Mike Gibbons
Gig Seeker Pro

Mike Gibbons

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop




"Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions"

Sounding like a more controlled Conor Oberst, Gibbons often comes off a bit loud over this strummy Americana-rock, but the tunes themselves make up for any questions about the mixing levels.

Perhaps one reason his lines are so adamant is a psychic need to be heard over the Red Shirt violence going on in Bangkok, where this album was recorded; he apparently had to change his jogging route due to warnings of sniper fire on civilians. Oddly enough, his lyrics gravitate to the inner rather than outer, focusing on guilt, zen, things like this.

But either way, after sitting through this entire LP, I can honestly say I haven’t met a Gibbons tune I didn’t like, all of them what you’d hear from a more straightforward and less depressing Band of Horses.
By Eric Saeger - Tokafi

"Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions"

Singer/songwriter Mike Gibbons and his wife spent a year in Bangkok in 2009-2010 and the newlyweds witnessed firsthand the Thailand capitol city's most intense and violent period of civil unrest in decades. That experience inspired the dozen tunes that make up "Marigolds," a fantastic album that underscores Gibbons' ability to weave deeply personal tales through song.
In addition to 11 standout self-penned tunes, Gibbons offers up an emotion-charged cover of Tracy Chapman's "Talkin' bout a Revolution," which manages to eclipse the excellent original. The high point of "Marigolds," however, is "Cobras in the Bushes," a song so intense it gives me chills every time I hear it. Additional keepers include "Up Up and Away," "Throwing Knives," "Happy Running," and "In My Bones." Excellent album from a really talented artist. -Jeffrey Sisk - In Tune-The Daily News

"Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions"

Sometimes the lyrical content of an album resonates so deeply that it remains on replay for the next three months. Mike Gibbons has accomplished creating such an album with Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions, a beautiful collection that combines poetic storytelling with a mellow rock sound.

"So smile, 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," Gibbons sings on what may be the best track of the album, "Up Up And Away." A perfect summary of the album, the lyrics seem to say that nothing in life remains the same, so there is hope in just riding it out.

Every song glows gold with acoustic guitar and a delicate string section. Recorded in Thailand during the uprising in 2009, the first half of the album is gently reflective. Songs such as "Marigolds" and "Peel Me Out" find Gibbons expressing his inner dialogue and asking questions of not only himself, but also the listener.

Almost a call to arms, the last six tracks boom loudly—as though the singer can do nothing else but set free what he's kept bottled inside for so long. Honest and simple, "Happy Running" is a highlight with the near howling of the words, as well as the blunt percussion.

Gibbons' newest record releases in April and with any luck at all, fans will have more opportunities to see his music evolve over the coming years.

Grade: A - UCD Advocate

"Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions"

"Recorded in Bangkok, Marigolds offers baroque folk-pop from a heart-on-his-sleeve Bay Area troubadour who recalls Cat Stevens." - And More Again

"Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions- 4.5 Stars!"

“The music on this cd is heartfelt. The vibe for each song is strong both because of Mike’s vocals and the way the guitar was recorded/played…this is a dynamic record that’s main focus is sound and emotion. "Peel Me Out" is my personal favorite” - Rock N Roll Experience

"Mike Gibbons"

"Mike Gibbons delivers solemn yet elevating melodies with dramatic and inspirational poetry, creating a sound best described as a male equivalent to Tracy Chapman. The more his CD rolls through the rotation in my CD player, the more I dig it." - Independent Musician Magazine--Greg Coghill

"December 2008 "Artists to Watch""

"Gibbons has an earnest, rock vocal delivery that is ideal vehicle for his intelligent lyrics"
Janie Franz....Skope Magazine

Full Article:

Though rocker Mike Gibbons has lived all over the world, he found a home among fellow singer/songwriters in the San Francisco Bay area. Here he found family, something that was missing in his creative life. Extremely talented, Gibbons was an anomaly among his own kin, being the the only musician in his extended family. Even his brothers are about as far away from creative musical thoughts as could be—they’re lawyers. But Gibbons was fascinated by songs and began to write. He found the guitar when he was in college and began to write original melodies to go with his lyrics that he’d been working on for years. The college coffeehouse circuit was his initial performance training ground. Then, an extended trip to India and southeast Asia honed his performing chops. In 2005 he released Jetlag Chronicles, and then Loose Ends came out this past fall. Gibbons has an earnest, rock vocal delivery that is ideal vehicle for his intelligent lyrics.
- SkopeMag

