Top Ten Reasons for Leigh Gibson to Be IBMA’s 2011 Male Vocalist of the Year

It’s probably taboo to come up with a list like this weeks before the 2011 IBMA Awards in Nashville. My affinity…delete that…love for the music of Eric and Leigh Gibson led me to wave off any superstition. I will also say that all of the nominees for Male Vocalist of the Year are highly deserving. While the guys prepare their speeches, I want to celebrate Leigh Gibson’s inclusion with a Late Night Style Top Ten List. So here goes.

Top Ten Reasons for Leigh Gibson to be IBMA’s 2011 Male Vocalist of the Year:

  1. A win for A Gibson brother is a win for THE Gibson Brothers.
  2. Leigh’s yodel.
  3. The high harmony part he summons for The Other Side of Town. Does Steve Earle know this kick-ass version of his song is out there? I think he does.
  4. Dreams That End Like This.
  5. He has his own variations on the G run. In my book, the great bluegrass lead singers don’t have to be guitar players but, if they are, they have their own distinctive G runs.
  6. He could have gone into musical theater, but didn’t. Ditto for stand-up comedy, improv, and late night comedy show host.
  7. Leigh is a powerful closer. It’s the last verse of a song, the Gibson Brothers have already carried you over musical heights you never knew, and then Leigh unleashes the clincher. Game over. (Walkin’ West to Memphis, Travelin’ Blues)
  8. His voice had depth and maturity when he was in his twenties. When he was in his teens? I’m going to say most probably.
  9. He’s got the easygoing charm, charisma and musicality of Don Rich. Qualities Leigh AND Eric have in spades.
  10. It will be an early birthday present! He turns FORTY 12 days after the awards ceremony.

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Reasons for Leigh Gibson to Be IBMA’s 2011 Male Vocalist of the Year

  1. Hey John, Funny stuff. But I agree with the truth in every line. I also think the guy covers rock songs like no one else. Ray Charles (I’ve Got A Woman), The Band (Ophelia), The Stones (can’t remember the dang title) are all examples. He takes a rock standard and turns it into a bluegrass festival standout. And there are echoes of Roy Orbison and all those “big voice” singers every time the guy opens his mouth. Great team those Gibson boys. Nice article, John.

  2. Jim,
    You are so right. I am really glad you pointed those out! You have me on the Stones’ song. I’ll need to go back to my collection to find that one. I couldn’t have said it better with the “big voice” singers, Roy, Mac, Lester. And the team. That’s the best and probably most poignant part about it for me.

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