Mike Gibbons

Mike Gibbons

 San Francisco, California, USA
BandPop

Fresh off of a 27 date U.S national release tour, this San Francisco native and international singer/songwriter has shared the stage with many established acts including Katie Herzig, Gregory Alan Isakov, Eric Hutchinson, and Robert Francis.

Biography

With his nomadic, adventure-seeking nature, open eyes and mind, and honest, intellectual songwriting, San Francisco native and international singer/songwriter Mike Gibbons has discovered a way to take us on his journeys and help inspire us to set off on our own. His recent April 12, 2011 release Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions was recorded in Thailand, where he spent five years in the 1980's as a child and returned in the fall of 2009 with his wife to spend one year living, writing, and recording. Their time there turned out to be Bangkok’s most intense and violent period of civil unrest in decades. While this certainly inspired several songs, much of Marigolds revolves around being a newlywed and the adjustments that accompany such personal transformation. Throughout, the cohesive, universal theme that emerges is one of revolution, be it personal or political.

On this third independent album, Gibbons teamed up with former Columbia Records artist, Thai movie star and music producer, Jay Montonn Jira. Together, they co-produced Marigolds, giving it a real organic and heavy feel with an emphasis on the simple and primal spirit. “There’s a little peace loving hippie, a contemplative Buddhist, a guilty Catholic, a psychedelic shaman, an over privileged child, and a world wizened sage; all these characters flowing together and spilling out in my music,” says Gibbons. Mixed by Charlie Wilson of Sonic Zen Records in Berkeley, CA, the album also features New York City cellist Yair Evnine and Los Angeles based drummer Aaron Sterling (Fiona Apple, Liz Phair), both of whom contributed outstanding performances via cyberspace.

Mike Gibbons, at his core, is a storyteller who uses his guitar to articulate a story or channel a feeling. “There’s a sense as a songwriter that in order to remain creative, you need to remain inspired,” says Gibbons. Ever-present, open and receptive to the world around him, Gibbons also has a passion for words and is smart about how to use them. In his song “Marigolds” he presents the concept of an individual who aspires towards a career that will keep him away from his family for months at a time. He opens with, “I fell so hard / I broke my legs / In a field of marigolds / All bright and blossoms blooming.” Here, a simple concept, so beautifully and deeply conveyed with brilliant metaphors that seem to sneak up on you.

As positive and warm as “Marigolds” is, Gibbons exercises his range and strength as a storyteller with the incredibly dark and emotionally intense song “Cobras in the Bushes.” Tens of thousands of Thai protestors camped out in the center of Bangkok’s financial center, protesting on behalf of the former Primer Minister who had been deposed and is currently living in exile. Although protests are a regular aspect of Thailand, this one dragged on without any resolution, and finally led to an explosion of violence in May 2010. “I listened to gunshots and grenade explosions every day and saw my local jogging route become part of an urban war zone with sections barricaded by tires and barbed wire. Word spread of mercenary snipers firing on innocent civilians and foreign press correspondents. I was warned to stay away from windows and to not leave home,” recalls Gibbons. “Cobras in the Bushes” paints a vivid picture of the environment during the recording process: “This ain’t the land of smiles that I know / As the bullets they crack / And grenades they explode / The skyline turns black / As the smoke it just chokes out the charm.”

“I’m promiscuous as a musician,” says Gibbons, who prefers to follow a path much like Ryan Adams or Ben Harper, who have spent much of their careers collaborating with an array of instrumentalists to discover what’s out there and how their own music can grow. Gibbons has shared the stage with many established acts including Katie Herzig, Gregory Alan Isakov, Eric Hutchinson, Robert Francis, and Sharon Little. Gibbons is currently fresh off a 27 date US national release tour and will be hitting the road again later this summer.

