Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90’s when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking ’em dead at open mics. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert’s stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City tour.
Noted not only for being the ever- consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 13 albums, including 5 for Philo/Rounder Records. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Arlo Guthrie and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser, the Milk Carton Kids, and the Subdudes, along with his own acoustic music touring schedule.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert’s approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert’s compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller’s craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy-Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
“Sometimes it takes your whole lifetime to sound like yourself.”
– Vance Gilbert