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Vance exploded onto the scene in the early 90’s, with buzz spreading quickly. Who was this multicultural arts teacher knocking them dead at open mics? After opening Shawn Colvin’s 1992 Fat City tour, 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, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener,” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from the Colvin tour.
With ten critically acclaimed albums, Vance Gilbert continues to refine his unlikely union of humor, virtuosity, and the unexpected. Whether with classic, original songwriting or ageless interpretations of covers, his is a presentation steeped in deep humanism and bravery, stunning artistry and soul, and contagious, unbridled joy. Vance is now on tour with his brand new CD, “BaD Dog Buffet”.
Like all great artists, Vance truly happens live. In fact he developed his reputation with his jawdropping, diverse, funny, devastating, and gorgeous live performances. Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, the late George Carlin have all requested Vance to be added to their bills.
Vance followed with three acclaimed albums for the Rounder/Philo label—Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and Shaking Off Gravity (1998). Then, Somerville Live (2000), was lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams,” and New York’s Town and Village called One Thru Fourteen (2002), “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.”
Gilbert then released a duo album with his friend Ellis Paul, entitled Side Of The Road (2003). The Boston Globe described it as “the songwriter’s most compelling work; literate, heartfelt, rippling…emotionally resonant.” The Globe placed the album on its Top 10 list that year.
Gilbert only continued on with three more albums, Angels, Castles, Covers (2006) displaying his vocal virtuosity, with sounds of Motown, the R&B of Al Green, and classic Joni Mitchell. Up On Rockfield (2008) just after a year and a half as support for George Carlin, and Old White Men.
Which brings us full circle to BaD Dog Buffet, the latest in a growing, glowing oeuvre and an evocative catalog created by a cornerstone acoustic artist.