Vance Gilbert

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Vance Gilbert (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American folk singer/songwriter. He started out as a jazz singer, then switched to folk music, performing on the open mike circuit in Boston. His career took off when he toured with Shawn Colvin. He has recorded eight albums, including Side of the Road, a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. His first three albums appeared on Philo/Rounder Records. In 2006 and 2007, Gilbert opened several shows for comedian George Carlin.

While considered by many to be an integral part of the New England folk scene, Gilbert's approach stands apart in significant ways. His performances often feature extended guitar and vocal techniques, and Gilbert's compositions frequently employ sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots. The songs' content often defies the folk genre as well: several of Gilbert's songs deal with racial issues and his live show banter often touches on his being a black man in a field of music dominated by both white performers and audiences.


  • here I'm waiting (1985)
  • Edgewise (1994)
  • Fugitives (1995)
  • Shaking Off Gravity (1998)
  • Somerville Live (2000)
  • One Thru Fourteen (2002)
  • Side of the Road (with Ellis Paul) (2003)
  • Unfamiliar Moon (2005)
  • Angels, Castles, Covers (2006)
  • Up On Rockfield (2008)

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