Vance Gilbert
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Vance Gilbert

Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Boston Globe"

"Powerful and Uncompromising"

"When songwriter Vance Gilbert exploded on the Boston scene, the boom was heard all over New England. News of this bold, infectious performer spread like prairie fire. No local acoustic performer in recent memory - not Tracy Chapman, not The Story, not Dar Williams - has gotten hot faster than Gilbert... His catchy, pop-friendly melodies support keenly crafted, hard-hitting lyrics. His guitar is supple, his milk-warm tenor honest and gently acrobatic... He does not duck hard truths and never succumbs to the temptation to tie his points up in neat platitudes or truisms. He writes powerfully and uncompromisingly about the wrenching separation suffered by single parents, the tug between love's desires and its demands and the bitterness of being nonwhite in this Euro-centric culture... Gilbert has earned an unusually deep affection and loyalty from his fans. He is that rare performer for whom people lean forward in their seats as eagerly between songs as they do during them. These 'Vance-heads' see him over and over again, always expecting to be surprised, never being disappointed." - -

"Chicago Tribune"

"Well-crafted and Thoughtful"

"Gilbert took the stage, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, a whimsical sense of humor and an astonishingly smooth, pure tenor voice. But that proved to be more than enough. Gilbert's burnished voice poured over one purling, liquid melody after another, over an accompaniment of tender arpeggios and supple chord progressions. Well-crafted and thoughtful, the songs qualified as 'folk' only in the loosest sense." - -

"Ft. Worth Star-Telegram"

"The lyrics alone are better than almost anything else you've heard..."

"His songs are quirky, yet touching. The lyrics alone are better than almost anything else you've heard, but Gilbert also packs a sassy vocal punch between songs. Then there's Gilbert's wizardry on acoustic guitar. He pounds, claws, scratches, caresses, and the resulting sounds frame his voice in some natural, elemental way that couldn't result from simple chords or even complex finger-picking. It's possible, even probable that any time you see Gilbert in person his songs will make you laugh and cry simultaneously. But don't roar or sob too hard - you might miss something." - -

"Dirty Linen"

"Among the quintessential musical poets of the '90s"

"Boston-based, Philadelphia-raised guitarist Vance Gilbert is among the quintessential musical poets of the 1990's. His lyrics are highly personal, his tenor vocals fluid and enthralling. There's an undercurrent of optimism behind Gilbert's music that, combined with the upbeat nature of his songs, gives you a feeling of utter joy." - -

"New Texas Magazine"

"Gilbert strikes like lightning"

"Vance Gilbert strikes just like lightning... Gilbert's voice has been called 'undeniably expressive,' 'remarkable' and 'stunning' by contemporary critics, and rightly so. Gilbert's songs have the piercing quality of a dart shot right through the heart." - -

"Berkshire Eagle"

"Subtle yet devastating..."

"Underlying the veneer of Gilbert's contemporary folk lies the heart of a pop classicist in love with the sheer power of melody and expression. And Gilbert comes equipped with an arsenal that includes a gift for the melodic line, a seemingly effortless tenor and a jazzy, percussive guitar style... (But) what is most noteworthy about Gilbert is his soulful melodicism and his well-crafted story songs that capture ordinary people in moments of luminous discovery." - -

"Guitar Player"

"Graceful picking, lush voicings and bright syncopations"

"Vance Gilbert's graceful picking, lush voicings and bright syncopations support engaging inner dialogues and witty verbal jabs sung in a smooth, energetic tenor. His new disc introduces a serious folk talent..." - -

"Bethlehem, PA Express/Times"

"Four Stars"

"Vance Gilbert pens tales of the twists and turns of the heart. He possesses a rich tenor that yearns to soar over earthly woes... Much of Gilbert's magic works when his keening voice turns to tales darker than a viper's heart... Vance Gilbert never escapes their pain nor eludes their tragic beauty." - -

"New Age Journal"

"Gilbert packs quite a punch"

"His sooth, full-bodied voice and thoughtful, heartfelt lyrics wring out emotions from despair to euphoria, gliding from extreme to extreme. Vance Gilbert packs quite a punch." - -


Unfamiliar Moon - Disismye Music 2005
Ellis Paul and Vance Gilbert Side of the Road - Rounder/Philo 2003
One Thru Fourteen - Louisiana Redhots 2002
Somerville Live - Disimye Music 2000
Shaking Off Garvity-Rounder/Philo 1998
Fugitives - Rounder/Philo 1995
Edgewise- Rounder/Philo 1994



UNFAMILIAR MOON is Vance Gilbert's most mature and realized recording to date. This is his most anticipated album, as it is jam-packed with songs that fall into "that" category of songwriting- the zenith for any writer – songs that elicit the response “You wrote that?” Consider “Ten Thousand Skies”, the opening cut, with it’s “Roy Orbison looking for Sam Cooke” feel. Follow that with the gentle heartaching in “You Can Go Now”, the hurt and hope of the medium rocker “Leaving Avon”, and the soulwrenching title cut, “Unfamiliar Moon”, Gilbert’s most requested song. “Unforgivable”is a jazz vocal tour-de-force that still maintains it acoustic roots with a great surprise soloist. There’s a lot of hope and redemption on this album too, in songs like the solo “Your Brighter Day”and the rollicking fun of the unedited “I’ve Got A Plane”. To round out this partial list, Gilbert closes with a haunting revisitation of his acoustic standard “Alone Down Here”. A perfect mix of lyrical eloquence and musical accessibility, this is less a recording and more like great performances captured on disc.

Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90's when the buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-jazz singer who was knocking 'em dead at open mikes. The word spread of this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer to New York; Shawn Colvin invited Vance Gilbert to be special guest on her Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across the country by storm ("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" wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in it's review of a show from that tour). Gilbert's three albums for the Rounder/Philo label - EDGEWISE (1994), FUGITIVES (1995), and the celebrated, arrestingly sparse SHAKING OFF GRAVITY (1998)- are all essential additions to the American singer-songwriter collection. With guests as varied as Tuck and Patti, Jonatha Brooke, Patty Larkin, Dee Carstensen, Vinx, and Jane Siberry, all three albums found significant niches on NAC (New Adult Contemporary) and Non-Commercial A3 (Adult Album Alternative) radio. These discs were followed by the selfreleased SOMERVILLE LIVE (2000), his live recording lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc "young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams", and ONE THRU FOURTEEN (2002), a stylistically varied tour de force that New York's Town and Village calls "lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.” Follow that with SIDE OF THE ROAD (2003), a duo album with Ellis Paul, lauded as “haunting, artful, and lovely" by Boston Magazine and nominated for a 2004 Boston Music Award.

UNFAMILIAR MOON stands as a most impressive cap to this discography. This is Vance Gilbert at his most fearless, timeless, compelling best. These examples of classic songwriting, presented with deep humanism and bravery, stunning artistry and soul, and unbridled joy are inarguably the blue ribbons that tie and seal the seemingly impossibly package that is.............Vance Gilbert