Hailing from Vancouver, BC, Canada, Geoff Gibbons is a full time working musician and a producer-engineer who has imparted the majority of his life to music. Dedicating much of his time towards playing for a succession of bands, at 20, thanks to the earnings he gained from a local talent show, he moved himself off to Australia’s Gold Coast to perform for tourists in the evening and to hang out on the seaside for the rest of the day. He returned to Vancouver, forming the Silverlode with a friend, but he found himself shifting towards the more solo-geared material.
Gibbons and a friend flew down South, immersing themselves in this journey of sound, which later became a fodder for inspiration for Gibbons’ latest solo project, Buffalo Hotel.
Formulated through this trip, grounded in such musical cities like: Muscle Shoals, Nashville, and Memphis, Buffalo Hotel opens up with “Ain’t Going Back” that right away starts with some acoustic strumming on the guitar. Accompanied by the lone acoustic guitar with sheer vocals the deft musicianship on the acoustic guitar is right from the start evident. About knowing when to take it or leave it and the right moment to pick up their lives again and pack up their bags just to move on, Gibbons’ sandpapery gruff vocals add an overall gritty outtake to the engrossing stories that he spins.
On “Lonesome Angel,” the artistic and deft musicianship on the sole instrument on the track gives off a majestic and minstrel-like vibe with the gist of the troubadour spirit adorning the song. The acoustic guitar definitely gives the atmosphere of the dramatic with a dynamic effect. About a girl who spends her time in song and tune, she carves out a lonesome figure over her “blue guitar,” the intricate plucking over the guitar greatly supports Gibbons’ vocals, which are sung with a hushed sensibility eliciting a lullaby quality to the track.
“Carolina Bound” is a country-driven song paved with a drumming backbeat that adds an upbeat quality to the catchy sound. About the working class man who once he loses his job is forced to find other prospects in another town and dreams of another era when he could be Carolina bound, the track follows through with a classic rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
About the hardships of moving to a new town filled with strangers who don’t know your name and the raw experiences there that can break a man, “Hard Hard Rain” is accompanied by some melodious keys, keen drums, and the acoustic guitar.
“Me And Buffalo Bill” starts out with a melodious piano melody being supported by the acoustic guitar and Gibbons’ sheer warm vocals. About a man who has “a lot of ghosts to kill” and all he has to look forward to is his ride and his riding-partner “Buffalo Bill”, interwoven into the track is the harmonica tracing the gamut of the song.
“The Other Side” follows through with some simple plucking on the banjo that starts off the track. Accompanied by some sparse playing on the piano, the elegant and ethereal sounds coming through gives off an atmospheric vibe. With a dreamy quality, the philosophical song is encompassed by some bluesy background vocal harmonies from the Sojourners that overall adds a layer of arresting Southern Gospel to the track.
On “Back To You,” Gibbons’ vocals really guns for your attention on the acoustic song accompanied solely at first by the acoustic guitar. Next, the drum sidles in along with the electric guitar. About how after a long day, it’s always nice to have that special someone to come home to, as enumerating over the electric guitar gives the introspective track a contemplative effect.
“Ever Get To Georgia” is paved by the sounds of the acoustic guitar and drums that support Gibbons’ thoughtful vocals. The slower saunter ballad is about a girl named “Georgia” who goes on to rock his life but to his luck, distance has pulled them apart.
The album picks up on the upbeat number “Blinded By Tumbleweeds.” With a country-bent twang and Americana vibe, the song is a metaphor for life: a road that is blinded by tumbleweeds once you start to pick up speed, but all the same, what you got to do is continue on driving.
There is a western feel to the song, “Picture of Adeline,” with an air for the “desperado” woven into the track by the sound of the accordion. This is a passion-stricken song, about a woman named “Adeline” who has left her man for better times.
“City From The Stars” starts off with the acoustic guitar sounding off in the beginning of the track. The song is a metaphor for a man who is so blindly in love he “couldn’t tell the city from the stars.” The sparse arrangement creates a thoughtful production, simply rendered.
“Where Midnight Rolls” has sounds of the harmonica interwoven into this track along with the guitar and drums. There is a slower saunter to this country-bent track with an electric guitar solo sounding off mid-track.
In the vein of the places he has traveled, these are simple arrangements with a stripped down approach that are propelled by great storytelling.
A generous foray into the heart of the American landscape with steady backing from the Sojourners, Gibbons syncs long measured intimate sessions with heartfelt lyrics and great storytelling.
Geoff Gibbons fulfills the edifice of the lone troubadour traveling from town to town gathering tales and life experiences to spin his songs as he passes imageries of the American pastoral countryside on his journeys.
About regret and redemption and finding salvation in the most unrecognized places, Buffalo Hotel is an album filled with great storytelling and passionate vocals and music.
Be sure you have a listen today!