SARANAC LAKE — World-renowned bluegrass band the Gibson Brothers will perform like North Country audiences have never seen them before — with electric guitars and drums — as they headline First Night Saranac Lake on New Year’s Eve.

Since 2006, First Night Saranac Lake has been ringing in each new year with an all-ages celebration of the arts in the Adirondack Mountains.

It features 18 performers at nine venues, mostly within easy walking distance from each other in downtown Saranac Lake. The event goes from 6 p.m. to midnight, ending with a unique "snowflake drop" and fireworks.

Performers include kids acts, comedy and a wide range of music.




The Gibson Brothers are one of America’s favorite bluegrass bands — and in the North Country, one of the favorite artists of any kind.

Brothers Eric and Leigh Gibson, who grew up in Ellenburg Depot, began performing as teenagers in the 1980s and recorded the first of their 14 albums in the early 1990s.

In 2017, their album "In the Ground" was No. 1 on Bluegrass Unlimited's National Survey for five consecutive months.

Among their numerous awards, the Gibson Brothers were named 2013 Entertainers of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Awards World of Bluegrass 24th-annual Awards Show in Raleigh, N.C. for the second year in a row.

Also in 2013, they won Vocal Group of the Year, Song of the Year ("They Called It Music"), and Eric was named the Songwriter of the Year.

In 2012, along with being the first brother duo to win Entertainers of the Year, they also snagged the “Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year” award for “Singing As We Rise.”

Together, the brothers hosted the 2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards.



Eric and Leigh picked up electric guitars on their new record, “Mockingbird,” which veers into 1970s-era country and rock.

It was produced by Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys, The Arcs) and was released Nov. 9. Their First Night concert will be with the “Mockingbird” band.

The band headlined Saranac Lake’s first First Night on Dec. 31, 2006, the fourth First Night in 2009, and now the 13th.

They will perform two 45-minute sets at the Harrietstown Town Hall, starting at 10 and 11 p.m.



A First Night admission button for adults (19 and older) costs $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show. A teen button costs $10, and children 12 and under are admitted free of charge.

Find the full First Night schedule, performer bios, and donation and volunteer opportunities at

First Night Saranac Lake is on Instagram at @firstnight_saranaclake, Facebook at FirstNightSL and Twitter at @FirstNightSL.


— Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.


The Gibson Brothers (bluegrass/country).

The Big Takeover (reggae).

Phil Wiggins and George Kilby Jr. (blues).

The Brother Brothers (Americana).

Moody McCarthy (stand-up comedy).

Alakazam, the Human Knot (contortionist).

Miss Tess and the Talkbacks (rockabilly).

Ouluska Pass Chamber Music Ensemble (classical).

Completely Stranded (improv comedy).

Crackin Foxy (swing jazz).

High Peaks Opera.

Famous Letter Writer (indie-pop).

Eddy and Kim Lawrence (folk).

Maria Zemantauski (flamenco).

LoonWorks (family comedy and balloons).

The Rustic Riders (family folk).

Steve Langdon and Addison Bickford (blues).