Henry 'Gip' Gipson

10. 9 .19

By Leigh Ann

I've always heard that you don't realize the impact someone can have on a community, on yourself and in the world until they are no longer here. That is what the state of Alabama is feeling at the moment with the loss of Mr. Henry 'Gip' Gipson.

I can't begin to tell you how fortunate I am to have not only met him and spoken with him a few times but also have had the opportunity to photograph him and partake with the 'Gips' Blues Juke Joint during the times my husband had played there.

I've always heard that there are very few juke joints left and Gips was one of the few remaining.. Unfortunately, this is a dying generation as newer generations either move off or loose interest.. or it becomes so commercialized that it looses it's authenticity.

This was what made Gips so amazing to experience. It was in the back yard of his house.. A Garage built out of tin, no heat, no running water.. a fire to keep you warm in the winter and a fan to keep you cool on a hot summer's night.

Even though Gip is no longer with us, I know without a doubt, that he impacted and influenced a generation of many. It brought a community together.. and that doesn't happen too often these days.

I hear that there will still be shows held at Gip's Place and I do plan to revisit when Gary performs there next month. I know deep in my heart that Mr. Gip was the heart and soul of this juke joint and with him gone , a huge part of what made 'Gips' will be missing!

Hopefully, his legacy will continue to live on for many years to come as the sounds of slide guitar can be heard from this quaint juke joint on a Friday night..

I believe his memory will live on as long as there is fellowship and music to be found there!