sall gibson
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sall gibson

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos





Spend a few minutes scouring the internet looking for something along the lines of “sexy album covers” and you’ll quickly turn up a vast assortment of images that have graced the jackets of all kinds of records, from Whitesnake’s Love Hunter to Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese to Christina Aguilera’s Stripped. And while there’s plenty of variety in the sounds that each of those albums holds within its covers, the one thing shared amongst them all—and plenty of others, too—is the placement of scantily clad women at the front and centre.

It’s difficult to deny that, for most of its history, rock ‘n’ roll has been a male dominated form of music but not every female is under the thumb of male powers. While someone like Madonna, who keeps a tight reign on the control of both her image and her music, might be an exception in a world that is beset by insta-star making machines like American Idol, with singers being judged more on their ability to perform material written by professional songwriters than their own creativity, the fact remains that there are women out there who are capable of so much more, and who are right now flexing their own creative muscles.

Kim Rackel makes up one half of the horn section in The Wet Secrets, and she admits that there were a few female musicians who intrigued her as a child—The Misfits, the rocker girls from the cartoon Jem and the Holograms, and Joan Jett—but as much as she was thrilled by the images, she was never won over by an aesthetic alone
“I was pretty infatuated with Madonna when I was little, and Michael Jackson—I loved Michael Jackson, as well—but I think it was more the sparkles and the dancing,” she recalls. “It was the music—I loved the music, too—but I think it was the whole package ... I thought it was pretty goddamn cool.”

The other half of the band’s horn section is Donna Ball, who has also held down the bass for local metal band Some Won Spit, and she agrees with Rackel’s assertion that music is about more than simply the image. Counting off the first bands that she listened to while growing up, Ball doesn’t name a single act with any sort of official female presence.

“When I was a kid I really liked Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, Glass Tiger—whatever my sister listened to is what I liked when I was little,” she explains. “I didn’t really think about female influence. It was always 100 per cent music. I was always more about music—I can play music, I like it, I’m good at it—more so than having an idol in music.”
After moving from the West Coast to Edmonton, singer-songwriter Sall Gibson says that she has been impressed with the number of girls she has seen out playing at this city’s numerous open mic nights. Gibson says that her initial influences were, like Ball’s, more male-centric than female, though for different reasons.

“If anything, women musicians influenced me in a reverse way,” she chuckles. “Because my vocal styling is in a lower range I was frustrated constantly because I couldn’t sing any of the female songwriters that I liked, so I ended up playing a lot of guy’s songs.”

Just as women count plenty of male musicians as influences, the opposite is often true of men. Edmonton’s Eamon McGrath, who performs solo and with both The Wild Dogs and Red Medicine, says that he was already looking up to local all-girl punk band The Homewrekers when he was 13 years old, and today he lists both Joni Mitchell and Lucinda Williams among his favourite songwriters. McGrath is also quick to add that he likes all of them because of their songs, not the novelty of a woman playing music.

In fact, the idea of shaking up the traditional male mentality of rock ‘n’ roll with a female presence is something that McGrath takes seriously—the drummer in his first band was a girl and until just a few days ago his girlfriend was playing bass in The Wild Dogs.

“It’s good to have girls in bands because they do bring a specific perspective to the music,” McGrath considers. “There’s something very male about rock ‘n’ roll and when you see a perspective from the other side of the gender fence it’s really refreshing.

“I’m not trying to say that there are these great, vast differences between guys and girls,” he emphasizes before continuing, “but the reality is that rock ‘n’ roll is a phallic kind of attitude historically, and changing that up is good.”

If there is some pressure for female musicians to put forward a particular image, it certainly doesn’t manifest itself in some overarching rule that applies to everyone, as Gibson makes clear.

“Because I’m a songwriter and I’m a reasonably proficient guitar player, I don’t really think about the image thing too much,” she says. “I mean, I’m most comfortable on stage with my toque and my hoody and would never really think twice about going on stage like that.”

For Rackel and Ball, sexuality is something that they have few problems with when it comes to the stage—in addition to The Wet Secrets, both women also perform with Capital City Burlesque.

“I can pretty much get on the stage and act like a total retard and take off my clothes at the same time, and be okay with it,” Rackel laughs, adding, “So I guess prancing around in the giant boots and the little marching band outfits that we have—we’re pretty comfortable doing it.”

Bobbi-Jo Moore, the singer/guitarist for Vancouver’s The Elixxxirs, admits that she’s never had any serious difficulties in music that she would attribute to her gender and she points out that there are some possible advantages for females in the industry, too, partly due to the fact that there are statistically a whole lot more men playing in bands.

“For me, booking gigs is really easy and it has been ever since I started the band,” she notes. “Even if [a promoter] hadn’t heard our music or anything, if I went up and talked to them they’d seem to give us a show. So I’m not exactly sure if that’s because I’m female—I think that has something to do with it—or if it’s my outgoing personality, but I’ve heard from a lot of my friends who are guys in bands and they don’t seem to have the same success. They have to try harder to get gigs.”

