Pacifist Looking For a Fight

Anthology (TNT)

Mark Gibbs

By David Lilly

"Hey kids! Everybody pile into the station wagon! It's Saturday night and we're going to the drive-in movies!" That or a very similar scenario is what appeared in my head as I listened to this Mark Gibbs CD, Anthology. It is an hour's worth of party music that is also suitable (for the most part) for family consumption.

If that doesn't put the pep in your step to hunt for this CD, what else can I do but ask these two simple questions: Do you like to hear Elvis Presley? Does Jerry Lee Lewis please your auditory senses? Local songwriter Mark Gibbs somehow manages to sound like a blend of those legendary voices. I don't think he is a poseur; he just sounds like Elvis Lee Lewis. Upon hearing (or reading) those names, some people think of straight rock 'n' roll, while others think of country music. One of Gibbs' attributes is the ability to play either of those styles, as well as exotic songs, folk jazz, blues and/or very pleasant ballads.

The first thing Gibbs tosses to you is called "What About You," which sounds like Elvis Lee on a revamped version of "At The Hop": short, bouncy and fun. "Never Been No One Like You" strays into Sade territory. This number might be a bit up-tempo for her, but the mood is warm and romantic. "The Lady Was My Mom" is one of a few songs here that should please fans of country music. It is a good tune about recognition-in-hindsight of maternal strength and love. Life is quite varied, however, and from there Gibbs kicks up his heels with a honky-tonk rave called "Tonight We're Single (Let's Fool Around)." "I Like It a Lot" is a kissin' cousin to the oldie, "Youngblood." With that tempo you can't lose, and it is a fun song.

That covers only about the first half of the CD but all reviews must come to an end or suffer the editor's scythe. I found no information online about Gibbs so I can't even list a website, but if you have some tendency towards rural sounds and you're also open-minded, this disc is recommended.