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For a musician from Vancouver, the songs of Geoff Gibbons sound like they easily could have been crafted in the heyday of the Laurel Canyon scene. His latest album, Buffalo Hotel, is an alt-country collection of twelve songs, each said to be based upon a real story which Gibbons felt an impulse to tell, and the Buffalo Hotel in question is really a symbolic representation of the spirit of these recording sessions. The album will be a treat for fans of the California country-tinged folk of acts like Jackson Browne and The Byrds, and Gibbons’ soulful, earthy vocals lend an authenticity to songs coated in a thick layer of dusty Americana.
Some of the songs are earnest and romantic like the superbly soulful “Back To You,” in which Gibbons croons in a style similar to Nick Lowe’s most recent albums; and others such as “Me and Buffalo Bill” are circuitously interested in the mythology of America that fascinates so many folk singers. The backing vocals of The Sojourners add a warmness and an inviting quality to the tracks, adding to the proceedings a subconscious tie to the mystical qualities of the Southern Gothic. Gibbons deftly co-produced the album with John McArthur Ellis, and regardless of whether the country he sings about was ever a reality, Buffalo Hotel succeeds in crafting its own American myths.
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