January 25, 2013
Patti DeRosa opens
Who else but Vance Gilbert would name his most recent album Old White Men, and actually have recorded a groundbreaking, heartbreaking title song to back it up? ¶ Patti DeRosa, who opens, has according to Vance, “a honey-warm voice, clear and adventurous guitar work, and incisive lyrics . . . and they are still only the tip of her talent iceberg.
Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90’s when the buzz spread through the folk clubs of the Northeast about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking them dead at open mics. Word got out about this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer, and Shawn Colvin invited Gilbert to be a special guest on her 1992 Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across North America by storm. “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 that tour. Gilbert’s three albums — Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and Shaking Off Gravity — (1998) are all essential additions to the American singer-songwriter collection. With guests as varied as Tuck and Patti, Jonatha Brooke, Patty Larkin, Vinx, and Jane Siberry, all three albums found significant niches on NAC (New Adult Contemporary) and Non-Commercial A3 radio.
These discs were followed by the self-released Somerville Live (2000), lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams,” and One Thru Fourteen (2002), a stylistically varied offering that New York’s Town and Village called “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.” Gilbert followed with Side Of The Road (2003), a duo album with Ellis Paul, lauded as “haunting, artful, and lovely” by Boston Magazine and nominated for a 2004 Boston Music Award. Then came Unfamiliar Moon (2005). On Angels, Castles, Covers (2006), “Gilbert’s choice of an album of covers seems both fitting and fearless. . . . He displays his vocal virtuosity with some unexpected choices from the late 20th century songbook. From the sounds of Motown, through the R&B of Al Green to classic Joni Mitchell, Todd Rundgren, and Shawn Colvin . . . he makes each and every tune sound fresh and new,” writes Roberta Schwartz of FAME. Gilbert then launched into a year and a half as support for George Carlin, leading up to the creation and recording of Up On Rockfield (2008), a landmark album noted for being written in the styles of some of his favorite songwriters.
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Patti DeRosa started writing songs as soon as she got her first guitar when she was thirteen years old living in Long Island, NY. She moved to Boston to pursue graduate studies in social work and African-American studies, and continued to be a frequent performer in the Boston and New York folk scene. At one point, she put down her guitar for the steel drums, as her love of Caribbean music and culture led her to join the Boston-based Metro Steel Orchestra, where she played “pan,” sang, and even did the limbo.
She took a long hiatus from the music world to dedicate herself to her passion for social justice, but the draw of her music was too compelling, and in 2004, Patti picked up her guitar and returned to performing. She currently lives in the Boston area. Touring locally, nationally, and internationally, she has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, El Salvador, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has three CDs: Packing My Bags (2011), a live CD that captures the true feel and fun of a live concert; Secrets and Stories (2007) featuring a band of stellar musicians and bursting with the flavors of folk, jazz, R&B, rock, and funk, and Paradise (2005), her premier acoustic project with basic acoustic arrangements and an island feel.
Photo by Susan Wilson
- Gilbert took the stage, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, a whimsical sense of humor, and an astonishingly smooth, pure tenor voice. But that proved to be more than enough. Chicago Tribune
- . . . the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god. Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- . . . among the quintessential musical poets Dirty Linen
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- Patti DeRosa:
- A must see artist with a unique talent Motif Magazine
- A gem that stands out in the vast sea of singer-songwriters Madlyn Sklar, Go-Girls Music
- See this musician soon wherever you can. Vance Gilbert