Uptown Saturday Night
By the 1980s, no longer encumbered by the problems which had plagued him for so long, Bob Gibson found himself settling comfortably into the role of one of folk's elder statesmen. The glory days, stardom, and long stretches on the road were but a distant memory. Still, this venerable artist was not through yet. He was in a happy and productive place in life and eager to get on with a variety of pursuits. He become a homeowner in the gritty and diverse north side Chicago neighborhood known as Uptown and ran his own chili parlor and music room, Hobson's Choice. He toured as a trio, Best of Friends, with old friend, Tom Paxton, and newer friend, Anne Hills, who was also the executive producer of this album. He wrote and performed in a play, The Courtship of Carl Sandburg, again with Anne Hills. He taught classes and conducted songwriting workshops. He became immersed in a variety of children's music projects including the Emmy nominated Flying Whales and Peacock Tales television show, recorded A Child's Happy Birthday Album and appeared in concert as "Uncle Bob". All the while he continued writing and performing the music which was central to his life. The title track, Uptown Saturday Night, paints a true-to-life picture of the colorful characters in his newly adopted neighborhood. In a song of healing, written for The Courtship of Carl Sandburg, Bob chronicles a profound moment in American history as the Civil War ends with Lee's surrender and Lincoln proclaims, Let the Band Play Dixie. In the early '70s Bob, along with fellow members of a drug rehab program, wrote Pilgrim of My Mind. Years later that song gave rise to Pilgrim, which became an unofficial anthem for Alcoholics Anonymous. Bob's playful nature shines through on Tom Cattin' Time and Shel Silverstein's Tequila Sheila, as well as the sardonic Bein' on the Road. When Bob came up with a banjo piece but no words, he sent a tape to Tom Paxton who caught a lyric. The result was the exceptional And Lovin' You. Unrequited love songs have always been a big part of the Gibson repertoire. The Rest of the Night and Baby, If You Don't Know Now are vintage Gibson/Silverstein collaborations. And Bob considered Lookin' for the You in Someone New to be one of his best songs ever. Bob Gibson always said his favorite song was the last one - and his favorite recording was the next one. As for us, we like them all. We're sure you will, too. BIO Bob Gibson revitalized Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, introduced Day-o and wrote Abilene and Well, Well, Well, songs which have all become an intrinsic part of American folk music repertoire. He popularized the 12-string guitar, banjo and folk music in general, recorded more than 20 albums and performed coast-to-coast. His musical legacy lives on through the many musicians he mentored (Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and David Crosby), the writers he introduced (Shel Silverstein, Tom Paxton) and the generations of banjo players, guitarists and troubadours who keep his music alive by making it their own (Roger McGuinn, Josh White, Jr. and troubadours the world over).