I was surprised when I first listened to Scott Gibson's "Make Ready". It was all new to me--yet it was somehow like an old friend that I had listened to again and again. I have been listening to it daily since. I played this CD for several friends and got a similar reaction from each. Perhaps what excites me most about this release is knowing that this is Scott's first studio CD [his previous "Live Session" release found here]. As fresh as this one is in my CD player, I am looking forward to his next CD and the next after that. The elation about his future releases comes from thinking about how good this one is for his first studio produced release and how very good he will be as he grows beyond this rather amazing beginning!
Scott is a bass player, singer, and songwriter. His compositions show expertise in understanding exactly what each member of the band must accomplish for the whole of the music. The songs stick to you like glue! From a musicians standpoint, each song is delivered with perfect timing and tonality. I love the rhythms, sonic textures, and fit of every lick by each musician on the CD. Scott's art as a bass player is to keep the song rooted to the beat and provide a skillfully played bottom. His vocals belay his years. They speak from what sounds like years of practice found only in performance after performance.
The opening song, "I Believe", is a rocker with a fit for radio play featuring chimey rhythm guitar [Mac McNabb on 12 string electric], a solid bass line, and a catchy melody. Scott words create an analogy of a relationship moving forward to a road trip with an unknown timetable to the destination and it works. Scott's voice is melodic with just a pleasant little rasp and a unique phrasing all his own. The slippery and spanking guitar solos by band mate Rob Gjersoe hits all my buttons in a positive way!
"Put Away The Blues" is a slow tune with a beautiful Dobro intro. Scott's voice is haunting on this track as he suggests to his love to take the past and put aside the blues. Rob proves he can play square neck Dobro as well as he can electric guitar with a mournful solo with beautiful turnarounds. Chris Gage fills in the sound with mandolin and accordion.
The country rocker, "Robin-On-Hudson", opens with full bodied and sustaining rock guitars. The back-up of drummer, Rafael Gayol, with Scott's bass together lay down a tight beat. Scott gives you glimpse of the elated life with his girl, Robin on the Hudson. Scott lets loose on the vocals!
"Hand It Over" opens with beautifully finger picked resonator guitar by Mac McNabb. Scott's perfect-for-the-song vocals suggest that the Savior can take your load and you should hand it over. After the first verse accompanied only by the resonator, the whole band chimes in including a tasty slide guitar lick refrain.
The "Ballad Of The Balladeer" is a cynical look at a singer songwriter's life. Scott sings with the backing of Mac's acoustic guitar. He suggests; "really ought to be a superstar, but he just don't sell enough beer". It is a beautifully performed tune with a bit of reality for anyone who has tried their hand breaking into the music scene for a living.
The last tune on the disc is a gorgeous slow love song with a killer refrain and title; "The Hardest Part of Hurting Is The Hope". It features Scott's voice as well the lap steel of Rob accompanied by David Abeyta on acoustic guitar. They fit together so well--it is like they are a single performer. It is a great finish to this wonderful disc. It makes me want to start the disc all over again [I think I will--grin!].
Take a few minutes and drop by Scott's website. You can listen to samples of the tunes on "Make Ready" while you get out your credit card and order up a copy of this great release by Scott Gibson and friends! Highly recommended! ~ Steve Ekblad ~ audiogrid.com