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Friday, January 26, 2018 8p
With Kerri Powers
Infinity Music Hall
20 W. Greenwoods Road (Rt. 44), Norfolk, CT
The Art of Storytelling
Vance Gilbert Works His Magic at the Historic Infinity Hall
His reputation precedes him. But that’s no reason to let an opportunity to see Vance Gilbert pass you by! Fresh off a tour of Australia, Vance has for some time now been a major mover of the singer-songwriter scene. His penchant for storytelling, mingled with his terrific sense of humor makes a Gilbert gig a lively event indeed. And, oh by the way, if you’ve heard the man’s latest album, Nearness of You—or any of his albums for that matter—you know he can sing.
Gilbert was born and raised in the Philly area and he started his career in Boston aspiring to be a jazz singer. But things happened, and he soon found himself in the warm embrace of the singer-songwriter world, opening for folks like Shawn Colvin and later comedians George Carlin and Paul Reiser. One of those shows, in Dallas, earned him some good press from the local paper: “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener.” Of course, that was ages ago. But the fact is, Gilbert has only gotten to be a more engaging performer, with beautiful, worldly stories, finely honed guitar technique, and a voice that delivers.
Over two decades-plus in the music business, Vance has produced a healthy helping of great recordings, including the widely raved about BaD Dog Buffet. Old White Men hit the Top 10 on the Folk DJ chart on its release and Unfamiliar Moon landed in the Boston Globe’s Top 10 Records of the Year upon its release in 2005. Perhaps most importantly for the purposes of this particular press release is the fact that Vance’s live album, Somerville Live, issued in 2000, was described by the Boston Globe as a work “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams.” And we haven’t even talked about Nearness of You, which features Vance singing stripped down versions of 14 of his jazz faves.
Vance’s upcoming gig at Infinity Hall will be reliably memorable. His show is entertaining, his stories are by turns funny and poignant, and his music, above all, is well worth hearing.
Your favorite artist will be busy next month.
Check the links below to get the information on how to get your tickets!
Beth and her husband, Perry Stein, run Ethical Brew, a series of roots (or folk) concerts run out of the Ethical Culture Society in Teaneck. The series is, in their words, “a quality blend of live music and social action.” The Steins became involved in the concerts because of their love of music and a family history of social activism. “It was a fluke,” Perry said in a recent interview. “We go to a lot of concerts as fans.”
One series they attended on a regular basis, Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, combined music and charity. Those concerts were run by a group of young progressives and, Perry said, it “looked like a very familiar place,” similar “to the culture at Ethical Culture,” where the Steins are members. It was here that fate intervened. At an earlier concert, they’d placed themselves on the mailing list of folk singer/song writer Vance Gilbert; they got an eblast from him, saying that he was thinking about doing a few house concerts.
The Steins wrote to Mr. Gilbert to see if he’d be willing to come to Teaneck to do “a large house concert,” and he said yes. They got the Ethical Culture board to let them use the organization’s facility. And they were in business. Their first concert, in January, 2013, “was a sell out,” with the Bergen County Sanctuary Coalition as the charity of record. “It was a big success and we had so much fun doing it,” Beth said. Although it was supposed to be a one-off, “we felt good about it,” Perry added. “We asked ourselves why don’t we start doing this on a regular basis.” “It combined two things we’re about: music and social action,” Beth said.
If you’e interested in seeing Vance Gilbert live, he will be playing four shows later this week
To read the full article, click here
Last spring, it was announced that the long-running UU Coffeehouse folk and acoustic music concert series hosted by the Unitarian Universalist congregation would not continue. But apparently there was enough support for it that organizers have arranged to move it to the Tree Of Life synagogue on North Trenholm Drive, renaming it the TOL Coffeehouse Series.
Over nearly two decades, the concerts in their original form presented national touring musicians, mostly in the folk realm, and brought both well-known artists and new faces from Tom Russell to The Honey Dewdrops, The Kennedys, Dayna Kurtz, and many more.
The first season as TOL Coffeehouse offers a lineup very similar to the last few years, however, with Jack Williams (Jan. 6), Harpeth Rising (Mar. 17), and Vance Gilbert (April 21) also on the calendar.
The biggest change may be more on the culinary front. TOL has partnered with Groucho’s Deli to offer optional, additional-charge food options, meaning one can now make the coffeehouse an opportunity for a dinner and a show, possibly widening its appeal outside diehard folk fans.