By DONNA BALANCIA
Geoff Gibbons is a hidden gem among multitudes of singer-songwriters.
He may not be the most popular name here in the U.S., but in Canada, he’s one of the most beloved musicians around.
Gibbons’ beautiful music blends the sounds of legendary musicians like John Hartford and Loggins and Messina. He writes about love, lost love, and life’s challenges but he keeps it all in perspective.
His latest single, “Fall Girl” is a beautiful new track that tells a melancholy story about a certain lady. See Review
Gibbons says he likes to keep the songs short and sweet and limits his tunes to three minutes.
“We were listening to The Beatles. Early Beatles said it all in three minutes,” Gibbons said. “Sometimes it was two and a half minutes.
Then, Gibbons said, the three-minute drill became a challenge to himself. Can he tell the story in three minutes?
Gibbons was born and raised in Vancouver BC, and grew up in Hartfordshire England and Boston, and came back to Vancouver when he was 10.
“My mom played piano and she always wanted us to be involved in music,” Gibbons said. “I showed interest in music. I loved being near the music, and I used to lean my whole body against the speakers.”
Petula Clark, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles
Gibbons says he was meant for pop music.
“The first song that really turned my world around was ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark,” he said. “When you listen to Tony Hatch who wrote the song he was able to capture in a happy song, a sadness. It’s a beautiful song. I have this funny image pulling out the 45 and giving it to me. The Petula Clark records I like the best are “My Love” and “Sign of the Times.”
“And of course, since we were living in Boston, my parents liked Simon and Garfunkel,” Gibbons said. “And The Beatles. We watched A Hard Day’s Night and I was hooked.
Music Was Always The Message
Gibbons said when he was growing up, there was no cable TV and no 24-7 news and life didn’t have such a technology bent, so music and vinyl records were the ways people communicated.
“Because of the way society was and because it was the voice of the people, music played a role,” he said. “There was no cable news and music had such an impact. We were dialed in. The melodies, the message, the way songs were formed and the songwriting was succinct and the story had to be done in three minutes.”
New Projects, New Songs
Gibbons thinks there was more variety in the music in the 1970s and 1980s.
“The other thing that was great about when I was growing up was the pure diversity of the music,” he said. “I had my box of 45s. I remember riding my bike to Mass Ave to buy ‘Light My Fire,'” he said. “I was a little afraid of Jim Morrison. But I also loved hearing Glen Campbell sing ‘Wichita Lineman and Zeppelin do ‘A Whole Lotta Love’ and then you’d hear something like Tom Jones ‘It’s not Unusual’ or ‘What’s New Pussycat,’ but you loved it all. It was all about diversity.”
Gibbons says he has a lot of projects in the works. Stay tuned.
For more info go to GeoffGibbons.com