To learn more, please visit www.mikegibbons.net

CONTACT:
Publicity: Laura Goldfarb-Red Boot Publicity (www.redbootpr.com)
Booking: Dublin Morrison- dublin.morrison@gmail.com

Lyrics

Sharks Will Behave

Written By: Mike Gibbons

Caught in the waves
Swallowed by tides
They just swept me away
No one dropped me a line
So I kicked back for the day
There's no reason for weeping
Long's the sharks will behave
Ah then all will be fine
I'll just go to sleep here, lay on my board
Forget all the madness that's back on the shore
Gonna escape here for a little while
And the sun's beating down
Feeling hot on my skin
Till I'm speaking in tongues
From without and within
I was so happily dreaming
I forgot where I was
Ah in this intoxication of radiation....coming from above
I'll just go to sleep here, lay on my board
Forget all the madness that's back on the shore
Gonna escape here for a little while
And as the sun goes down in come the clouds
Gotta wake up now my stomach's craving
In and Out I'm hungry now
Back to solid ground
Back to In and Out
Make it animal style
Chorus&Close)

Chained to Change

Written By: Mike Gibbons

Grace
Coming in and crashing like a wave
Washing in only to slip away
And all I've ever really known is change
But if
I could take this moment and make it rich
Doesn't matter where or who I'm with
As long as I'm not feeling myself itch
And it wears me down
But it makes me stronger
When I hit the ground
I've gotta believe again
I could catch a plane and fly away
Sell my car and begin again
But would that make things better
Or would I just be running away
Chained to change
Undone
Feeling like that's what my life's become
Just another evening's setting sun
Diminishing although it's just begun
And it wears me down
But it makes me stronger
When I hit the ground
I've gotta believe again
I could catch a plane and fly away
Sell my car and begin again
But would that make things better
Or would I just be running away
Chained to Change
And my heart is skewered up on the fence
As I'm trying and struggling just to make some sense
Is the grass really that much greener?
Or am I just running away?
Chained to change
I was chained to change
To change

Loose Ends

Written By: Mike Gibbons

I don't want to be the one you loved
Wouldn't want to be the time you spent
Trying to tell the stars from the satellites
Make some plans..yea
So step into the water and dive in deep
Take your two heels and set them in
It doesn't have to be so hard
This is in our hands yea...

The truth never looked so good
Wearing out the wary hearted
The truth never looked so good
There's just these loose ends, loose ends, yea...

Everybody's looking to live in love
Searching for their perfect little fairy tale
And though dust will settle upon the ground
It'll still make sense
Oh so let's do something different in this age where such commitments never hold
And when it comes and it goes
Through the ebb and through the flow we will remain

Despite these loose ends loose ends yea...

Ohh...oh..ohh....oh
Scars will tell our stories and mistakes will make us wise
Hurricanes and tidal waves will batter us with time

The truth never looked so good
Wearing out the wary hearted
The truth never looked so good
There's just these loose ends, loose ends, yea...

It’s gonna be me and you
I’m gonna be good to you...

Marigolds

Written By: Mike Gibbons

I fell so hard
I broke my legs
In a field of marigolds
All bright and blossoms blooming
I felt my broken heart
Still singing serenades
Cause there’s still so much love
Brimming up over the pain…
Over the pain…

Oh My
What’s next love because it feels like
It’s getting hard to breathe
Oh and sometimes
We’ve gotta weather it out through all the gray skies
Till we find just what we need

Success it seems
So bittersweet
The more I chase it down
The less of you I see
So I’m not sure
With all the challenges in store
If the life that I’d imagined if I need that anymore
Now that you came…
Now that you came…

Oh My
What’s next love because it feels like
It’s getting hard to breathe
Oh and sometimes
We’ve gotta weather it out through all the gray skies
Till we find just what we need

Oh My…
Because it feels like
We’ve got the sunshine
Into the gray skies
That we find just what we need

Like field of marigolds, Like a field of marigolds…

Cobras in the Bushes

Written By: Mike Gibbons

There are cobras in the bushes
Vipers in the trees
What with these snipers even hookers
They won’t venture in the streets
While their icons loom silent
As the violence erupts
There’s this feeling…that this isn’t even…close to an end…

Well this ain’t the land of smiles that I know
As the bullets they crack and grenades they explode
As the skyline turns black
All the smoke it just chokes out the charm

Heard whispers unwritten
Foretold superstitions
Of dynasties slipping of civil mistrust
For it’s the year of the tiger
It’s the year that the violence erupts…

Well this ain’t the land of smiles that I know
As the bullets they crack and grenades they explode
As the skyline turns black
All the smoke it just chokes out the charm

Now the sun’s going down
And the mood’s gotten frantic
Suppose the blood in the park
Made things a bit less romantic
Cause they’re stirring up hatred yea they’re shooting em down…
(And they’ve called reinforcements for the night)
So we’re staying inside
Away from the windows
Though we can’t shut our minds from the hurt that we feel
For the people outside getting hit by the bullets we hear…

