Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer-songwriter scene in the early '90s 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 Vance'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, Vance has recorded 12 albums, including four for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. He has been the opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, George Carlin, Paul Reiser and The Subdudes.
Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters. Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love: intimate, passionate and enduring.
Photo of Ellis Paul by Jeff Fasano
$25 advance/ $30 at the door