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Iona’s Song of the Week - No 24

My song for this week comes from a triple AAA musician, an Alternative American Artist (ok, I know that's four A’s, but hey ho!) I first encountered this fella in 2004 when he was the support act for the Handsome Family in Glasgow’s Tron Theatre. He shuffled on stage wearing what I now know was his signature baseball cap and started singing while playing a guitar. I honestly thought that he was a roadie tuning up. He had that dishevelled long-bearded, world weary look! However, I quickly realised he was too good to be a roadie. No disrespect to roadies!

He captured me for several reasons: firstly, his voice; secondly, his melodies; thirdly, his wonderful storytelling songs; and finally, his inter-song banter! I recall a story he told about a giant ball of string, a tourist attraction in his home town of Wannamaker, Indiana!

Subsequently, I have been to see him every time he visits Glasgow, and he even once asked me not to photograph him during my live music blog phase! Fair do’s, I thought, and we had a pleasant chat after the gig!

As it happens, ‘Your Man’ is playing at the Glad Cafe in Glasgow tonight; however, as we have been ‘on tour’ ourselves in Iona, we didn't get tickets in time, so for the first time, we will not be in attendance.

My choice today recalls being introduced to the music industry at an early age when a friend of his aunts who was supposed to be babysitting him would take him to a nearby saloon to earn money by singing while he played the piano! He also worked for over ten years as a tree planter in Indiana, planting what he estimates to be over 7,000 trees! Since 2002, he has released nine albums, which is consistent, if not prolific!

So, before I introduce this week’s song, I wish to reaffirm my attraction to this artist and this style of music. The song of his I have chosen illustrates the excellent storytelling style I first encountered in 1973 when, as a 15-year-old, I bought the late, great Harry Chapin’s third album, the incredible Short Stories.

And so, I give you Paul Otis Gibbs III’s The Darker Side of Me, the 5th song from his 7th album, Souvenirs of a Misspent Youth…..


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