Otis Gibbs 'Harder Than Hammered Hell' Wanamaker

Having a voice that has been given its hard edges by life's experiences makes Otis Gibbs a purveyor of something honest and tough. Gibbs produced this album which was engineered by Thomm Jutz who also plays guitar and adds vocals as does Gibbs' partner (and artist in her own right) Amy Lashley. They're joined by Paul Griffith on drums and Mark Fain on bass. This unit adds much to the songs and give them some muscle and mobility. Gibbs' song deal with life's drifters, outsiders, underdogs and big fish. The latter is the subject of the light-hearted tall tale of a Flathead Catfish. Gibbs wrote all the songs here but co-wrote Big Whiskers with Adam Carroll. Don't Worry Kid sympathizes with those growing up in a society who's misplaced values don't really deal with those who feel out of step with its morality. Christ Number Three has a Springsteen/ Mellencamp feel of understanding the street. The Land Of Maybe, from which the title comes tells of the difficulties of walkin' the line, of dealing with what comes at you with as much fortitude and dignity as one can with giving in to the often relentless pressure of living close to the bread line. Detroit Steel is a song that would fit Bob Seeger and shows that though Otis Gibbs is perceived as a folk singer this album rocks it roots. Gibbs is a man who continues the tradition of the concerned troubadour with a grace and grit that makes his music welcome on many levels.