Shannon Gibson — mother of Eric and Leigh Gibson — sits on a couch with her dog, Finnegan, after watching her sons win several International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards Sept. 26 on the Bluegrass Today website. The ceremony was streamed live from Raleigh, N.C. Standing behind her is daughter, Erin Gibson LaClair, who was texting friends and family with news that her brothers had just won the IBMA Entertainer of the Year award for the second year in a row. At right is Shannon’s sister, Molly Begor, of Rouses Point. They watched the show at Erin's house in Ellenburg.
Photo by Andy Flynn.
continued “Wow,” Eric said. “I don’t know what to say because I’m not used to hearing him say anything nice about me.”
“I meant to add,” Leigh said, “that I wouldn’t sound so good if he wasn’t singing with me.”
During their acceptance speech for the third award — Song of the Year for “They Called It Music” — Eric invited co-writer Joe Newberry to the stage to talk briefly about the song. Newberry said the idea came from a conversation he had with an old-time picker in the North Carolina mountains. He was curious about the music.
“I said, ‘Do you call this bluegrass? Do you call it country? What do you call it?’” Newberry said. “I’ve heard people ask this before. But I came upon this guy and he looked at me like I had two heads. And he said, ‘Son, we called it music.’ Eric and I were talking about it, and before you know it, it was a song.”
Newberry said it was a thrill to receive the award in his hometown.
Yet Gibson Brothers fans — including those in the LaClair household — were still waiting for the final award of the night — the big prize — Entertainer of the Year, an honor the boys won in 2012. Leigh had called it a fluke and predicted it would never happen again.
He was wrong.
With 14 minutes left in the show, Doyle Lawson and Claire Lynch took the podium to announce the Entertainer of the Year award. They were up against some heavy hitters: Balsam Range, Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent and The Del McCoury Band. After reading the nominations, Lynch began opening the envelope.
“And the award goes to,” Lynch said, “Oh, my gosh, what a privilege.”
“Ladies first,” Lawson said.
“Yes, the Gibson Brothers,” Lynch said as the producers played “They Called It Music” and band members piled on stage for the third time that evening.