Gibson Bros. – Memphis Sol Today! (LP, US)

1993 Sympathy For The Record Industry SFTRI 176
A1. Memphis Chicken
A2. Barbara
A3. Lil’ Hand, Big Gun
A4. Cat Drug In
A5 I Feel Good, Little Girl
A6. I Had A Dream

B1. Coming Up
B2. You Walked In The Room
B3. Let’s Work Together
B4. Down In The Alley
B5. I’ll Follow Her Blues
B6. My Huckleberry Friend
B7. Naked Party

Gibson Bros. - Memphis Sol Today! (LP, US)  - Cover
VIEW:
NOTES:
Regular vinyl release, also released on CD and a vinyl Fan Club Edition.

This line-up of Gibson Bros. features Jon Spencer on Guitar, Vocals and Hammond B-3.

Jon Spencer also appears on White Nigger 7″) which features out-takes from this album) and Mean Mistreater 7″ (includes Cat Drug In).

The booklet includes a photo of Junior Kimbrough whose song Meet Me In The City would later be covered by the Blues Explosion. The song was recorded for the tribute album Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough and was also released on the 7″ only single Hot Gossip.

SONG CREDITS:
Vocals/Guitar: Monsieur Jeffrey Evans
Vocals/Guitar/Jew’s Harp/Sledge Hammer: Don Howland
Vocals/Guitar/Hammond B-3: Jon Spencer
Drums: Rich Lillash

Produced: Gibson Bros. Recorded at SUN STUDIO,
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee Engineered: James Lott
Assissted: Bill Dowdy
Mixed at Easley Recording, Memphis, Tennessee.

A1. Memphis Chicken
Writers: Evans/Howland

A2. Barbara
Writers: Howland/Spencer

A3. Lil’ Hand, Big Gun
Writer: Jeffrey Evans

A4. Cat Drug In
Writers: Rex/Pompelli

A5. I Feel Good, Little Girl
Writer: Junior Kimbrough

A6. I Had A Dream
Writer: Nathaniel Mayer

B1. Coming Up
Writer: Mike Wagonner

B2. You Walked In The Room
Writer: Jeffrey Evans

B3. Let’s Work Together
Writer: Wilbert Harrison

B4. Down In The Alley
Writer: Jesse Stone

B5. I’ll Follow Her Blues
Writer: Rev. Robert Wilkins

B6. My Huckleberry Friend
Writer: Rev. Robert Wilkins

B7. Naked Party
Writer: Ross Johnson
Vocals: Ross Johnson

SLEEVE NOTES:
“In the Company of Kings
The Gibson Bros. at Sun Studio

We called it Memphis Sol Today! And they don’t give no Nobel Prize to rockstars either! Interesting, though, the history of PSYCHOTIC rock’n’roll closely follows that of the civil rights movement. Let me explain. The title, for example— Sol?—all that’s missin’ is U, baby! NAW, it’s bent, it’s rock’n’roll warped by the SUN. Git it? I thought so! Popular music BEGAN at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. Tennessee. Did I SAY that? DAMN! Not New York, L.A., Seattle, Minneapolis, Liverpool, or even London, England! And there’s a reason. The BLUES came from an impoverished region called the Mississippi Delta. No place like it in the world. It paddled UPSTREAM to Memphis and became ROCK’N’ROLL. And that little tidbit changed the whole world. Period.

There’s a lot of crowns in Memphis—a GOLDEN reference to kings. Now the SOUTH is full of pageantry and assumed titles. You’ve got your Kings, Reverends, Colonels, and Big Daddys-you git the picture! Larger than lire itself. I guess because the reality is nothing ever CHANGES down here. Except once. in Memphis, a crazy sound DID take shape in the 1950s. And we’re still hangin’ away! CRASH, the cymbal! An embarrassing historical footnote reminds the YOUNG listener that former slaves were still alive when ROCK’N’ROLL was born. So it follows, Elvis Presley, rock’s surly king, began his legendary career in Memphis, Tennessee. And sadly, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ended HIS brilliant career here. The crowns of the South show tarnish.

