By Alicia Steele, Assistant News Editor
Gearing up for the big time is Murray State’s own Andy Gibson, December graduate from Gilbertsville, Kentucky, who played the Country Thunder circuit with Martina McBride, Parmalee, Kenny Rogers and more.
“The most fun was definitely the Martina McBride show, because her crew and her band are some of the most down-to-earth and welcoming people you could imagine,” Gibson said.
Recently earning a degree in business management, Gibson said he plans to use the skills learned from his degree but won’t necessarily be using the degree itself to further his music career.
“I’m going to be looking for pretty much any avenue for a career in the industry,” Gibson said.
He said he was 10 years old when he picked up his first guitar.
“It was kind of an immediate thing where it kind of clicked with me,” Gibson said. “It was one of those moments where you pick something up and you just know that this is what you’re meant to do. This is it, the answer to any question you’ll ever have.”
He said his father, uncle, grandmother and grandfather all introduced him to music and they created an environment in which he was always around it.
“My first guitar was a Christmas present from my parents,” Gibson said.
He said the guitar sat in his room for a while until he decided to begin playing, and that’s when it clicked.
“It’s like my grandmother used to say, ‘nothing happens for no reason,’” Gibson said. “Nothing is a coincidence.”
He said in his personal work he plays in his band, The Andy Gibson Trio, which consists of himself, a drummer – Dylan Crutcher – and a bass player – Don Gustofson.
“We’ve been together in a bunch of different forms since I was in high school,” Gibson said. “Now it’s more of a vehicle for my solo work – as far as songwriting – instead of just a cover band.”
In his solo work – which includes opening for artists and traveling on the road – he said he plays with Brad Morgan, who he met by responding to Morgan’s Facebook post in a group called ‘Nashville Gig Finder.’
Gibson said the Facebook group consists of about 12,000 people who post ads when they need musicians, and he happened to find the post asking for a lead guitarist.
“The next week, I met him in Nashville and later rehearsed with a band of guys I had never met,” Gibson said. “A few weeks later, I played for the third time ever with these guys in front of 3,000 people opening for Parmalee.”
He said shows like Parmalee have taught him lessons that he is able to apply to his band, such as how to conduct yourself on stage, how to connect with the audience and what to eat while on the road.
“A lot of fast food is not good,” Gibson said. “We try to stop at a lot of locally-owned places in whatever town we’re in. We try to avoid the chains.”
He said he particularly enjoyed Zipp’s Pizzaria in Des Moines, Iowa, and Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas.
“Both of those were standouts to me,” Gibson said.
He said while on the road he also learned to always keep a shampoo bottle in a ziplock bag.
“I opened my suitcase after a travel day to find it filled with an entire bottle of shampoo,” Gibson said. “At least it smelled good.”
Gibson said in September he released his own album, “Notions,” which was entirely self-written, self-recorded and self-produced.
“Not a single day goes by in my life that I don’t devote time to my career,” Gibson said.