Claudia Gibson
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Claudia Gibson

Wimberley, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Wimberley, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Folk Americana




"18th Annual Southwest Regional Folk Alliance – Austin, TX – Review"

Several of the other amazing acts the HMR team found worthy of an honorable mention were Langham and Gill for their creativity and steadfast traditional folk stylings, George Ensle for resurrecting the cosmic cowboy spirit, Eric Gerber for his country blues and down home lyrics, Christina Cavazos for writing songs with and old soul well beyond her 17 years, Mia Rose Lynne for opening her heart to the crowd, and Claudia Gibson for her beautiful voice and thoughtful lyrics. - Houston Music Review

"Step By Step by Claudia Gibson"

Claudia Gibson stands as one of the finest Americana/Folk artists in the Texas Hill Country and her album, Step by Step only helps to exemplify that fact. The dulcet tones of her voice mixed with the masterful instrumentation and background vocals show us that her studio work is just as impressive as her live performances. The lyrics pull you in and surround you with her personal insights on life, love, and her musical journey.

Claudia has always been a songwriter since she started performing at the age of 16, however, she set aside writing and performing as a career to raise her three children. Working several different jobs during this time, she never stopped writing and playing for her friends and family. Twenty-five years later, her children are making their way in the world, while their mother is now free to pursue her musical vocation, and she does it in spades.

Step by Step was released in 2016, so this may be a little late for a review, but the music itself makes it worth it. Since it’s release, she has received recognition and rewards for it’s brilliant interpretation of the genre. In fact, she was awarded two very important accolades here in Texas, both from this year. She was the winner of the Woody Guthrie Songwriter’s Contest for her single, “Dreamers,” and is a featured songwriter at the Dripping Springs Songwriter’s Festival. It all started with this wonderful debut album.

Step by Step – The title track of this album is one of the best expressions of Claudia’s personal life. The lyrics themselves refer to the life that everyone who has been in love for the long haul has felt. You laugh a little and cry a little, but ultimately, it’s about making the journey together. The use of the rhythm guitar and percussion make the 4/4-time light and playful rather than plodding, and the organ provides a clear backdrop of beauty. While carrying the same tone in the lyrics, her next track shows us the diversity in her music itself.

Real Love – This song asks the question that musicians have asked for millennia: how do you find real love? Real love, as defined in this song, is one that “lasts a lifetime” and “grows strong and entwined.” Already her lyrics are proving her mastery of this style of music, and the arrangement of the accordion on top of the counterpoint provided by the banjo is moving and dynamic. If you don’t find yourself asking this question by the end of the track, you haven’t been paying attention.

Cleveland, Ohio – A ballad always tells a story and is wrought with emotion, and Claudia makes no exception. This song also incorporates the accordion, but it’s counterpoint seems to answer the wailing felt in the soul of the storyteller. The lyrics tell of a world that is going on about it’s business despite the stopping of the personal world of the singer. The song of loss is typical of a breakup song, until the gut punch at the end that will leave the listener in tears. This lyrical masterpiece is a testament to Claudia’s ability to make her audience feel every heart wrenching moment that one in a state of loss would experience, and requires a second listen to fully understand. However, because of the beauty of this track, you want to listen to it several times over.

End of Days – Picking up from the saddened tone of the last track, the rhythm picks up and the organ makes a triumphant return along with a slide guitar. While musically following a verse/chorus structure, the lyrics are what make this song truly dynamic as no two phrases are exactly alike. The song takes a look at how some disasters such as Noah’s flood may have been perceived as “end of days” but how hope eventually won out in the end. The final verse brings everything together with the singer expressing that their relationship is about to end, but, given the previous examples, will this be the “end of days” for them, or is there hope for the future? The listener is then left to form their own conclusions. This song has a similar feeling in the music as the next track, but the content of both is very different.

Anthony’s Tune – This is dedication song to a young man who lost his life. Again, the lyrics take center stage here, with only Claudia, her guitar, and percussion with no other instruments. The words stand strong, reflecting on the life and personality of Anthony while simultaneously comforting the mother and herself. Finally culminating as a prayer and plead with St. Michael the Archangel who guides the souls of the dead to their final judgment and ultimate entry to heaven. This is a beautiful dedication to a treasured life that will always be remembered.

Terms of the Bargain – The organ makes another droning appearance peppered with tinkling from a piano and the steady bop of a bongo in this exploration of existential musings. This is also the first appearance of a vocal melisma that are prevalent all through modern pop music, but is applied very artistically here. This song reflects a mother singing her child to sleep to find the answers to life’s persistent questions like “What happens to our memories when we die?” The lyrics also go on to describe the musician as a child and how they are still trying to find the answers that currently plague their offspring. Another lyrical masterpiece.

Trouble – This is the Guild’s personal favorite track. With a steady beat and playful lyrics, this song comes off as “dark gospel.” The organ provides the church feel, and the lyrics tell the story of how the singer is struggling with her own personal demons. All week, she almost gets what she wants, but quickly realizes that all good things come with the bad. She begs God for help, but nothing seems to change, even when a light appears during her week. Trouble is the perfect title for this song, and we can all relate. Mixed beautifully with the background music, this track has the potential to be a huge hit.

Love’s Sweet and Sheltered Sleep – Most of this song is just Claudia and her guitar in an intimate setting. Like the majority of her live performances, there is just her and her audience. The most organic track on the album, this song is the perfect ending to it, both in lyrics and in tone. The lyrics speak of undying dedication to the one she loves, and how she would do anything just to lie next to them. With a similar feel in the lyrics to the first track, “Step by Step,” the singer is determined to walk this path together with their romantic partner, feeling along the way and figuring out the hazards in the road they may encounter. The entire album ends on the sweetest guitar riff heard on it.

Claudia Gibson has earned her place as one of Americana’s finest artists, and the praises her critics sing of her are well deserved. This is an artist to watch as she performs all around central Texas. - American Bards Guild




Recorded at Texas Treefort Studio, Austin, TX. Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Jim

  1. Step By Step
  2. Real Love
  3. Cleveland Ohio
  4. End of Days Anthony’s Tune
  5. Terms of the Bargain
  6. Trouble
  7. Sweet & Sheltered Sleep

All songs written by
Claudia Gibson ©2016 Bessie Music, BMI All Rights Reserved

MUSICIANS:Claudia Gibson: Guitar,
Vocals; Scott Davis: Bass,
Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Keyboards, Accordion; Richard Millsap: Drums,
Percussion; Gordy Quist: Guitar,
Vocals; Lauren Hunt: Vocals



A 2019 Kerrville New Folk Finalist and winner of the 2018 Woody Guthrie Songwriting Competition for “Dreamers” from her current EP Louisiana Sky, Claudia Gibson writes memorable Folk/Americana songs featuring what the Houston Music Review terms “her beautiful voice and thoughtful lyrics.” Grammy nominated hit songwriter David Lee calls Claudia “a songwriter’s songwriter.” A lifelong singer-songwriter and guitarist, Claudia returned to live performing in 2015, after a long absence spent raising three children. Her first CD, Step By Step, produced by Band of Heathens front man Gordy Quist, made the Roots Music Report’s 2017 Top Americana/Country chart.

Band Members