Makin' a Mess: Bob Gibson Sings Shel Silverstein

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Veteran folksinger Bob Gibson had been a friend of Shel Silverstein's long before he devoted an album to singing compositions by the country and novelty songwriter. Silverstein, the author of "The Cover of Rolling Stone" and "A Boy Named Sue," supplied Gibson with a characteristic collection of mostly comic story songs for this release. "The Man Who Turns the Damn Thing Off and On" poked fun at automation, for example, while "Golden Kiss" was the tale of a country songwriter who encounters the ultimate country music muse -- so she says, anyway -- and "Makin' a Mess of Commercial Success" was a first-person account of a beer drinker's recruitment to make a beer ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Veteran folksinger Bob Gibson had been a friend of Shel Silverstein's long before he devoted an album to singing compositions by the country and novelty songwriter. Silverstein, the author of "The Cover of Rolling Stone" and "A Boy Named Sue," supplied Gibson with a characteristic collection of mostly comic story songs for this release. "The Man Who Turns the Damn Thing Off and On" poked fun at automation, for example, while "Golden Kiss" was the tale of a country songwriter who encounters the ultimate country music muse -- so she says, anyway -- and "Makin' a Mess of Commercial Success" was a first-person account of a beer drinker's recruitment to make a beer commercial. There was some gallows humor, too, including "Nothin's Real Anymore," a complaint about artificial substitutes of various sorts; "Killed by a Coconut" complete with Silverstein's own interjections; and "Still Gonna Die," which expressed skepticism about fashionable attempts to improve one's health. Gibson's ability to render such material good-naturedly was remarkable given that he was facing death himself, already suffering from a form of Parkinson's Disease that would kill him the year after the album's release. Despite that challenge, he also brought a knowing sense to the lead-off song, "Stops Along the Way," a philosophical backward glance at life's experiences. "I Hear America Singing," which followed, was an attempted anthem on which he was joined by a chorus of longtime friends including Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow, and Oscar Brand. Like them, Gibson was a folkie decades into his career, but the album, recorded in Nashville, was a country-oriented effort. Overall, it was a pleasant but minor effort, providing more of a light coda to Gibson's career rather than a real conclusion, though it was his last album to be released in his lifetime.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/1995
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596169721
  • Catalog Number: 61697

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bob Gibson Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Emmylou Harris Background Vocals
John Hartford Background Vocals
Oscar Brand Background Vocals
Ed McCurdy Background Vocals
Tom Paxton Background Vocals
Peter Yarrow Background Vocals
Glenn Yarbrough Background Vocals
Dennis Locorriere Background Vocals
Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane Background Vocals
Josh White Jr. Background Vocals
John Brown Background Vocals
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