"New Style Music Reviews"

Mike Gibbons has created a pretty decent album with Jetlag Chronicles. We assume the title stems from Mike’s travels (the sleeve indicates he’s traveled quite a bit). We have
aired the track Alive on our radio show, so we are definitely feeling Mike’s vibe, but the one thing that sets Mike apart from everyone else is balls! He had big enough huevos to do a remake of Snoop Dog’s Nuthin’ But A G Thang! Regardless of how the rest of the album sounded, Mike was getting 5 stars from us anyway! “Hey, that’s not fair” you say, “My album didn’t get 5 stars.” Oh well, maybe you should do an acoustic version of a Tupac track and we’ll do the same for you. - Unsigned Music Magazine

"Notable Reviews"

Jetlag Chronicles - Mike Gibbons (self-release)
This Californian, who looks like a cross between Jerry O’Connell and Lou Diamond Phillips, blends a songwriter’s soul with a rocker’s heart. He has a declarative voice tempered with gentleness, and the sound that he’s built around him here (aided by No Doubt and Green Day producer Chocolate O’Brian) complements those vocal qualities. “Alive” rocks with a clear-eyed appeal to self to “Feel the fervor in my veins/Breathe each breath and live insane/And reaffirm the feeling I’m alive.” “Don’t Shy Away” examines letting yourself go and concludes it’s worth the risks. Gibbons looks outward at times, most notably on “July in Srinagar” which describes the current uneasy time to be American and overseas (“Say you’re Canadian, hell say you’re Greek”). But the truest chord struck may be “The Silence,” an observational jewel on our quest for “the one right way, the one right answer for each question we’ve raised” that leads us to press too hard and ignore others and our inner voice. There are many exceptional moments on this release, available through www.mikegibbons.net or www.sonicbids.com/mikegibbons - The Amplifier

"Your Daily Lick: Mike Gibbons"

"Gibbons' country-rock is as earnest and moving as it is competent and mainstream-ready. Most notable is the extent to which he blends the two genres: one moment, a tale of being a regular guy with a big heart, working on cars in a warehouse and trying to make it in the music business; the next a blistering guitar solo."
~Nate Seltenrich - East Bay Express

""Loose Ends" Reviewed"

Mike Gibbons, the California based singer/songwriter is a quirky, fast paced lyricist with catchy pop-instrumentation to support his writing, and a face that could place him as Dane Cooks’ stunt double. At first listen I was quickly reminded of the pop-rock jam band, Pseudopod. So any Pseudopod fans will easily join the Gibbons bandwagon.

Notable tracks are Mason Jar Dreams, a soulish tune that you’d swear was straight out of Mississippi. Its a foot-stompin’/twangy tune to please. Chained to Change slows things down a bit in a sound that I feel fits Gibbons the best. It’s an acoustic pop-ballad tune accompanied by cello. Gibbons’ vocals really work well in this lower register tune.

This Won’t Define Me is probably his strongest song considering both lyrics and instrumentation. The whole package is here. A driving 4 on the floor kick drum pulses and drives the intensity. The guitar work dances via atmospheric sounds interplaying with one another. Loose Ends, the title track, also graces the ear (possibly too late in the album) with a more tribal percussive beat and strings galore.

Gibbons’ instrumentation is at times poppy, other times from the deep south, and at other times atmospheric, much like a Pete Yorn or Ryan Adams ballad. It’s obviously a solo artist album though. His vocals soar above the instruments, unfortunately not as tightly mixed as I would have preferred – unlike a band album, it rides the line of adult contemporary pop. I have to give major props to the band and instrumental production.

All in all, there is some solid writing and graces with great influences in his writing.

posted by r&k - Awaken Music Pulications


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)



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

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