Posts Tagged ‘Old Lost John’

There’s been a change to support at next Monday’s Chris Mills show. Sadly Case Hardin can no longer make it but we’re very happy to have old friend Liam Dullaghan along instead, hell it’s been too long since we saw him anyway. The updated gig preview can be found here.

We’ve updated our You Tube channel today with a few more videos of artists heading our way. One of which is Amelia Curran, tickets for whom are now available here.

If you take a look at the ‘Forthcoming Acts’ links on the right of this page, the link for Stiv Cantarelli now takes you to his Bandcamp page where you can listen to his forthcoming new album ‘Innerstate’, recorded with members of Richmond Fontaine and featuring a Willy Vlautin duet.

In the next few days we’ll have previews coming for our October shows and news on those new dates we promised you. And don’t forget this coming Friday at The Greystones we have Otis Gibbs with support from Old Lost John and Joe Solo. Full details are here.

Read Full Post »

On Friday September 9th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes back the favourite son of Wanamaker, Indiana, USA to Sheffield. Step forward Otis Gibbs for his first show with us at The Greystones. Writer of songs, teller of tales, populist agitator, social dissident, planter of 7000 trees, photographer, musician, iconoclast. A man trying to live decently in an indecent world. Support comes in the form of dark tales from Sweden’s Old Lost John, previously a popular visitor to our stage, and we’re also delighted to welcome along the folk stylings of Joe Solo. Advance tickets priced at £7 are available from WeGotTickets.com ( http://www.wegottickets.com/event/110609 ) and over the bar at The Greystones. Entry on the night will be £9. Doors open 7.45pm for an 8pm start.


Otis Gibbs is a man in search of an honest experience. Some people refer to him as a folk artist, but that is a simplistic way to describe a man who has planted over 7,000 trees, slept in hobo jungles, walked with nomadic shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains, been strip-searched by dirty cops in Detroit, and has an FBI file. Otis has played everywhere from labor rallies in Wisconsin, to anti-war protests in Texas, Austria and the Czech Republic, Feed & Seed Stores in the Midwestern U.S. and in countless, theaters, festivals, bars and living rooms. Much of his work concentrates on the world that is ignored by pop culture. Sometimes forgotten, obsolete or simply marginalized, it is a world that doesn’t fit into a twenty-second sound bite or a White House talking point. Otis has spent the last fifteen years traveling across America and abroad documenting this world, and has a story to share about each stop along the way.

Otis grew up in the rural town of Wanamaker, Indiana. He first stepped on stage at the age of four, when he sang Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train” at a neighborhood honky tonk. While his parents worked countless hours trying to make ends meet, Otis was often in his uncle’s care. Not accustomed to parenthood, the uncle was sometimes bored, so the two would frequent bars, where Otis sang for tip money (which meant more booze for his uncle). Otis was hooked, and would often ask if they could go back and sing some more songs. The answer, “Only if you promise to never tell your parents.”

Otis started working when he was in high school. He stacked concrete blocks, flipped burgers, drove an ice cream truck, pumped gas, and did countless other crummy jobs. After discovering writers like Edward Abbey, Henry Miller and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, he started questioning what he was doing with his life. He was tired of working jobs that didn’t stimulate, or interest him in the least. So, in his own words, he decided to just “drop out.” Over the next four years, Gibbs earned and lived off less than $3,000 a year and had never been happier. He got rid of his car and shared apartments with artists, musicians and radicals (often living with 5 to 10 people). He also took advantage of the free time and wrote hundreds of songs.

The next few years were spent touring and releasing four indie records. The most notable being “49th and Melancholy,” (a stripped-down acoustic record, that was recorded to two-track reel-to-reel in a friend’s laundry room). There was also “Once I Dreamed of Christmas,” a collection of songs he’d written “for people who don’t like Christmas.”

In 2004, his critically acclaimed, “One Day Our Whispers” was released. It was an unpopular time to speak truth to power, but the album’s optimism and anti-war undertones resonated deeply with people who felt uncomfortable with the direction America was heading. Though songs like “I Wanna Change It,” “Thirty-three” and “Ours is the Time” have been described as protest songs, Otis prefers to call them “love songs for young radicals.” “The Peoples Day” was later included in a Wall Street Journal list compiled by Billy Bragg of the “Top Five Songs with Something to Say.” This placed Gibbs in the company of Bob Dylan, The Clash, Sam Cooke, and Chuck Berry.

In 2009, Gibbs released “Grandpa Walked a Picketline.” He spent most of the year touring to support the record, including 4 tours of the UK, Ireland and Holland. The album spent 6 weeks in the top 5 on the Americana Radio Chart (USA), peeking at number 4. It reached number 2 on the Euro Americana Chart.

