Tim Gibbons – an Introduction (Medicine Girl)

For the past couple of years I’ve been doing some recording with Hamilton based singer/songwriter Tim Gibbons, who I was introduced to by Tom Wilson (aka Lee Harvey Osmond). He dropped in to our studio one day with just his banjo and sang six or seven songs and I was hooked. There is naturalness to his singing and playing that is all too rare: when he starts to play there is an almost physical transformation that overcomes him, the song envelopes him, he becomes the song. I also love his song writing, it touches on so many of the styles that originally pulled me into music: the folk-blues vibe of Townes Van Zandt; the basic rock-n-roll-blues of The Stones, the soul/blues vibe of singers like Bill Withers. We have taken things slowly. Every now and then Tim would come in and lay down a few more songs, some old ones from his vast repertoire and some new ones, freshly minted. Once we got a critical mass of material together we invited Ray Farrugia (my studio drummer of choice and someone that has played with Tim many times over the years and who has an affinity for his style) to join us and we expanded some of the songs with bass and drums. Tim is one of those guys that can pick up any stringed instrument (and a couple of non-stringed) and play it (I hate those types of guys, but I love working with them), so he went back and forth between banjo, guitar, bass and vocals and backup vocals. We got most of the songs in a day. We then sent a few of the tracks west to Joby Baker in Victoria to lay down some of his soulful B3 grooves. I’m halfway through mixing the material and I’m approaching it with the same relaxed attitude that we took with the recording: squeezing in a song or two when my schedule opens up, going back making small adjustments, trying not to lose the energy and immediacy of the sessions. The entire album should be out on Latent in a couple of months. In the meantime here is a taste of one of Tim’s more beautiful songs, Medicine Girl, in which he channels all of the warmth, passion and weariness of Townes.