Otis Gibbs and Matt Harlan & Rachel Jones

Visited De Spieghel in Groningen last night. They have some terrific concerts there every now and then and when I say that Otis Gibbs was going to perform there, that seemed a great reason to visit the location again.

Matt Harlan & Rachel Jones - click image for full set
Matt Harlan & Rachel Jones – click image for full set

The evening was opened by Matt Harlan & Rachel Jones, a duo hailing from Texas. Good songs that draw you in, great vocals and a very pleasant way to start the evening. Matt’s guitar playing sounds really good. Never overpowering but perfectly accompanying the songs.

Matt Harlan - click image for full set
Matt Harlan – click image for full set

A little while later Otis Gibbs starts his set. Otis introduces his songs with stories that beautifully explain their origins. Gorgeous, moving tales about life. About a wrestler that through his popularity as “the bad guy” was able to end the black & white segregation in wrestling, about how Otis grew up singing songs in bars with the tip-money ending up paying his uncle’s booze bills, about friends and work-mates, former jobs and what nog. About an impressive interesting life in all.

Otis Gibbs – Click image for full set

Subtle guitar playing and a fantastic voice and a huge dose of humor made for a really good concert and the songs felt like a slice of real life. There’s not many photos around this time as we were immediately requested not to take any photos. It’s a shame and the inner photographer in me weeps, but oh well: can’t have it all I guess…