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Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Country




"Gilbe Surprises Iowa City"

As I sat waiting in a downtown Iowa City coffee shop, I was anxious about meeting Michael “Gilbe” Gilbertson. To begin with, I had not yet listened to his music, being afraid that it would be either very depressing, or incredibly lame. After learning that he was only a freshman, I was convinced that he was young, inexperienced, probably talentless hack, that lacked the drive that it would take to actually get somewhere in the music world.
::Insert foot in Mouth::
As I looked towards the door and glanced at my phone to check the time, in walked a tall, skinny, unimposing looking guy. “I didn’t know I was interviewing Michael Cera”, I thought to myself. He looks almost identical to the actor with his shy smile and calm manner, only missing the red hoodie and yellow armbands.
Gilbertson, who is a freshman at the U of I, is a native of West Des Moines, Iowa. He is the piano player and lead singer of “Gilbe”. Other members of the group include: guitarist Cade Nichol, drummer Tony Biondi, and bass guitarist Jason Clark. The group is submitting music to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas with the hopes of attending. If selected, the band will perform in late March.
The band has recorded a few songs with the help of Gilbertson’s brother, who worked in a recording studio in Nashville. The studio time gave the group a chance most musicians can only dream about. Gilbertson says being in the true recording studio, along with the help of his brother, made the songs more refined and gave them a more professional quality and sound.
The music is, of course, very good. Gilbertson, who not only sings and plays the piano, is also the head song writer. His major influences include mostly oldies such as “Three Dog Night” and “Queen”. Gilbertson describes the band’s sound as piano-driven pop rock, although some songs are hard to define.
“What I hope sets us apart is a high energy sound. I love creating that good vibe between the players on stage and the crowd.”
After the interview, Gilbertson gave me a demo CD with five tracks on it. After a few days I pulled it out of my backpack and popped it in. I was immediately taken by the words and the music in a way that I haven’t felt for a long time. I have even found myself singing in the shower to the tune of my favorite song.
Last Thursday I went to ‘The Yacht Club” to see Gilbertson in action. With his bare feet and quiet confidence, he launched into the first song of the night, gathering the crowd around the stage. It is not hard to see why he takes his music so seriously. Not only is he extremely talented, but his passion on stage and real love of music is evident in everything he does.
For more information about upcoming shows, or to hear some of the band’s songs, check out

Dana Judas
Roughdraft - Roughdraft

"CD Review: Gilbe 8 Track"

Don't be fooled by the simple melodies and catchy hooks; this is not pop. Hidden inside the ear candy by which most 'pop' artists live and die, Michael Gilbertson, who goes by his nickname, Gilbe, explores feelings well beyond the reach of most 19-year olds. On his debut album, the piano-rock driven '8-Track,' Gilbe touches on every emotion from heartache to hangover, but his attention to craft and musicianship sets him far apart from all the lonely teen 'artists' who think it's cool to be as depressed as possible. In 'The Artist,' Gilbe laments the growing complexity of relationships in a way that drips with optimism. On the Coldplay-influenced 'Once Lovers,' the entire chorus is 'Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na'- and it feels so good. And the rocking 'Jenny's Talking' is the perfect salute to the school bicycle who once-upon-a-time stole his heart and stomped all over it. On his first record, Gilbe proves himself adept at blending substance with accessibility. It's an 8-song party, the kind you might find on a rooftop in Boston, not the basement of a frat house. - Local Register


CD: 8 Track (2009)
"The Artist"
Radio Airplay on Capital 106.3 (Iowa)
Radio Airplay on Unsigned Sundays (California)


Radio Airplay on Underground (Chicago)

EP: Take 2 (2012)



Michael Gilbertson, better known by his nickname, Gilbe, moved to Chicago from his hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa in 2009 to attend the music program at Columbia College, but he started to assemble his impressive resume long before he moved to the city. 

While still in high school, Gilbe released his first album, titled 8 Track. The album is full of catchy hooks, danceable grooves, and endearing lyrics that drew on influences such as Ben Folds, The Beatles, and Queen. Leah Maines, an agent and best-selling author, said in an Amazon review of 8 Track, Gilbe has an energetic and youthful vibe fronted by bright piano lines with a pop hook that you cant help but tap your toes to.

The Artist was the first single to come off of 8 Track, winning Gilbe an Artist of the Month award on Song Joust, and receiving airplay on radio stations around the United States. Soon after recording 8 Track, Gilbe started playing local shows around the Midwest, including the Iowa State Fair, the Nebraska Pop Festival, and River Fest, an Iowa City music festival that was headlined by Motion City Soundtrack.

Gilbe put out a second EP, Take 2, in 2012 after finishing music school.  The first two tracks built off the piano driven pop sound established with 8 Track, and ends with the piano/vocal ballad "Almost," influenced by his days as a dueling piano player in downtown Chicago.  

He most recently moved to Nashville in 2013 to pursue a career in songwriting, while still continuing to perform both solo and full band shows. Solo shows allow Gilbe to show off a softer sound, while full band shows consistently provide a high energy level and a sound that creates a good vibe among the players and the fans.

Band Members