11.22.19 World Cafe PR
Listen: Ain’t Misbehavin’
Mixed Media Client since: 2014
The Art of Storytelling
Vance Gilbert Works His Magic at
World Cafe Live
“If Joni Mitchell and Richie Havens had a love child, with Rodney Dangerfield as the midwife, the results might be something close to the great Vance Gilbert“, says Richmond Magazine
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Word spread like wildfire about Gilbert’s stage-owning singing and playing, compelling Shawn Colvin to invite him to be special guest on her 1992 Fat City tour, where he took much of America by storm and by surprise. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god..” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after a show on that tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 14 albums, including 5 for Philo/Rounder Records. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, and Southside Johnny, the mid 2000’s found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser, the Milk Carton Kids, and the Subdudes, along with his own busy acoustic music making schedule.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, his soon to be released record The Day Before November (mid 2019) features an eclectic roster of musical types including rocker Mike Posner, Celtic harpist Aine Minough, bluesman Chris Smither, and Al Green’s organist Stacey Wade. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
“Vance Gilbert is a living legend who has opened for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Shawn Colvin and comedian George Carlin. Gilbert’s jazz-inflected folk guitar features sophisticated melodies and meticulous solo arrangements. Lean back into his chops and admire the pairing of melodic inversions with Gilbert’s storyteller’s eye.” — Ethan Fogus
“I can throat sing like a Tuvan when I’m warmed up. I can imitate Billie Holiday. I write songs people think are unrecorded Richard Thompson tracks. I have tunes often mistaken for Gershwin or Harold Arlen. I can make you laugh, cry, and pee depending on where you are in my show. Simultaneously.
This is my time. I’ve was homeless for 4 years as a teen, on the run from violent, alcoholic parents. I’ve been kicked off of airplanes for reading a book about airplanes, I’ve been a tennis instructor, public school multicultural arts teacher, cook, and aviation history researcher. I’m over 60. I’ve been the opener of choice for Shawn Colvin (the whole Fat City Tour), Milk Carton Kids, Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, I did 150 dates with George Carlin just before he passed, over 20 now currently with Paul Reiser (Mad About You guy), co-written tunes with Grammy Country Music winner Lori McKenna, and I have a song on a Grammy-nominated children’s album. I’m a noted performance instructor. I’ve coached gameshow host John Davidson. I tour all the time.
This album is all over the map. But it’s full-on me. I produced it and I sing my ass off. Various tunes on this album could be hits on Americana, 70’s/R&B, AAA. It’s all that and spoken word, country blues, funk, and even Celtic, pennywhistle included. Mike Poser sings on this album. Aine Minough plays Celtic harp and sings. Al Green’s organist Stacey Wade, Tommy Malone of the Subdudes, all play prominent instrumental parts on this batch of tunes. Boston Pops strings arranger Brad Hatfield did strings and keyboard. Even Chris Smither’s first gig solely as guitarist and foot stomper happens here. This album is called Good Good Man. I currently like it very much.
I’ve had 13 previous albums, 4 on Rounder Records. Some I like very much, some, meh. Airplay on AAA and folk radio all over the place.
I’ve played most North American and two major Australian Folk festivals including Newport, Rocky Mountain, Winnipeg, Calgary, Kate Wolf, Ottawa, Falcon Ridge, and more. I’ve played clubs, coffeehouses, PACs – and I’ve done over 3,500 shows booked by The Roots Agency, on roster with them for nearly 27 years. Yeah, I’m loyal too.
I’m Black, I sing, I play an acoustic guitar, and I don’t play the blues. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I break that lazy expectation into pieces. Media loves to wonder about that.
If you aren’t intrigued by now, please read no further. Oh, ok, you’re at the end anyway.”