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.