Otis Gibbs - Harder Than Hammered Hell (2012) [FLAC]

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Otis handled the production of the album by himself, which sometimes ends in disaster, and he nailed the perfect touches on this one. Often times musicians who are labeled as a ΓÇ£folkieΓÇ¥ get too caught up in that same acoustic guitar send a message sound and forget that some songs need more and that sometimes some electric guitar and drums are a great thing. Not Gibbs, he enlisted a top notch band consisting of everyoneΓÇÖs favorite session drummer Paul Griffith, Mark Fain on bass, Thomm Jutz playing guitar/ vocals and Amy Lashley adding depth to the songs on backing vocals. The songs have a very live feel to them, whether they were recorded in that fashion or not, I have no idea and they lend themselves to GibbsΓÇÖ tendency to draw out certain words or phrases that you were not really expecting.

As always OtisΓÇÖ voice is a little gruff and a little sweet when it needs to be, he seems to always find the correct balance when singing to match the emotion of the song. Most people know Gibbs for his political or socially conscience songs and I think that unfairly gets him pigeonholed sometimes, as he can write a personal song with the best of them. This album really showcases that ability, while his thoughts on the world are definitely sprinkled throughout the songs, most of them feel like they were written from his personal experiences or written to or about someone who he knows. A feeling of hope resonates during the entire album, even though some of the characters have fallen on hard times they have persevered or Gibbs is telling that there is in fact a light at the end of the old tunnel.

This feeling starts off right away with ΓÇ£Never EnoughΓÇ¥ and continues with ΓÇ£Made To BreakΓÇ¥ which is probably my favorite song on the album. Both songs champion the ability to struggle on through all the things that life may throw at you. The word play on the latter is just phenomenal, as is the case with many Gibbs tunes.

Later in the record comes the only co-write on the album and who should show up but, Jukebox favorite, Adam Carroll. I am now convinced that Carroll just sits around and waits for people to come through Texas and then convinces them to write a song with him, itΓÇÖs some sort of rite of passage for all songwriters passing through the area. While you can maybe feel a little Carroll influence in ΓÇ£Big WhiskersΓÇ¥ it is absolutely an Otis Gibbs song. I work part time at a cat fishing lake, but am not a fisherman by any means. This song cracked me up, because I have met this guy at the lake a million times and heard 100 different versions of the story that the grandpa in the song tells about the monster catfish lurking at the bottom of the river.

The final song I will discuss is ΓÇ£The Land of MaybeΓÇ¥, a song about OtisΓÇÖ life in Tennessee and this is the song that his thoughts on the nation sneaks in the most. Lines like ΓÇ£ItΓÇÖs hard to care about the fashion, with the dirt up and under your nailsΓÇ¥ really hit home with those of us that have lives where the dirt is constantly under our nails. That is what really sets Gibbs apart from most of the holier than thou, make a change folkies, he writes and sings like he is one of us and that the change is what he cares about, not being the one that inspired the change.

I encourage everyone to buy this one immediately, the songs feel as though they were written on your back porch or the back of a pickup truck at a rest area and performed in your local bar (you know if your local bar was a really fucking cool place). Accessible is a word that comes to mind but, it really doesnΓÇÖt do how good this album any justice at all. I guarantee when all is said and done this year, Harder Than Hammered Hell will appear on my and a lot of other peopleΓÇÖs top ten lists. Learn more at www.OtisGibbs.com . ~ broken jukebox		
Otis Gibbs - Harder Than Hammered Hell (2012) [FLAC]/01 - Otis Gibbs - Never Enough.flac 21.67 MB
Otis Gibbs - Harder Than Hammered Hell (2012) [FLAC]/02 - Otis Gibbs - Made To Break.flac 16.077 MB
Otis Gibbs - Harder Than Hammered Hell (2012) [FLAC]/03 - Otis Gibbs - Broke And Restless.flac 27.094 MB
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