Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Singer steps out of Chicks' shadows.(Venue)

Byline: Kevin Hopper FOR THE Journal

"I've been on the verge of tears/ for the better part of a year/ I can't seem to catch my breath ... / if I could only laugh myself to death." Susan Gibson's first solo record, "Chin Up," begins with this morose and hopeless line that doesn't bode well for country music fans used to more uplifting themes (especially from the author of the best-selling country song of all time, the Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces").

But she explains in her most recent press biography, the actual pain that permeates the record isn't her main focus.

"It's pain, but that's not the defining thing," Gibson says. "The defining thing is the healing or the methods we all use to get over that stuff. …

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