“This song is about making f***** up mistakes every day,” said Pennsylvania’s Daughn Gibson in a charming, dry baritone by way of introduction to his song In the Beginning. “Not me, of course,” he added with a sly chuckle. The comment seemed to sum up much of what he does, by blending a raffish humour with a certain kind of loser’s pathos.
Daughn Gibson - Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
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His songs matched this style in sure-footed terms, bringing together grizzled country and a kind of parched alternative Americana which occasionally saw him resort to the sampler set up alongside him. Tall and almost parodically chiselled, with a dash of guyliner and a possibly ironic sleeveless Garth Brooks T-shirt, the sometime trucker carried stage presence in abundance. His rich voice carried its depth over to his singing vocal, and there were echoes of Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan alongside a style which still belonged uniquely to Gibson.
Alongside a drummer and a guitarist who played slide and pedal steel, Gibson’s songs were rich in emotional texture and resonances, from the world-weary You Don’t Fade to growling rocker Kissin’ On the Blacktop. He closed on a short medley of dusty ballad Tiffany Lou and its spiritual twin Young Girl’s World, which rested on the hook “I’m just an old man in a young girl’s world”, with all the implication of age and tiredness that implies, before rousing for an energised, guitar-led finale. “Goodnight, Edinburg,” he closed simply and admittedly incorrectly. “Beautiful.” The buzz in his voice forgave such minor sins.