James Gilbert
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James Gilbert

Band R&B Blues


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"Dylann DeAnna"

All reviews written by Dylann DeAnna

James Gilbert "Best Kept Secret"
(K. City)

Bass guitarist James Gilbert has backed many a luminary like B.B. King & John Lee Hooker for the past quarter century, plus he sports a resume that includes singing television jingles, acting in a video portraying Brook Benton and even a Toyota commercial. Now he's The Man on his debut release, "Best Kept Secret" (***), an impressive collection of Soul, R & B, Funk & Blues. There's quite a range too from the horn-propelled Soul of "Breaking My Heart Again" to some funky R & B via "Catchin' Hell Tonight", followed by the Deep Soul "Shady Side Of Town". Gilbert gets his Rue Davis on by sounding like a completely different singer on each track! Mellifluous tenor on "Breaking" to a deep baritone on "Shady". Real horns and finger lickin' pickin' guitar are back on the bumpin' "Stop Sign", "Busted", "Goin' Home" and "Keep On Keepin' On". The latter features some spacey keyboards Johnny Guitar Watson-style. The odd track out is "Think About Love", which sounds like bad 80s R & B. Here he sounds like he's doing karaoke to Jermaine Jackson. Gilbert's easily forgiven for this misstep being that the majority of this disc is prime Memphis Soul Blues. Secret's out! Visit jamesgilbertandlegacy.com for more info.
- Blues Critic

"Feedback :Breaking My Heart Again, from CD :Best Kept Secret""

Complimentary Feedback

Name Song Title
James Gilbert Breaking My Heart Again

Style Title
R&B-more traditional Appropriate.

Overall Comments:

Good music in verses
Good music in choruses
Memorable “hook”

Really nice melodies! Chorus pays off. Familiar
Progressions throughout; rise, fall, lift, resolution

Good sectional contrast

Solid structure

Rhymes well
Communicates emotion to listener
Vocal does help to sell song

A relationship scenario with which listeners can identify;
Given a personal touch. Nice vocal performance; smooth,
warm tone; conveys the emotion

Overall Rating (10=best)
Music 9
Lyrics 8
Marketability 8
Arrangement 9
Production 9
Engineering 9

Nice one, James!
This is a really polished song. You bring a
Classic R&B style and it’s certainly well done. Good job on the music & melodies. Natural, familiar direction, but fresh. Great rhythm. The guitar playing is noteworthy. The horns really compliment; nice arrangement. The melodies are easy and memorable. Vocally, you have a great tone and bring subtle nuances to the performance. The only thing I’d say is that I would’ve liked to hear a couple of background parts to accent in the verses. Other than that, great job! Overall, this style is fir a more mature crowd (40, 50 & up), but for this niche audience, “Breaking My Heart Again” hits right on the mark with its vintage quality and appeal. Best of luck on the project!


2006- Producer, Singer, Songwriter Eugene Smiley, Sr. challenges me creatively and together we bring to light my first solo CD project entitled “Best Kept Secret”, which is a mixture of old school R&B and seventies soul. Best Kept Secret gave me the opportunity to not only shine vocally as well as on bass. I was able to crank out several tracks on lead guitar that pulled it all together. My bass playing skills can also be found on other project such as:
K.City Records Artist Eugene Smiley, Sr. “LEGENDS”,
1996-Red Hot Records Artist Millage Gilbert, “3 FACES”,
1990-Ichiban Records Artist’s “Blues Boy” Willie Mc Falls “BWHO2” and David Dee’s self titled CD.



Ever since I was a young boy I have loved music of all kinds. I am a fourth generation musician who was raised in a very spiritual environment, which fueled my appreciation for both gospel and blues music. Both of my parents were strict and in an effort to stay out of trouble I spent hour after hour teaching myself to play a variety of instruments, which includes drums, piano, lead and bass guitars. My singing ability was strengthened through listening to my Mother sing old spirituals around the house.
In 1979 I had the honor of sharing the stage with Blues Legend John Lee Hooker. In 1980 while attending high school, I was fortunate enough to play guitar for my neighborhood church until graduating in 1982. In 1990 my bass playing was put to the ultimate test when I was selected to accompany Legendary Blues artist B.B. King. In 1992 I made my television acting debut for the Toyota Corporations Big Spring Sale, which aired nationally. Also in 1992 my vocal talents were featured on a Missouri Lottery’s Pick 3 promotion that aired locally. In 1993 I performed with an all-star group of local musicians for the pilot episode of Kansas City Crossroads, a syndicated T.V. documentary that showcased past and present local and national musicians. In 1997 my acting talents were once again called upon to be the lead actor in the release of a Red Hot Records music video of the Brook Benton classic “Rainy Night in Georgia”. In 1991 I was part of a group of American musicians chosen to perform in the Annual Blues Festival held in Amsterdam, Holland. Currently all my efforts are being put into promoting my debut solo project entitled “Best Kept Secret”
Musicians I have been fortunate enough to play with and/or open for include:
John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Phil Guy (Buddy Guy’s Brother), Little Milton Campbell, Little Johnny Taylor, A.C. Reed, David Dee, Tinsley Ellis, Charley Musslewhite, Little Hatch, Mary Moore, Lavalle White, Chick “Stoop Down” Willis, Vernon Garrett, Little Joe Blue, Blues Boy Willie, Buster Benton, Millie Jackson, Gary BB Coleman, Zapp, Bobby Blue Bland, Koko Taylor, Johnny Taylor, Johnny Winter, Delbert McClinton, War, Doyle Bramhall, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Tyrone Davis and Denise LaSalle.