Lacy Gibson | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Lacy Gibson 

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Among the many hidden gems on Evidence Records' widely acclaimed set of obscure R & B and blues sessions that originally appeared on the late Sun Ra's Saturn label are four sides by Chicago's Lacy Gibson. Gibson's style is an aggressive pastiche of influences ranging from Texas jump through Delta-Chicago traditionalism, with some hillbilly corn and outward-bound improvisation thrown in for spice. For years he was among Chicago's most requested blues session men: he's on records by the likes of Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Billy "the Kid" Emerson, and the late Willie Mabon, among others; he appeared on Son Seals's seminal Live and Burning on Alligator in 1978. He's recorded two critically acclaimed LPs under his own name (on Red Lightnin' in the late 70s and on Black Magic in 1982). As a bandleader Gibson has had a tendency to hire sidemen on the basis of personal loyalty rather than strictly musical merit, which can lend a certain roughness to his shows, and he's been inactive for several years due to health problems; nonetheless, an appearance at Rosa's a few months ago showed him still in full command of his chops. This may herald an important Chicago blues comeback. Friday, 9:30 PM, Rosa's, 3420 W. Armitage; 773-342-0452. DAVID WHITEIS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Noel Griglunus.

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