Album – UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT
UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT
Hog Eye Records, 1984
Bob Gibson Legacy, 2008 (CD re-issue)
ALL MUSIC GUIDE William Ruhlmann
After his prolific initial period of recording, 1956 to 1964, when he made a series of albums for Riverside and Elektra Records, Bob Gibson entered the recording studio infrequently during the subsequent 30 years of his career.
Uptown Saturday Night was on a small label, Hogeye Records, which he had founded with fellow folksinger Tom Paxton. It was a consistent collection of craftsmanlike original material that displayed the singer’s talents well. His love songs, notably “Rest of the Night” and “Lookin’ for the You,” were tender and wistful, and they were offset by the comic material, which he rendered equally well.
Now in his early 50s, he was already an elder statesman of folk music, and this tempered album confirmed that place without breaking new ground.
NEWS, REVIEWS & NOTES
Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange Review by Mark S. Tucker
With this, the fourth in the Bob Gibson Legacy series, the stalwart folkie entered a bit of a new phase, touting more in the way of a full backing band rather than the usual duo / trio / quartet configurations normal to his ouevre. In that, something was gained and something lost.
The original release date is 1984, and Gibson had been through a lot. It shows, and there’s a bone-weary wistfulness imbuing the record that’s only rarely evident beforehand. The guy had missed the train a number of times, cheated of his rightful place by Fate and Fortune, dames no one wants to mess with, and here seems reconciled with that.
There’d always been a bit of Ray Stevens in Gibson. It emerges more fully here, not to mention the temporary admixture of Jimmy Buffet (Tequila Sheila), both tending to adjust him to a fuller populist sense rather than the uniquely borderland folk normal to his wont. Annie Hills was retained from the last release and, though Paxton’s absent, her presence instills Uptown with a better sense of the past, affecting an Emmylou Harris-ish backing role, sweet and fragile.
Listening to this album, though Gibson was the most pleased with it above his other work, one gets the feel of impending change and in a fashion not interpreble. There are Brian Wilson elements, as well as a bit of the better Manilow, some Springsteen, Billy Joel, and various other folk-and-pop-to-mainstream successes, though none so dominative that his imprint is marred. There’s also an air of indecisiveness, so I have to suspect that Gibson knew what he was really shooting for, and Uptown represented a firm step in that direction rather than a solid achievement.
Review by Mark S. Tucker (email@example.com)
Review – Rambles.net
Michael Scott Cain
The final album in this package, Uptown Saturday Night is another studio album, this time accompanied by a full band, with Anne Hills again helping out on background and harmony vocals. This one isn’t organized thematically, being content to be a collection of songs. Again, all but one are Gibson originals and again the one he didn’t write comes from Silverstein. It opens with a song about reconciliation, “Let the Band Play Dixie,” in which Abraham Lincoln, asked what he intends to do with the defeated rebels, answers that intends to unite the nation and asks that the band play “Dixie.” The song is from a play Gibson wrote and performed
Again, it’s a fine piece of work, strong enough to land Gibson a deal with Island Records, for whom he recorded his final album, Making a Mess, before his death in 1994.