If Gibbs’ current album, “Joe Hill’s Ashes,” leaves you with one lingering thought, it might be that the great challenge of adulthood, is keeping your idealism once you’ve lost your innocence.

“Where Only The Graves Are Real” describes life after your closest friends have died, moved away, or simply moved on. The song suggests that the only tangible part of the rock and roll myth are the graves. It issues a warning, that you might wake up one day and find yourself surrounded by the delusional, vacuous and beautiful people that inhabit the music world and wonder how in the hell you ended up there.

“When I Was Young” was inspired by a conversation Otis had with friends. Each person was trying to remember the most perfect moment in their life. A moment when they felt completely safe and secure. Otis described his earliest memories of sitting in his mother’s arms with his ear pressed against her chest. He could remember hearing her voice resonating from inside her body as she spoke to him. Otis claims that the song popped into his head and pretty much wrote itself.

“The Town That Killed Kennedy” is an indictment of Greyhound as a means of transportation. This song was written after endless bad experiences while traveling with the bus line. As the lyrics suggest:

No one chooses to ride in a Greyhound
The only reason you’re here is you’re too broke to fly
There’s a devil named poverty who has brought us together
Now the devil is taking us for a ride.

When asked about making this record Otis said, “I’m silly enough to believe that I’m the world’s foremost authority on what an Otis Gibbs record should sound like, so I trusted my instincts and ran with it. There are moments when artists find that they’ve followed their muse off the side of a cliff and they need someone to hand them a parachute. Thomm Jutz was the perfect person for the job. After recording a lot of the album in my home, I contacted Thomm about finishing the rest of the record in his studio. Working with Thomm was like a breath of fresh air. We worked fast and had a good time doing it. We brought in some Nashville-based musicians who elevated the record in every way. From start to finish, the record was pressed and in my hands in less than three months.”

Otis currently resides in East Nashville, Tennessee with his long time girlfriend, Amy Lashley, their dog and two cats.

It’s the perfect mix of wit and gritNo Depression

Gibbs is a Midwesterner with a long beard, a trucker’s hat and and a bag of sharply observed country-rock songs, some far enough to the left side of the political fence to make him a spiritual descendent of Woody Guthrie and brother of Steve Earle.” The Boston Herald

With a proper growl, a lefty sensibility and a well picked acoustic guitar, Otis Gibbs is the Steve Earle of his generation, albeit without the drug history or the divorces.” Americana-uk.com

Official video for the track “Joe Hill’s Ashes”:


Official video for the track “Kansas City”:




Old Lost John is the musical vehicle of singer-songwriter Tomas Thunberg, mainly singing and playing guitar, but also handling mandolin, mandola, bass guitar, harmonica, tin whistle, melodeon and pump organ.

Once a woodsman and a horse-keeper, now resident in the city of Malmo, Sweden, writing and recording his own music. Sparse arrangements with lyrics about fear and desire, love and mistrust. Folk noir perhaps, delivered in stark poetic images both vivid and bleak.

Tomas will be touring the UK in support of his latest record “Bringing Down The Sky”.

heartfelt storytelling at its bestAmericana-UK


***JOE SOLO***

Joe Solo began his musical life playing punk covers in a school band. He discovered folk music through the punk leanings of The Pogues, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and Billy Bragg. Inspired by their songs and stories, Joe hit the road travelling and busking around the UK and Europe. Settling in Hull in the spring of 1991, he formed pop-punk four-piece Lithium Joe. The band toured and recorded independently for the next ten years playing close to four hundred shows around Britain and Ireland. After four singles and two albums they finally split in 2001.Following the band’s demise, Joe returned to his roots, taking with him the attitude and spirit of his days in the band. His tastes had widened too. A love of Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Gillian Welch. “She knocked me flat the way The Clash had done when I was a kid. I had all these different styles buzzing round my head, so I set about trying to mix them. Trying to marry punk, folk and country without treading on tradition.”

A prolific writer, with the aim of “making an album a year until I drop down dead”, Joe’s recent offerings include a thirteen song collection titled “Music From Potter’s Field”, written to soundtrack a First World War based play. Following its release, Joe set up The Potter’s Field Project a blend of songs, stories, poetry and prose and is taking it round schools in a bid to help connect young people to the period. Something which has had him dubbed “The Singing Historian”.

Not only is that bloke a really remarkable singer and songwriter, but I think he has a really amazing attitude and we’ll see a lot more from him in the futureMike Harding, BBC Radio 2
Something as stark and ghastly as WW1 shouldn’t have been capable of producing songs as fragile and beautifulMaverick Magazine
Facebook Event page:
Last.fm Event page:

Read Full Post »