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Getting To Know Carly Gibson

Posted on 4 m read
Written by Carly Gibson

Did you have any great fan experiences seeing or meeting a band?

I’ve had the opportunity to meet many amazing musicians over the years. Lots of memorable and profound ones, but the one that felt the biggest to me was meeting Grace Potter just a couple years ago. I was able to go back stage with my duet partner Hannah Zale and hang out with her and her band after their show at The Georgia Theater in Athens, GA. She has been one of my biggest singer/songwriter idols and influences since I was a teenager. She’s one of those artists I would take the time to dissect and learn a handful of her songs at a time.  It felt so comfortable and easy to talk to her. I thought meeting someone that profound to me would make me awkward and starstruck — though somehow I didn’t feel that way. She was so personable and wonderful; full of charisma, fire, authenticity, and love. It felt like a dream that I got to hang and party with her and the band for an hour or so, haha. Such an amazing time with amazing people. It was a very special experience, especially getting to share it with my band mate who is also my best friend.

Was there an album that you felt shaped you when you were younger, or an album that inspired you to get into music yourself?

There were so many stages of development and building blocks of inspiration, so in a way, each stage had it’s own set of albums. Early on, as a small child, I remember my parents playing Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Greatest Hits, Indigo Girls, The Beatles “Abbey Road,” and various Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Hendrix, Steve Miller, Heart, and Grateful Dead albums in the house. These sounds were steeped into my being without any personal choice, haha. I’m so grateful for that though; the music is a part of me. As I got a little older in elementary school and was really feeling the pure pressures of popular music, I was hella into Brittney Spears, Nsync, Christina Aguilera, and so on….’CAUSE MY BODY COULDN’T DENY THOSE SICK BEATS AND DANCE MOVES. Still can’t, haha. My pop phase started to gradually shift toward more singer/songwriter. I remember getting Norah Jones’s “Come Away” and Michelle Branch’s  “The Spirit Room,” and those two albums inspired my urge to sing and write my own songs. I would play those albums on repeat. Just hoping and wishing I could be like them one day.
Fast forward to 12 and 13 year old, I started playing guitar and suddenly had all these angry and anxious teen feelings take over. I was a total and complete rock n’ roll freak. OBSESSED with anything AC/DC. I would play “Back in Black” almost every single morning to get pumped up and release steam before going on to the hell that was middle school. My room was decorated with AC/DC posters- – on top of posters I would make myself. I took it pretty far, haha. It’s what I needed to stay sane.

When high school came around, I became even more obsessed with the rock n’ roll, though as I grew and progressed with the guitar and singing, the Blues took over. I fell back into Hendrix and Stevie Ray, which (and what felt random at the time) led me to John Mayer. John’s early stuff was too popular and sensitive for my angsty heart at the time — BUT THEN I FOUND “John Mayer Trio” and that blew my mind and seriously got my attention as a guitarist and singer/songwriter. I bought his other album, “Continuum,” which was a HUGE experience and inspiration for me. That lit the fire under my ass to practice a ton more. I also connected with Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” and Paula Cole’s “This Fire.” Angry chick music was imperative. Later in high school I was writing more than ever and stumbled across Grace Potter and The Nocturnals’ “This is Somewhere” and “Nothing But The Water” albums…I couldn’t stop listening to them. 

Do you have any uplifting stories you’d share with music fans who feel like it’s “not cool” or embarrassing to be a diehard music fan?

Like I mentioned in the last answer, I was totally obsessed with rock n’ roll in high school– especially AC/DC. I remember feeling like I had to literally wear it on my sleeve. I made a point to only wear band t-shirts and to be able to name the title and artist of every single song that came on the classic rock radio station. The identity of being a guitarist and rock head was the most important thing to convey and express. I wanted EVERYONE to know when they looked at me (’cause when you’re 13-14, how you look to your peers matters THE most) to know, in hopes to attract more like-minded freaks like me, haha.
Other girls my age weren’t into the music I was, or played a rock band instrument, so I felt like I had to try extra hard to get the boys’ attention. Growing up in my Southern suburban town, the boys seemed to be the only ones who had similar interests in music…but man were they dense. I needed the rock identity to feel safe and confident. Of course looking back on that now, I realize just how desperate and lame I was…which comes with that tender, miserable age.

Check out Carly Gibson’s new track “Love Me” below!


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