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Country rocker Joel Gibson Jr. releases new album, embarks on tour

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Local country rocker Joel Gibson Jr. stays busy. 

If COVID-19 slowed Gibson down at all, it was practically imperceptible. Gibson got creative during the pandemic, performing on boats, from socially-distanced pickup trucks, online — anywhere he could find an audience during lockdowns. But now, with COVID firmly in the rearview mirror, he’s taking things to the next level.

“We didn’t really skip a beat,” Gibson said of his team’s reaction to the pandemic and the accompanying restrictions on live performances. “If anything, it kept us sharp when everybody else kind of dropped off.” 

Gibson said he had a lot of inspiration coming out of the pandemic, which culminated in his new album “Eclectic Outlaw,” which recently debuted with back-to-back album release shows at Clearwater Casino.

“If you ever come to one of our shows, we kind of go all over the map,” Gibson said. “And so I really wanted to take my influences and arrange an album of songs with genre-spanning influences.”

To celebrate the release of the new album and the upcoming tour, Gibson partnered with Rainy Daze Brewery in Poulsbo to release an IPA, and with Olalla Vineyard & Winery to release a Malbec.

“This community really helps each other out,” Gibson said. “So when we went to Rainy Daze, I was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got this album coming out … we’re really proud of this artwork, and I think this is really cool. … What would you think about pairing up with us and … collabing to make a beer? And he’s like, ‘Are you serious? … let’s do it.!'”

“It was awesome,” he continued. “And I love that … people that haven’t heard of us are going to drink this beer and then they’ve got the QR code and they can look us up, and we’re going to bring people to the brewery through our music. It’s a win-win.”

As for the Malbec from Olalla Winery, Gibson says the bottle “just looks beautiful … even if it wasn’t mine, it’s eye-catching. When you see it, you’re like, ‘Wow, I want to buy this and it’s going to be great.’”

Gibson is also embarking on the largest tour of his career, already in full swing, to promote the new album.

“We’re super excited,” Gibson said, noting that this is the band’s first “official” tour taking place off the back of an album release. And the tour dates listed on Gibson’s website represent phase one of the tour, with more dates to come. “There were so many, we had to split it in half throughout the summer,” he said.

What’s next for Gibson? Maintaining the current momentum, then taking things to the next level. “We’re trying to expand and really stay on the road,” he said. 

He and the band already have shows lined up in 2025 and more keep coming in, he said. And they spent a “decent amount” of money getting the new album out to more than 4,000 radio stations. 

“We’re really trying to get that next-level notice from whatever it may be: agent, talent scout, artist development, publishing — because we own all our own publishing, but getting a publishing deal would be cool, too. But whatever we can do to take this full-time — even more full-time than we already are — and then we’d love to get on tour with a bigger act and stay on the road.”

Joel Gibson, “Eclectic Outlaw”

Gibson’s new album “Eclectic Outlaw” is streaming now on all major music streaming platforms; CDs and vinyl records are available on Gibson’s website.

Eclectic Outlaw Tour

Upcoming local dates:

Get full tour dates and other information on Joel Gibson Jr.’s website or Gibson’s Facebook page.

Steven Wyble

Steven Wyble is an award-winning journalist who has written for both daily and weekly newspapers.

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