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 as a jazz singer, and then switched to folk music, frequenting many of Boston’s open mikes. 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 for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert takes audiences across the country by storm. He has recorded 10 albums, including Side of the Road, a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. His first three albums appear on Philo/Rounder Records. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, Paul Reiser, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 75+ shows for comedian George Carlin.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the New England folk scene, Gilbert’s approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. His performances often feature extended guitar and vocal improvisational forays, and Gilbert’s compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller’s craft.