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Gibson Bros.
Memphis Sol Today!
Sympathy for the Record Industry

“Hi, from WELB from Memphis … I’m Bob. We just got in a new album from the Gibson Bros. called Memphis Sol Today! … A lot of crazy home recordings from the brothers … here it is….”

The Gibson Bros. are back. The “Sol” in the title could refer to the soul in fried chicken eatin’, finger lickin’, cotton pickin’ hillbillies, but as the album’s liner notes indicate, “It’s bent, it’s rock and roll warped by the SUN!” The Gibson Bros. are truly warped, spewing out the most pathetic white-trash red-necked hick music heard anywhere. The Bros. wade knee deep in their own country-boy shit, but I’m not complaining. Memphis Sol Today! is totally goofy and fun as hell. After listening to this record, I can’t help but be in a good mood.

Monsieur Jeffrey Evans (vocals, guitar) and Don Howland (the same) deserve equal billing and fame alongside any rock and roll star. These two good ole boys should be traveling the globe, packing in stadiums worldwide, having thousands of screaming fans—but probably can’t get twenty of their friends to turn up for a gig in their hometown. Joined by Jon Spencer (vocals, guitar) and Rich Lillash (drums), Evans and Howland jam on originals and cover tunes from obscure but definitely not unimportant fifties musicians such as Charlie Feathers and Junior Kimbrough. The Gibson Bros. are real roots rock even though it’s 1993 and not 1953.

It’s hard to differentiate and analyze each song—not because they all sound the same, but that every tune on Memphis Sol Today! is worth an equal listing. “Cat Drug In” has weird, shuffling beat and acoustic guitar strumming that I like a lot. “I Feel Good, Little Girl” is slow and groovin’, with Spencer’s trademark hootin’ and hollerin’ on top of everything. In “Naked Party,” the guest vocalist Ross Johnson rejoices about the joys of just that: “I’m just sittin’ here wondering … out there among you … who of you have ever been to a nekkid party…. I know you’re asking yourself, what is a nekkid party…. Well, a nekkid party is this … is when you and a few close friends, close ones, get together … and get nekkid. Oh yeah, nekkid party, happens every day of the week.”

The Gibson Bros. are just plain crazy, Buy Memphis Sol Today! right now. And when you pray tonight, lawd willing, please pray a little harder for the Gibson Bros.

Originally published in Ink Nineteen in January 1994.