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Geoff Gibbons

Shadow of a Stone - Songs of Remembrance

Review by Gary Hill

I have previously reviewed another set from Geoff Gibbons. Like that one, this EP lands generally under the Americana heading. Also in line with the sounds of that release, there is more range than that title might indicate. This is probably more folk music than it is anything else, but there is some country and bluegrass in the mix, too. This is quite evocative and powerful. It's acoustically driven, but manages to rock out at times.

This set is released in honor of Remembrance Day. For those who don't know, Remembrance Day is more or less than some day celebrated as Veteran's Day in the United States. It was established to honor those killed in the first World War. Since then it's grown to reflect those lost in other wars. While Gibbons might sound like he's from the Southern part of the United States, he's actually Canadian, so Remembrance Day is clearly the occasion in his homeland. In honor of those veterans, part of the proceeds from this EP is being donated to the Wounded Warriors Project. That makes this even more poignant and relevant.

Gibbons really shows that his talent is very real. His sounds are linked to the music of the 1970s, but his heart and messages are relevant in today's world. He is carrying on a rich tradition of folk music in an admirable well and deserves a lot of recognition for his contributions to the art form.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Shadow of a Stone
The sounds that bring this into being are dramatic and powerful. This is slow moving, but evocative. Folk music with a lot of country in the mix is the general concept here. This is a strong tune and a great way to start the set. The arrangement gets intensified later, but it's the general emotional basis that drives the message home.
Please Remember Me
This is more of a full old school folk styled number. It makes good use of both harmonica and whistling to create the sonic image. This is not as intense as the opener, but it's no less effective.
Soldier Soldier
Dramatic and powerful, this seems to land somewhere between the two previous pieces in terms of style. Perhaps emotionally it's the most powerful of the set. It's probably safe to say that this is my favorite here, too. It just seems to elevate everything to a different level.
The Other Side
A much mellower track, this has some hints of bluegrass music. Still, it's more pure folk music than it is anything else. It's a slow moving number that is very pretty. The backing vocals even brings some gospel music elements to the table. I dig the acoustic slide guitar, too. The arrangement fills out and builds upward a bit as this works forward. I love the soaring vocal bits further down the musical road, too. I love how this kind of drifts off with just some studio banter serving as the actual closing.
 
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