Bio: Born in Troy, Alabama, William F. Gibbs was first introduced to the guitar as a result of his mother cleaning out the attic. Lying prone on the couch with a ... (more)
Bio: Born in Troy, Alabama, William F. Gibbs was first introduced to the guitar as a result of his mother cleaning out the attic. Lying prone on the couch with a shattered leg, William was desperately looking for a way to pass the time.
Gibbs explains: "I'm indebted to the guitar. It was my gateway drug to songwriting, arranging, singing, exploring and music at large. I started playing when I was 14, but for years we were strangers and had no real knowledge of each other. When I was 21 I became incredibly bored with playing so in order to resuscitate my love for it I denied myself the comforts of familiarity. I exchanged a pick for long fingernails, standard tunings for non-standard, and conventional chords for imaginary ones. Right around this time I started writing songs. As far as influences on my guitar playing go here's a short list: Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Scotty Moore, Joe Maphis, Danny Gatton, Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith, Brian May, John Frusciante, John Fahey, and David Wilcox."
William's debut recording, My Fellow Sophisticates, is what he likes to refer to as his musical résumé. Gibbs says: "This generation spent their formative years not absorbing albums in total as works of art, but rather cherry picking and coalescing their own 'albums' from an endless supply and history of music. I wanted to make an album that
sounded not necessarily like a playlist or mix, but an album whose consistency came from the creator and not some sonic niche or signature. I also wanted to leave my musical future open-ended so that people wouldn't come to expect or associate me with a particular sound. Simply put, I want to write good songs and nourish good ideas, and I want to be able to do whatever is best for each particular song or idea...without being too indulgent."
The album likens back to the comfortable feeling of popping in your favorite mix tape and the excitement knowing what to expect next. The songs may seem to come from a rather eclectic musical collection, but they unquestionably belong together. It's an original and honest album: "When recording began we were concerned primarily with doing what was best for each song or idea," William says. "It was my task to address each song according to its needs."
Some call his music Americana. Others call it Alternative Folk or Rock and Roll. Ultimately, labels don't matter. William F. Gibbs writes music that reflects his memory, his imagination, his artistry. It as scattered, sprawling, and diverse as the Southern landscapes he calls home. (less)