The upside of discovering a show like Otis Gibbs’ Thanks For Giving a Damn after it has been around for a while is that you begin with an incredible wealth of older content to explore in between new episodes. In the case of Thanks for Giving a Damn – published weekly since October of last year, already 46 episodes deep – this means binging on thirty or forty minute chats with a head-spinning array of American roots music luminaries like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier, Chuck Mead, Hayes Carll, Slaid Cleaves, Martie Maguire, Todd Snider, and Peter Cooper.
The format is dead simple: After a quick road story and introduction, Gibbs connects with that week’s guest somewhere at home or on the road. The next half hour features Gibbs’ hearty laugh and occasional interjections, but is presented mostly as an extended monologue by the guest. The questions from Gibbs are generally edited out, leaving us to imagine how it is that he’s able to get such new information and refreshing candor out of folks so accustomed to run-of-the-mill press interviews. The secret, as likely as not, is that Gibbs himself is an immensely gifted songwriter and musician – not a journalist or media personality – and so the whole thing has the feel of ‘honest conversation among equals’ rather than press junket or dental exam.
It’s like the Inside the Actors Studio of Americana. Not to be missed.
(If you don’t use iTunes, you can still browse all the episodes on Otis Gibbs’ website.)