Well this ain’t the land of smiles that I know
As the bullets they crack and grenades they explode
As the skyline turns black
All the smoke it just chokes out the charm

There are cobras in the bushes
Vipers in the trees
There are cobras in the bushes
Vipers in the trees
There are cobras in the bushes
These vipers, these snipers
There are cobras in the bushes
Snipers…vipers in the trees…

Up Up and Away

Written By: Mike Gibbons

Well I…
Get the feeling
That I…
Won’t be feeling like this all of the time
It’ll change
So smile…
And let it rain
And know…
That it’ll go it happens all of the time
It’ll change
So even if this moment wears us down
Don’t break

Set high…Let go…of who you are
I’m up up up up up up and away
High…let go…of who you are…yea
I’m up up up up up up and away…

Lately…
I feel so clear
We used to…
Live in fear we felt it all of the time
Not so much these days
Must be something in the air we’re breathing
Must be something in the air…

Set high…Let go…of who you are
I’m up up up up up up and away
High…let go…of who you are…yea
I’m up up up up up up and away…yea
Up and Away

Up Up and Away
Up Up and Away
Up Up and Away…

All That Matters

Written By: Mike Gibbons

I used to think that I was one of those people
Who would never settle down
Put my roots into the ground
I used to think that I could never find fulfillment
In the world of nine to five
With a family and a wife but hold on…
There you were, and here we are…
And there’s a diamond on your finger
And a stillness where the breeze had blown

It doesn’t matter
If no one buys my songs
Cause I’ll just write them all for you
All that matters
Is you and I…we belong
And I’ll do whatever I have to do yea…

I used to want to get swept up amidst the whirlwinds
I used to dream of tidal waves
I used to need to feel the rush of my adrenaline
As I stepped up upon the stage, but hold on…
What I needed once before, I don’t need it anymore
I don’t…need it

It doesn’t matter
If no one buys my songs
Cause I’ll just write them all for you
All that matters
Is you and I…we belong
And I’ll do whatever I have to do yea…

All that matters, all that matters
When it’s only me and you…
All that matters, all that matters
When it’s only me and you yea…
When it’s only me and you

Icarus

Written By: Mike Gibbons

Airborne
And weightless
Sunburnt and unshaven
Where’s my megaphone
To articulate this
Just feeling how it feels to feel alive…

Into the sky
Into the sun
I am Icarus…yea
Into the sky
Into the sun I’m weightless…
Yea…with my waxen wings

Just get me closer to the ceiling
I don’t care if I’ve lost all my reason
I hear that as you near it the colors turn from blue to black
I want to see beyond the science
Beyond the star speckled silence
I want to see all of the things that I couldn’t see before…

Into the sky
Into the sun
I am Icarus…yea
Into the sky
Into the sun I’m weightless…
Yea…with my waxen wings

The things you thought you always had wanted
Become the nature of the disease
When the things you used to want become the things that you need…

Into the sky
Into the sun
I am Icarus…yea
Into the sky
Into the sun I’m weightless…
Yea…with my waxen wings

Happy Running

Written By: Mike Gibbons

I’ve been running through the darkness
I’ve been running round in circles
I’ve been running on a treadmill
Till my feet are turning purple

I’ve been running I’ve been running
I’ve been running I’ve been running
I’ll be running happy running yea…

Probably seem a little crazy
Maybe feel a little hyper
Got a whim to climb a mountain
Chasing Himalayan ligers

I’ve been running I’ve been running
I’ll be running I’ll be running
Happy running happy running…yea…

OhOhohoh..Ohohohoh…ohohohoh
But the stillness is why I run
For the stillness when it comes
When it comes

Oh I’ve been running I’ll be running
I’ve been running I’ll be running
I’ve been running happy running…
Happy Running happy running

Discography

Jetlag Chronicles - LP (March 2005)
Loose Ends- LP (September 08')
KFOG Local Scene CD Volume 6- Featured Artist
Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions (Coming in April 2011)

Set List

Gibbons has a catalog of over 30 original songs and plays a small number of cover songs occasionally. He can easily cover a three hour set by himself.

Gibbons performs in numerous different arrangements. He plays many gigs as a one-man, solo acoustic act, often interweaving stories in between songs and a more intimate impression of the songs are all about. He also plays many gigs in duo, trio, and full-band arrangements as well, however. Gibbons is fond of strings and and percussion and prefers a 1-3 band member setup.