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"There are only two people in art that matter. There's the creative individual and the person experiencing it. Everything else is an artificial filter. This a way for me to share my work with you without any filters whatsoever." - Otis Gibbs Otis Gibbs is a man in search of an honest experience. Gibbs is often referred to as a folk artist, but that is a simplistic way to describe a man who has planted over 7,000 trees, slept in hobo jungles, walked with nomadic shepherds in Romania, was a fifth grade yo-yo champion and once wrestled a bear (and lost). Otis has played countless, theatres, festivals, bars and house concerts and has managed to carve out a living, while remaining happily independent. Much of his work concentrates on the world ignored by pop culture. Sometimes forgotten, obsolete, or simply marginalized, it is a world that doesn’t fit into a twenty-second sound bite, or talking point. Otis has spent the last fifteen years traveling across America and abroad documenting this world, and has a story to share about each stop along the way. Some videos here http://tinyurl.com/Otis-Gibbs-JonnoPromo-YouTube "when it comes to song craft and true emotion, Gibbs is up there with the best of them ... an excellent songwriter and singer – with a voice like honeyed bourbon – he is a consummate showman in the old-fashioned sense of the word. His between song patter is as much part of the show as the tunes: Gibbs gives his music context by sharing his tales of growing up, the working life and the loves and losses inherent in life ... Gibbs knows how to pierce to the heart" James Meredith http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/ "Harder Than Hammered Hell" is Otis Gibbs’ sixth album. It’s also the fourth release by Wanamaker Recording Company, the East Nashville based independent label he started in 2008 with long time partner Amy Lashley. The album title was inspired by experiences Otis had when he worked as a tree-planter in Indiana. Much of what he learned came from a seventy-year-old friend/co-worker. The man would describe ground that is too hard to dig as, “harder than hammered hell.” He would also use the phrase when referring to a difficult job, or a particularly tough person. Otis found it a fitting metaphor for the difficulties of leading a creative life When asked about his approach to making records Otis replied, “I’m silly enough to believe that I’m the world’s foremost authority on what an Otis Gibbs record should sound like. I tend to enjoy stripped down arrangements that highlight the song and the vocal.” There is a feeling of strength and perseverance that resonates throughout his work and his lyrics often speaks of accepting the harsh realities of life without giving into them. Below are some of the lyrics from tracks on "Harder Than Hammered Hell" “Somewhere outside the vacant world two fools stare fate in the eye, singing oh you’ll never take us alive.” -Broke And Restless “When the suffering world is about to uncurl and reaches up and under your skin, you might sit there alone, but you’re about to be thrown into a box you never could fit in, we were made to break.” - Made To Break Don’t Worry Kid - recalls childhood feelings of not fitting in. “I wish that more people would be honest with kids and let them know that there’s nothing wrong with feeling different. Any sane person would feel out of place in a society that idolizes celebrities and trash culture while catering to short attention spans. The good news is they’re not alone and it does get better.” “Don’t worry kid you know it’s gonna get better than this there’s nothing wrong with you that you can’t work out we’re all filled with doubt, don’t worry kid.” - Don’t Worry Kid Big Whiskers was inspired by a childhood memory. In 1966, the World Record Flathead Catfish (79lb 8oz) was caught out of White River near Gibbs’ childhood home. Otis fished that same river countless times and heard many stories of huge catfish spotted there. Otis asked his friend, Adam Carroll to help him finish a song based on some of these tall tales. Gibbs and Carroll met up at a rundown hotel outside of Austin, Texas and finished the song in an afternoon. Otis currently resides in East Nashville with his partner Amy Lashley. Billy Bragg included Gibbs' song "The Peoples Day" in a list of "Top Five Songs with Something to Say", published in the Wall Street Journal. Andy Gill of the The Independent wrote that there is a "authenticity and dedication in Gibbs' delivery which is somehow cleansing in its purity". Come and see this singer songwriter who has been compared to Woody Guthrie, Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen. Tickets £15 from http://www.eTickets.im/JP Available now in hard copy from Jabberwocky. http://otisgibbs.com/ And as Otis often says, "Thanks for giving a damn!"