There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Like Johnny Cash and Don Gibson (no relation) before him, singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson pairs a big country baritone with big country emotions. Stepping away from the stoner metal of his former outfit Pearls and Brass, Gibson steeps his solo work in country-western sounds and motifs and adds a patina of ghostliness in the studio. His debut album, All Hell, blends scratchy samples and electronic buzzes with Nashville pathos to create heartache ballads about lonesome nights and working-class struggles. The stuttering vocal chops on “Tiffany Lou” and thick atmosphere of “Rain on the Highway” can make it all sound like Clams Casino producing Dave Dudley, but in the best way possible. His style would come across as typical Brooklyn cultural appropriation were it not for the fact that Gibson has actually logged a few thousand miles as a long-haul truck driver. When he steps onstage at the Black Cat and croons, “I’ve met some bad guys along the way,” you may very well believe him.
Aug. 15 at Black Cat Backstage with Hiss Golden Messenger. $12-$15. blackcatdc.com.