When Carly Gibson and BJ Wilbanks first began collaborating musically during the summer of 2011, it was like milk chocolate meeting peanut butter…a beautiful and tasty combination! Up to that point, they had each been pursuing separate solo singer/songwriter careers, but something truly magical took place when they began writing and performing together.
Carly Gibson gained a lot of attention as a songwriter, singer and guitar player when she was selected to attend the GRAMMY guitar and songwriter camps in Los Angeles, designed to allow talented young artists the opportunity to work, learn and play with the music industry’s top professionals. Now a 2013 graduate from Atlanta Institute of Music’s acclaimed guitar program, Carly is what you would call a triple threat: she not only composes soulful and sophisticated music, she also sings beautifully and plays a mean acoustic guitar. In addition, she has earned a substantial reputation for her skill on electric guitar, having performed for a period of time as a lead guitarist with mentor, Caroline Aiken. Though youthful, Carly sports an old soul; her dedication to her art is readily apparent in her performance.
Calhoun, GA native B.J. Wilbanks creates blues-infused music reminiscent of a bygone era, combining deeply-rooted Delta blues, country, funk, soul, and acoustic Southern rock to create a sound that is familiar, yet uniquely his own. His heartwarming tales of heartache, love, and home combine artfully with an engaging live performance that, in one moment can sit you back in your chair and in the next, rock you right back out of it! Wilbanks crafts his distinctive sound with his acoustic guitar, often accompanied by finger slide or harmonica. His original songs range from break-your-heart romantic to stomp-your-foot grooving, merging back-porch soul rhythm with a gospel vocal overtone and a slanky, steady beat. He’ll often sling his guitar over his lap to play a slide tune that evokes the image of old field working men and chase it with a contrasting tune filled with sweet strumming, gentle singing and smooth picking.
Together as Gibson Wilbanks, these two have been called “Gregg Allman meets Bonnie Raitt.” They have combined their considerable songwriting and musical skills to create the unique and popular Southern bluesy sound that helped them to win the coveted songwriter’s open mic competitions at Eddie’s Attic in December of 2011 and in November of 2013 at Eddie Owen Presents @ Red Clay Theatre. Whenever possible they perform as a full band with bass and percussion. Think Gregg Allman meets Bonnie Raitt meets Michael Hedges with a dash of Al Green–in short, an entertaining and joyful experience not to be missed!
- Opened for: Michael Tolcher, Jack Williams, Donna Hopkins, Caroline Aiken, Diane Durrett, Grayson Capps and the Lost Cause Minstrels, Copious Jones, Ralph Roddenbery, Randall Bramblett, Katharine Cole, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds, Webb Wilder
- Festivals performed at: Hemlock Fest, Tallulah Fest, Decatur Green Fest, T-Dawg’s Back Porch Hootenanny, Springfest (as special guests of the Donna Hopkins Band in 2012), WideSpread Camping, Brookhaven Arts Festival
- Venues performed at: Vinyl – Center Stage, Red Clay Theatre, The Crimson Moon, Ragamuffin Music Hall, Smith’s Olde Bar, Eddie’s Attic, Grant Street Music Room, Wayfarer Music Hall, Music On Main Street, Athens Holiday House, Firefly, Hungry Ear Coffee House, Roux On Canton, Red Light Cafe, WREK Atlanta 9.1 FM, Common Grounds Coffee House, Moonshadow Tavern, Steve’s Live Music, Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, The Melting Point, Matilda’s Music Under the Pines
- Awards: won Eddie’s Attic Songwriter’s Open Mic competition on December 19, 2011; won Eddie Owen Presents @ Red Clay Theatre’s Songwriter’s Open Mic competition on November 18, 2013