — bring their “North Country Christmas” to the GE Theatre at Proctors on Friday.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

The brothers began their yuletide sessions just after Thanksgiving, playing three shows in North Carolina. After the Proctors gig, the band will play Saturday in Ellenburg Depot (Clinton County) and then tote out and tune up for Sunday’s finale in Shirley, Massachusetts.

Bluegrass fans will see familiar faces on stage. Mike Barber, who’s been playing with the Gibsons since 1993, will be on bass. Clayton Campbell, who plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar, and mandolin player Jesse Brock will complete the lineup.

There will also be some different sounds in the mix. The holiday shows traditionally have allowed the Gibson musicians to stretch out, as drums and electric guitars become part of band’s sound.

The holiday celebrations started four years ago. For the Proctors show, fans can expect to hear December favorites such as “Away in the Manger,” “O Holy Night,” “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” and seasonal songs from singers Merle Haggard and Buck Owens.

The Gibsons don’t often play local venues.

“Probably a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m the only one who lives here,” Leigh Gibson said in a 2015 interview with The Daily Gazette. “I’ve got two guys who live in Nashville, and as a business, we fly them around.”

Eric Gibson lives in Brainardsville, Franklin County.

The brothers grew up on the family dairy farm in Ellenburg Depot, and music was always around the house.

“We’re probably part of that last generation that didn’t get hit with cable television or video games,” Gibson said in the earlier interview. “The instruments were a source of family entertainment, it’s what we did at night.”

There have been bunches of awards over the years, including “entertainer of the year” in both 2012 and 2013 from the International Bluegrass Music Association and “vocal group of the year” and “contemporary gospel group of the year” in 2015 by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America.

The Gibsons, always well dressed for their bluegrass exhibitions, will dress up the stage in song and good cheer for the Christmas showcase.

Gibson Brothers: North Country Christmas

WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady
HOW MUCH: $30, $75 for VIP

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124, [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

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