There’s an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where, after that wascally wabbit pitches a baseball as hard as he can, the ball comes back to him covered with the stickers of all the countries it’s visited. Christian Gibbs musical trajectory is somewhat like that baseball’s path – squatting in London, gigging with Modern English, touring with Jim “Foetus” Thirwell and fronting hard rockers the Morning Glories.
“My new music is a hybrid of stuff that’s been brewing over the years,” saya Gibbs. “It’s had a while to ferment. But I agree that environment definitely informs music, especially the lyrics. When you’re playing CBGB’s, you don’t want to be playing ballads.”
On his solo bow for Atlantic, 29 Over Me, Gibbs details the human condition across 14 songs that range from meditative ballads to vibrant slices of life. His vocal prowess vascillates between Nick Cave-ish brusqueness and Ian MacCulloch-ish vulnerability, but the backdrop and sentiment of his music have a sense of Americana that’s less John Mellencamp and more Steve Wynn.
“I’ve always romaticized that I was from the South, even though I’m not,” Gibbs says. “I’ve always retained that kind of feeling. If I had my way I’d be living down south in a little wooden house with 40 acres around me. I feel like I can never get settled. But that’s typical for a musician, I guess.”