It was a very HOT August night, we were just back from our first West Coast tour. GAWD, you could of heard a pin drop when we walked in that joint! SUN STUDIO! Like a rock’n’roll Babi Yar built on the bodies of slaves, it gave birth to a new musical FREEDOM. LAWDY! Too bad the drinking fountains downtown still read “COLORED.”

Rockabilly’s greatest KING was Charlie Feathers, an early SUN artist. The Gibson Bros. have performed his songs from the beginning, but for this particular recording session, I wrote “Lil’ Hand, Big Gun” which incorporates the “Charlie Feathers” beat. Charlie still lives and records in Memphis.

Down the road, a DIRT road in Holly Springs, Mississippi, the cotton-patch blues is STILL played by Junior Kimhroiigh. He taught Charlie Feathers how to play guitar. which Jon Spencer sings here. The BLUES which began rock’n’roll.

Speaking of the blues, Don Howland, educator and blues scholar, performs his version od Reverend Robert Wilkins’s “I’ll Follow Her Blues.” A sad train crying on its lonely tracks. CHUG A LUG!

An oily ducktail traded in for a butch- waxed crewcut, so was rock’n’roll by August of 1961. Elvis was making his movies. Gene Vincent had left for England and SUN was putting out pap that sounded like Frankie Avalon sang it! LAWDY LAWD! Halfway around the globe, in Berlin, they hyped a wall. Ya must have thought it a HUNDRED stories tall! NOPE! The resultant purpose was the same: TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM BEING FREE. … I thought, my GAWD, how lucky we were to live in a country that did NOT have such a wall! Silence broke-we had to rely on RACISM, a remnant of slavery, to do that SAME job in AMERICA! Drummer Rich Lillash found this out at SUN STUDIO in Memphis.

So the lines in her face reveal my age too. I am no longer young. I gave my time to my mistress whore rock’n’roll. But to the chargin of separatists and governors, music has brought people together, breaking DOWN those same walls. Politics ain’t done SHIT!

Mississippi-born Bo Diddley had released a drunken rant called “Say Man” in the 1950s. About two studs bustin’ each other’s balls, he ends if with a muffled mumble. “I ain’t got nothing to do with it, but I NEED a Bill of Rights!” Almost forty DAMN rights!

I packed my carpetbag in July of 1989 and moved SOUTH to Memphis. And my Memphis peers do sleep with one eye OPEN, think’ I’m gonna grab up some of heir culture. Ain’t much left to take. I looked HARD. Unless you want a HISTORY lesson or a DIRT road!

The beggar man approacheth down on BEALE Street. He cried, “Hey man, gimmie a quarter. I ain’t had no PUSSY in two months!” LAWD, I had to give up a solid quarter! As I left he said, “When you pray tonight, pray a little harder for the GIBSON BROS.”

— Monsieur Jeffrey Evans
Memphis, Tennessee

Afterword
If my little introduction sounds like an indictment of the White Southern Male, I am sorry. At least you now know where the music came from! If we find ourselves at loggerheads over the written word, we must remember that we cannot change HISTORY, only the FUTURE. Slavery did exist. And still does. The artist wants FREEDOM in the philosophical sense, Every human being deserves DIGNITY. Music can show the human spirit in triumph over struggle. And that ain’t no ripoff!”

“Thanks: Long Gone John, Larry Hardy, George Reyes, Jane Myers, Evan Peta, Jim Cole, Jerry Gibson, Robert Gordon, Southern Culture on the Skids, John Battles, Guttersnipe, Wayne Coyner, Shagri-La Records, and Cheryl Payne.”

DETAILS:
ARTWORK:
Back Cover Photo: Larry Hardy.
Charlie Feathers Photo: courtesy Jody Chastain, © 1993.
Photos of Junior Kimbrough, Sam Phillips, and the Antenna Club by Jim Cole.
Live photo of the Gibson Bros. by Bob Elbrecht.
All other photos: Jeffrey Evans.
Package designed by Eddie Flowers.

BARCODE: n/a

RUN-OUT GROOVE ENGRAVING:
A: “SFTRI-176-A ”
B: “SFTRI-176-2 RE-2”

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