Drew Gibson @ The Hamilton, Washington DC - March 10, 2012.
A brand new club just five blocks from where I live. First impressions of the Hamilton are positive. It is basically a more formal version of the Birchmere with slick seating and a stage and light show that would suit the classiest lounge. There may be a tad less seating than the Birchmere but a lot more than at the Ram's Head in Annapolis. They also have a dance area right in front of the stage which makes for a better environment and sight lines are good.
And they have booked an excellent area folk singer-songwriter to open things up. I saw Drew Gibson with a band at Iota, but tonight it will just be Gibson with acoustic guitar and voice. He tells me this approach is more frequently used. And he easily has the quality songs that work in both formats. His finger-style guitar work is excellent and as I mentioned before in reviews of his live work and album, he can really write some masterful songs at times.
It was a little tricky bringing this to a big stage as this club was a lot noisier than the Birchmere. I felt like I was in the Black Cat or Rock'n'Roll Hotel for a while. Part of the problem was their noisy bar in the back--the Birchmere has their sit down bar in an entirely different room. But Gibson kept the crowd involved easily enough with his quality songs, playing, and irreverently humorous banter.
His style reminds me most of Michael Chapman, although I have a lot more trouble doing folk comparisons. Rock comparisons are much easier as there is too much personality in folk. At least there is plenty of personality for the quality performers such as Drew Gibson. That is evident once again.
First published @ dcrocklive.blogspot.com.
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Drew Gibson (unknown).