Sam R Gibson is an Irish singer-songwriter based in Holywood, County Down. Sam has taught in Further Education in Ireland and the Middle East. He spends a lot of time in north-east Donegal where his recent albums - "Seeking The Assassin" and "Hold Up The Sky" - were recorded at Billy Robinson’s GrooveShack Studios, Ramelton. Ramelton features in the video accompanying "The Milford Girl" from "Seeking The Assassin".
Sam says, "I got seriously into songwriting in collaboration with acclaimed Irish feature documentary film-maker and Western songwriter John T Davis, and co-wrote three songs on John’s album, "Indigo Snow". Sam's songs partly reflect an absorption in Americana sources. On the album "Seeking The Assassin", the musical echoes of the border regions of Texas and Mexico are apparent on some of the tracks - complemented by the masterly guitar work of Percy Robinson and also Peadar Coll. "Hold Up The Sky" has a rockier feel in parts and is reflective of the significant contributions of Pat Crowley (keyboards and accordion), and Seamus Devenny (drums, percussion and fiddle).
Sam has recently spoken about his songs on Dublin City FM and The Rock Radio Station Morro Bay California. In an article on songwriting (2016) Sam wrote:
"Listen, listen, listen; to the news, random conversations; travellers’ tales; children’s questions; strange sounds in the night; the sea; the silence. Then tell it like it is. Don’t preach; there is enough of that already in Ireland and in your own country. Give a voice to the marginalised "strung out ones and worse" - where you can. And put a word in for me if you make it big!"
At the 2018 Belnash Songwriters’ Convention in Belfast, visiting American songwriting guru Jason Blume described the immigrant-themed track, "Taking It Back" (from "Hold Up The Sky") as:
“... extremely powerful, striking home its message emotionally without preachiness.”
Trevor Hodgett, Northern Irish music critic and co-author of “Irish Folk Trad and Blues: A Secret History (2005), has described Sam in RocknReel Magazine (2016) as “an exceptional songwriter.”
CP Lee, musician, broadcaster, and author of books on Bob Dylan and the Manchester music scene, has written of the "raw honesty and experience" in Sam’s songs.
Sam would like to record his sincere gratitude to BBC Radio Ulster presenter Cherrie McIlwaine for championing his work, and to Angus Sneddon (videos "Camino Song: Seeking The Assassin", and "The Milford Girl"), Iain Webster (video "Hold Up The Sky"), and to Thomas Gray for his help with a series of YouTube videos.
Sam would also like to record special thanks to Billy Robinson.