Moore goes on to say that she would be at a bit of a loss if image were the number one concern.
“One of the things that attracts our fans is the songs,” she says. “I’m not the greatest singer in the world and I’m not the greatest guitar player, either, but I write really great songs [that are] catchy and people like to dance to them. As a female, if I was singing other people’s songs it would be a lot harder.”

She sees the respect that she gets from other musicians as a direct result of working her way up from the bottom, rather than being plucked from obscurity and paraded around by a bunch of handlers.

In the end, Ball agrees that it’s important for women to prove themselves as musicians. “I don’t think a lot of people think that girls can play,” she admits regarding the challenges facing female musicians today, but she adds that, once the initial shock wears off, acceptance is usually not all that far behind. “You just have to prove yourself, I suppose.
“It’s almost not a sex issue and just an issue of talent, because I think that everyone has to go through it,” she says. “I don’t think it matters what gender you are.” V
- The Vue Weekly - Edmonton

"Sall Gibson CD, Laid back, Reflective"

Sall Gibson
The Daily News
by Patrick Witwicki

Call her Ani DiFranco-esque.
Prince Rupert's Sall Gibson
(affectionately known in these parts
as Sarah) celebrated the release of
her first full-length CD, entitled
'Here nor There" Saturday night at
the Tom Rooney Playhouse. And
make no mistake: the influence of
DiFranco is evident in several of the
13 tracks.

But unlike the Buffalo, New
Yorker's reputation of being a "punk
folk" artist, Gibson's take on folk
music is much more laidback and
reflective. At least, so far.

"I was introduced to her
(DiFranco) at 13," said Gibson. "My
cousin Vivian was really into her,
and that got me interested."

Sounding like DiFranco then, is
completely unintentional. "I just
write. I just sit down, and the songs
just come," she adds.

It's a comment most musicians
don't like to hear, that they remind
their listener of someone else, and
quite a few people have commented
to Gibson that she reminds them of
the Alaskan folk singer Jewel even
though there is almost no similarity
between the two artists.

"I think that's just because she
sings and has a guitar," said Gibson.
"1 don't think I sound like her at all.''

Originally from Ontario, Gibson
has spent the past few years
molding her craft while, settling
here in Prince Rupert.

"I just love it here," she said. "I
chose all the songs (for the album)
that I wrote here in Rupert."

Gibson's "grounding" in Rupert
may ring familiar with those who are
fans of Vancouver recording artist
Holly McNarland, who is also
originally from Ontario, but now
calls B.C. home. McNarland, of
course, is more of a rock artist than
folk. But her acoustic songs like "You
Won't Stay" and "Beautiful Blue"
are also similar in style and structure
to Gibson, although McNarland's
take on life tends to be a lot darker.
With that in mind, Gibson's CD
then stands out on its-own as a
legitimate foray into the folk genre.

Still, her CD ends up like most
recordings the first half (tracks
one through seven) being very strong,
while the second half(track eight
through 13) isn't as potent.
The album opens with "Hey
Mister," a song that both musically
and lyrically echoes Difranco's early
work. The next two songs, "Calamity
Jane'' and "Advice to a Friend"
continue to rattle off reflective lyrics
in the vein of Difranco's.
The main criticism of DiFranco
over the years, has been that she tries
to cram as many words and ideas
into one song as possible.
Luckily for Gibson, she isn't quite
as wordy as Difranco, but still likes
to go for effect over rhyme, 'and, if
that means requiring an extra image
or lyric, she doesn't mind.
'less is more? I think it depends
on the song, and the idea.
The fourth track, "Try," is
Gibson's favorite, and is probably
the strongest song lyrically on the -
album, I Perhaps it's ironic then, that
arguably the two best songs,
"September song and "Higher" -
don't sound like Difranco at all, and
allow Gibson keep that spark of
originality to herself.
'September Song" was' written
after 9/11, even though she agrees
that almost every artist on the planet
Difranco included) has taken a stab
at writing abut the subject after the
"I don't like to jump on the 9/11
bandwagon" sall said. "It's more of
a love song.
I just remembered the CEO who
didn't go to work that day, and it
changed his life forever."
The other song, "Higher", is
strong both lyrically and musically.
and is most likely the radio hit from
the album.

But Gibson considers
"Betterman" the catchiest of them
all a fun, cheeky upbeat song that
typifies the '90s female artist a la
Alanis Morissette (another artist who
Gibson agrees is too wordy): fighting
back against cheating men.
Sticking to the folk genre then, all
13 songs on Gibson's CD seem to
echo a similar theme, especially
where in four songs, she writes about
'flying,"and "going high."
"I'm always on the move," she
said. "So the theme of being up
above, looking down ... I haven't
i haven't necessarily been grounded."
- The Daily News

"Sall Gibson Talks About Career and Music Future"

The Northern VIEW - Wednesday, October 25,2006
By Dustin Quezada
The Terrace Standard

Sall Gibson might need some
help. She's become a little too busy
in her line of work that suits
the Prince Rupert based singer
songwriter just fine.

