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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.

Customer Reviews

A legacy to Bob Gibson and Hamid Camp

I am so grateful that this has been published and made available on iTunes. Bob Gibson and Bob (Hamid) Camp created a one of a kind evening when they recorded this live at the Gate of Horn in Chicago. I was fortunate to be there and the magic of the evening is presented faithfully on this offering. The listener will have a front row seat for one of the legends of folk music. Gibson has an unmatched ability to make the 12 string sound larger than life. Complex rhythms, bold accents and chord structures, unique melody lines, all enliven the song and are dutifully matched by there wide vocal ranges and the unique blend of Gibson and Camp exchanging melody and harmony lines at will. This is as good as it gets! A must own for anyone who grew up with Folk Music as part of their youth. Gibson is gone, but his melodies, unique ability to wordsmith and expand each songs “ one true line”, as well as his powerful 12 string guitar and long neck banjo musical presentation will stand for time in memorial.

Live folk at its best, at the height of the time

This live recording captures a great set of live performances at the Gate of Horn in Chicago during the early 60s. The group consisted of Bob Gibson, a well-respected and known folk singer, Bob Camp on vocals, whom I know less about but who wrote Pride of Man (Hamilton Camp) on the first Quicksilver Messenger Service album, and Herbert (Hub) Brown on string bass. The liner notes by Shel Silverstein say far more about how this album came to be, and about the old Gate of Horn itself. I defer to a master. The music is really very good, the singing, arranging and playing all very tight. Camp harmonizes extremely well with Gibson. One of the highlights for me is the song "Two in the Middle" about Selah Brown, born to Hub Brown and his Chicago-area girlfriend in Mexico City circa 1959/60. I lived in Mexico City at the time with my jazz honky-tonk piano-plauing grandmother, Muriel Reger, who knew Herbert through the live music scene in Mexico City. Somehow Hub and his girlfriend ended up at our house just at the time Selah was born. They stayed with us for a while in my grandmother's apartment and I remember going to see the baby. A year or so later, the Gate of Horn album came out. Two in the Middle is about Hub and his white girlfriend...and their baby. The excellent musicianship and production of the album not only reflect the great music of the time, but also the spirit behind much of the folk music era...fairness, civil rights and a sense of enjoyment in life...a joyful Bohemianism. Shel Silverstein captures it better than I can. This album is a great reflection of a specific moment in American history and music.

Bob Gibson & Bob Camp

A great folk classic and the fabulous sound of a 12 spring guitar.


Born: November 16, 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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