“Philip Gibbs is carrying on an old tradition now almost extinct, that of the solo folkie troubador…and I do mean solo. There are not only no overdubs on this disc, but he charged into the studio and recorded all 22 cuts in a single day!, yet not a one sounds rushed in the least. Over a span of 18 years and 2,500 gigs across America, he's only rarely been accompanied on any stage, instead it's just him, his guitar, and a microphone, and Box Canyon Blues shows what people from coast to coast in 35 states have been digging on for a good long while now. The CD showcases a David Wilcox / James Taylor / Jesses Youngblood and Winchester style of doing things, and not a song but shines with propulsive energy, thoughtful melancholy, or larksome reminiscence.
He's also a graphic artist and outdoorsman, and the release's cover painting reminds me of a section not far from the gates of Canyonlands while I think the interior snapshot's somewhere in the Tetons, Philip's tent looking out upon gree”
“Philip Gibbs’ latest album, Box Canyon Blues, is a ramshackle folk and blues affair ... Gibbs’ easygoing Tex-Mex demeanor is equal parts Blaze Foley and Gram Parsons — simultaneously irreverent and mindful of tradition.”
Columbia Free Times
“Austin singing songwriters Philip Gibbs and Stephen Doster have strong S.A. ties. Doster, known for his songwriting, guitar playing and producing chops, spent formative years in San Antonio, is married to a San Antonio native and is a hardcore Spurs fan. Gibbs, an Austin native, grew up visiting family in S.A.
Doster produced two Gibbs albums, “Paper Crosses” and “The Petroleum Age.” Gibbs and Doster work together regularly in Austin. This weekend they'll do a pair of Alamo City gigs, Friday at 5 p.m. at Barriba Cantina; Saturday at noon at Central Market.
Doster has worked with first-class talent including Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, Steven Fromholz, Bill Carter, Patti Griffin, Charlie Sexton, Randy Weeks, Will Sexton, Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Tommy Elskes and many others. Doster also is involved in a project called Guitars for Swaziland, inspired by aspiring musicians he met following a State Department-sponsored trip to Africa.
“Philip is one of the most interesting yo”
“For the last several months, Austin-based itinerant bluesy folk singer-songwriter Philip Gibbs has been involved with the Austin Music Commission’s Musicians Initiative Working Group, and, on his own, in the last three years he’s played more than 500 shows in 35 states. Greatly influenced by Woody Guthrie, Gibbs takes things a little further, turning simple working-class love anthems into potent, soulful jewels. It’s hard to pick a favorite on 2011’s The Petroleum Age, a filler-less album that’s proof of his amazing creative efficiency. When you read this, he should have mixed 25 new songs he recorded last year, just his voice and guitar, tentatively scheduled for release in the fall. This isn’t just a little folkie with a guitar: Gibbs is a seriously talented songwriter, and seeing him for free is an unusual bargain.”
“The road is his home
Austin native Philip Gibbs no stranger to Montrose – or anywhere else, for that matter. Austin, Texas, may technically serve as his base of operations these days, but, much like Woody Guthrie, one of his biggest musical influences, Philip Gibbs ain’t got no home in this world anymore. “I gave up having a home,” said the singer-songwriter, “it was just an unnecessary expense.” Gibbs lives on the road, performing as often as possible and crashing for the night where ever it’s convenient – hostels and hotels, campgrounds and couches. It’s a Gypsy-like existence he fell into pretty early in life, once he figured out music was the route he wanted to take. His was the route he wanted to take. His unofficial apprenticeship took him to New York, then Nashville and finally back to Austin, the so-called “Live Music Capital of the World,” where carving out a niche for yourself and making a living among the thousands of musicians who live there is a”
Montrose Daily Press (part 1)
“Gibbs figured he was better off just hitting the highway – and staying on it.
“Over supply is one of the biggest issues in the music business,” he said. “It’s the same where you’re in New York City, Nashville or Austin. That’s why I spend so much time on the road these days.”
Gibbs didn’t always plan on pursuing such an itinerant lifestyle. Unlike the vast majority of musicians who call Austin home, Gibbs actually grew up there, though he says the town’s famous music scene barely registered on him as a kid. The only real exposure he had to it, he says, was when he became friends with the daughter of Jerry Jeff Walker (best known for his hit “Mr. Bojangles”) in high school and saw Walker perform a couple of times. That all changed when Gibbs turned 19 and [was] enrolled at the University of Texas. One of his roommates turned him onto the Beatles, Gibbs bought himself a guitar and music became an integral part of his life from that point on.”
Montrose Daily Press (part 2)
“In fact, he says, the only time he hasn’t played guitar every day since then was the semester he spent studying abroad in college. Gibbs spent an extended period traveling across India and found it too difficult lugging his guitar along with him.
Now, of course, it’s the tool with which he makes his living. He’s no stranger to Montrose, having performed here twice before.
“Colorado has been one of my most frequent destinations,” he said.