It's been just over a year since
the performer took the plunge and
focused all her energies into her
music. And as an emerging talent without a label to back her financially, she also assumed the responsibility of doing all her bookings and publicity.

"At the moment, I'm looking to
get some help," Gibson said of her
busy schedule. It's getting busier after she got the feedback she was hoping for when she left the comfort of the Northwest. She says "getting out of her own backyard was an important measuring stick because
she knew her local and regional support was unconditional.

"I think I went into it with low
expectations and they were easy
to surpass," she said. "The support
was incredible."

Gibson played a number of gigs
in and around Toronto and southern
Ontario, a show in Regina and
several more throughout B.C. early
this year.

With two studio recordings to
her credit - 2004's Here nor There
and 2006 release Simply Undone - Gibson has a repertoire to deliver
an entertaining and engaging show.
Where it's going is the next step
in the process for Gibson, in the
proverbial crossroads.
"I'm waffling on where to go
next," said Gibson, who spent the
bulk of her summer entertaining on
a chartered tugboat.
She can seek a record deal or a
private backer, the latter enabling
Gibson to maintain creative
control. A producer can really change the sound." Gibson says over the last couple of years she has struggled with exactly what genre she fits into. Calling yourself a country, folk, alternative rock artist is a mouth full.

She said she's best suited for the
(folk/country end of the spectrum.
However as the former Torontonian
decides to proceed with her talents,
she knows the next step will have to be taken in a larger city.
She plans to make a move in the
next couple of months.
While it may be a wait before
Gibson and her guitar grace the
Northwest, she says she'll be back.
"I'll definitely come up and tour
through the area," she said.
Gibson is currently working on
material for a third recording.
"I think the (new) music is some
of the best stuff I've done, the essence is still the same. I think people will like it. - The Terrace Standard


sun sun glow - (redRUGrecords & AFA)
released august 14, 2010

Plaster Demo - 2007 (redRUGrecords)
1. plaster
2. 3 more days
4. eyes

Simply Undone - Album - 2006 (FACTOR)
1. freedom
2. three more days
3. your time
4. standing in the sun
5. love we got
6. home soon
7. avalanche
8. simply undone
9. believe
10. shooting star
11. rupert
12. right the writing



Sun sun glow specializes in infectious, rhythmic guitar pop that intertwines unforgettable melodies with bitter-sweet rock vocals that tell the stories of labored love, teenage angst and working for the weekend.
.:sun sun glow bio:.

The album features Jordan Payne (Skyscraper), Catherine Hiltz (Storyboard) & Sean MacIntosh (all of Blind Tiger, Tiger) Michael Saunders (Wish), Stacey Arbeau (Mourning Wood), Emily & Sall Gibson

Sun sun glow is available at, itunes and music stores across Canada.

Release date: August 14, 2010
Funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Recorded and mixed at Hwy 13 Studio & Broken Ice
Mastered at Lacquer Channel

.:sall's bio:.

Sall’s song-writing has earned her a FACTOR Professional Demo Grant and full funding for a Commercial Recording from The Alberta Foundation for the Arts .

Through the creation of her indie label redRUGrecords and design company GIGgraphics, she has recorded three albums (here nor there, simply undone, sun sun glow) booked, promoted and managed 4-Western Canada tours, opened for the Juno award winning band the Wailing Jennies and recorded with members of the band Spirit of the West.

In 2007 Sall put together the side project ‘Failing Esther’ and played extensively in the local Alberta scene. 2008 brings the formation of the project ‘sun sun glow’ that joins the creative talents of Jordan Payne (Blind Tiger, Tiger/ Skyscraper) and Mike Saunders (Wish). The full-length album sun sun glow will be available August 14, 2010.

Highlights TV/Radio/Print:
CBC Radio - All Points West
CBC Radio - North by Northwest
CBC Radio - The Roundup
CBC Radio - Daybreak North
CJFM Terrace - To the Point
The Mix 56 Radio
The Toronto Star
NTV News
CTV News
BCTV Global
Now Magazine
The Georgia Straight
Now Magazine
The Vue
See Magazine

"…the Plaster EP is a legitimate foray into the indie folk genre allowing Sall Gibson to stand out on her own."
_The Toronto Star

"Indie folk rock with a message. Fun, yet sometimes jaded..."
_ Now Magazine

"Listed as a must see at New Music West 2008"
_Concert BReak"

"A songwriter who will go the distance"
_CBC Radio 1 - Vancouver "

"Simply Undone is a sparse yet honest recording, the songs presented as a songwriter intends them to be heard. Definitely an album for road trips and Sunday's drives.."
_CBC Radio 1 - Toronto