Album – OFFBEAT FOLKSONGS

Bob Gibson FUNKY IN THE COUNTRY

Offbeat Folksongs

Bob Gibson — and his banjo– singing humorous novelty songs, Calypso tunes he had collected in his travels to Jamaica and the Bahamas, and previously undiscovered gems in the American folk genre. Riverside Records was a jazz label and OFFBEAT FOLKSONGS, one of their first ventures in folk music.

The album was titled OFFBEAT FOLKSONGS not only because the material was quirky but also because Bob was performing regularly at the Off-Beat Room in Chicago. Founded by radio great and Word Jazz musician, Ken Nordine, the Off-Beat Room was the first “listening room” nightclub.

“Andalucian Dance” an original, Flamenco-style banjo instrumental, won Bob a weekly spot the popular Arthur Godfrey Show. “The Horse Named Bill” came from Carl Sandburg’s AMERICAN SONGBAG which decades later inspired Bob to write The Courtship of Carl Sandburg, A Musical Play.

Riverside 1956

JOY JOY! THE YOUNG AND WONDERFUL BOB GIBSON
Fantasy/Concord Music Group
Includes tracks 7, 10, and 13 from Offbeat Folk Songs.

Digital recording not yet available except tracks 7, 10 and 13 which are included on Joy, Joy! The Young and Wonderful Bob Gibson.

This is the first album devoted to the voice (and banjo) of an unusual young performer of folk music. BOB GIBSON is an unusually talented artist: only 24 years old at the time of this recording, he could be called “highly promising” if that were not a rather patronizing term to apply to someone who has already mastered the art of presenting virtually every type of folkmusic….

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Offbeat Liner Notes
Kenneth S. Goldstein

NEWS, REVIEWS & NOTES

If Franz Kafka had produced this musical spectacle, he couldn’t have done a better job. In brief, the Modern Jazz room decided to eliminate jazz… and introduce Nordine, who performs an abortive kind of improvisation termed “word jazz.”… By the time singer Bob Gibson is invited to perform, the audience seems to welcome the contrast. Gibson’s lively approach to folk music is pleasing, particularly in this context. [He] is talented and worth hearing.

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Down Beat
October 31, 1957