Those already familiar with Gibbs will get the chance to hear him perform songs from his latest release, “Petroleum Age,” which came out in June. It was his first new disc in eight years. Gibbs describes it as a diary of that period.
“I had a lot of songs building up over the years,” he said.
Wednesday’s show begins at 6 p.m. Call 240-1590 for more information.”
Montrose Daily Press (part 3)
“An inspiring troubadour, with a trove full of songs”
— San Francisco Chronicle
Santa Fe Reporter
“Phil Gibbs is a true blue, dyed-in-the-wool, 100% folker and Austin native with ancestral lineage roots back to the mid-1800s in Texas politics. Thus, for several cuts here, he's traced history and landed upon a number of events that at first seemed to be the light of the sparkling future—the exploitation of oil, for one—but have since fallen well short of promises. Playing guitar and singing amid a backing band that very nicely complements his back-of-the-bar, front-porch-stoop, neighborhood-gathering personality, Gibbs is a son of the soil who holds no pretensions and, in doing so, holds more than a little in common with Guthrie & Seeger.
The band frequently plays with a swingin' little shuffle step and the disc is recorded in such a way that a rustic atmosphere is well maintained throughout, nothing studio gimmicked, no aphex overkill or any of that, just honest straightforward folk music sometimes entirely bereft of rock and other times smoking with Neil Young flavored lead lin”
“As renowned as Austin is for its forward-thinking music community, it seems that the people there forgot one of their own in singer/songwriter Philip Gibbs.
The troubadour has been plugging away at his career for more than a decade, and it seems that everywhere Gibbs goes, he's met with the starry eyes of those who have loved and lost or felt some other type of heartbreak. That he has to go anywhere outside of Austin is the biggest travesty; hometown crowds have largely ignored Gibbs, as has the local press. It makes for a bit of sour grapes on the part of Gibbs, but it also has forced him to seek his fortune in other locales, which he doesn't mind doing one bit.
"Last year, when I traveled all over the country, I had my record playing on stations all over, newspapers starting to write articles about me, and it helped my confidence."
Gibbs is touring behind his "Paper Crosses" release, an album chock full of folky strumming, but also touches of ragtime, jazz and light rock.”
““The Petroleum Age” seemingly is an ironic view of a bleak future for man relying for survival on the remnants of the Jurassic Age.
Gibbs is a refreshingly original singer and songwriter who has for 15 years been flying under the radar, playing his jazz-influenced pop and folk, imbued with bluegrass and country. He sings about common folk with common problems and yearnings, who also like to have some good fun too.
“In the Middle of the Evening” is a boot-scooting, skirt-chasing, two-stepping, honky-tonk good-time song, and in “30 Minutes at the Station,” you can hear in the guitar, harmonica and washboard the sound of the train whistle and the clacking of train wheels.
Gibbs makes it a point to perform in small towns, saying that when he was a kid, Austin was a small town, and his dad was from a small town in Mississippi.
“I do enjoy playing in small towns all across America,” he said. “It gives me a calm I once had at home, but is no longer there.”
“Accomplished singer-songwriter Philip Gibbs brings his Western Tour to Santa Fe. What better place than the Cowgirl? There isn’t one.”
Santa Fe Reporter
“Appealingly to me, Gibbs appears to know something of real -- that is, traditional -- folk music. He sounds a bit like Woody Guthrie filtered through the influence of Guy Clark, with the late Townes Van Zandt virtually the inventor of modern Texas folk. But the title tune, which opens the CD (it's co-written with Conor Hopkins), relies on the sort of threadbare default melody Tom T. Hall employed in many of his early songs, when his focus was on the telling of the story, not on the crafting of a hummable tune. The song, which I like well enough, represents an apparently emerging genre of topical protest (I've heard two others in the past month), a scathing critique of our insatiable dependence on fossil fuels -- a judgment many of Gibbs's fellow Texans do not want to hear; give the man credit for guts -- even as the earth's atmosphere spirals ever more alarmingly into higher temperatures and catastrophic instability.”
“Gibbs proves to be a sensible and crafty songwriter.”
“[Gibbs’ album, Paper Crosses, is] a jazz-influenced country album, which works really well… a ten-track, forty-minute pleasure trip…”
InSite Magazine of Austin
“‘She’s Gonna Go’ [Music by Philip Gibbs, Lyrics by Charlie Faye] is like a country standard written years ago though it’s very much about now.”
“In the popular Spring 2005 Vortex production of Sleeping Beauty, Phil portrayed 'Dave, a prince who writes his own ballads. (Philip Gibbs penned the character's songs himself.) He and Briar Rose could settle for the ‘happily ever after’ that's typically tacked onto their story, but they defer that so they can write more adventures for their lives. It's an intriguing alternative to what we get in the traditional tale of the Sleeping Beauty, and the same may be said for this pleasing production overall.'”
The Austin Chronicle