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Bob Gibson & Bob Camp At the Gate of Horn

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Album Review

Gibson & Camp could never be accused of overstaying their welcome. In 1961, the folk duo got together and recorded their debut album, Gibson & Camp at the Gate of Horn, which turned out to be a landmark folk release that influenced a generation of musicians. (Roger McGuinn, who attended the shows at which it was recorded, later formed the Byrds, who displayed a distinct Gibson & Camp feel, especially early on, and later in their career covered "Old Blue" from the record.) Beyond the album, the duo themselves had an impact on much early-'60s folk music, notably on the sound of Simon and Garfunkel, who put their "You Can Tell the World" on their debut album in 1964. By that time, Gibson & Camp had split up, to reuniting for their second album, Homemade Music, in 1978. Even less prolific than Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, they didn't hook up again until 1986 when they recorded this album, a recreation of their long out of print first one, down to the stage remarks. They added three songs, starting with "You Can Tell the World" and Gibson's "Well, Well, Well" (a folk standard recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary) and ending with Gordon Lightfoot's "For Lovin' Me." And they slightly updated "John Henry, the Thinking Man" for the computer age. But otherwise, this was Gibson & Camp at the Gate of Horn all over again, and it sounded remarkably fresh for that. With their creatively intertwining harmonies, the duo always sounded like more than two singers somehow, and their mixture of traditional folk with elements of blues, gospel, country, and square-dance music brought out the best of the early days of the folk boom. All of that sounded just as exuberant 25 years later, as did the good-humored interaction between the two. There remained something magical about these performers together, which made the infrequency of their recording a frustration to folk fans, even as their few pairings stirred excitement.


Born: 16 November 1931 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

While Bob Gibson's recordings may sound like run-of-the-mill folk to modern listeners, he played an important role in popularizing folk music to American audiences in the 1950s at the very beginning of the folk boom. His 12-string guitar style influenced performers like Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Chapin; he was a mainstay at one of the first established folk clubs in the U.S., the Gate of Horn in Chicago; and he wrote songs with Shel Silverstein and Phil Ochs, as well as performing in a duo with...
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Bob Gibson & Bob Camp At the Gate of Horn, Bob Gibson
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