Iron & Diamonds
Baseball and bluegrass, miners and ballplayers. With their fourth album, the Gibson Brothers create metaphors grounded in the golden harmonies of bluegrass. They tell a timeless throw-back story of baseball’s beginnings and offer a roll call of the righteous roots of bluegrass. Iron & Diamonds mixes folk-gospel storytelling from the miner’s perspective with sandlot imagery about relationships, faith, and politics.
Even if steroids, timed sports, and internet-driven short attention spans cut the importance of and steal America’s game from itself, this album digs deep into the reasons why sports and rock and roll education deserve twelve songs with no frills or unnecessary embellishments.
Iron & Diamonds sounds and feels timeless, like it could’ve been recorded by the miners/ballplayers that Gibson Brothers sing about. The perspective bounces back and forth from the mining town to present day and digs up pain, joy, and fear without overlooking the gems (except for a few missed grounders in the middle innings).
The live mic recording puts the Brothers’ golden harmonies up front with the fiddle, bass, and mandolin. They lead the way around-the-horn from the Tom Petty cover “Cabin Down Below” through the closer “Gone Home” which ponders Earth’s final ninety feet. It’s bluegrass at its finest — sounding as crisp as the pop of the glove and the crack of the bat. They’re the sounds I’ve been waiting for all winter.
Gibson Brothers: www.gibsonbrothers.com