It has been quite a few years since Kevin Gilbert has left us. He was so gifted and prolific, I hope it takes several more CDs as incredible as this one to reveal all of his amazing creations to us. This CD (with Nuts) is part of a pair of productions, what the estate of Kevin calls his singer-songwriter recordings. I would say that is accurate, yet there are definitely some recognizable progressive-rock leanings, as Kevin was a big fan.
First up is “Waking the Sun,” a folky piece with a Beatles refrain that lyrically seems like a lead into the following song “Jenny Ledge.” This is a solo acoustic version of the Toy Matinee classic, impeccably played. Kevin’s songwriting skills are displayed proudly in this (autobiographical?) story of a broken relationship with interesting twists. Other bonuses are a slowed-down acoustic version of Thud’s “Goodness Gracious,” and a touching read of Jane Siberry’s “Taxi Ride.”
Astoundingly written, quality tunes like “Blank Page” and “Souvenir” are normal for this amazing artist. His abilities as a singer-songwriter is what really drives this CD and its partner, Nuts. Every song tells a beautiful story of broken relationships with gorgeous melodies and great musicianship. “Lonely Road” would make a great country-western song with the right arrangement for one of those Underwoods or Swifts out there.
Kevin also shows his humorous side with “Something Nice for My Dog” and the title “God’s Been Tapping My Phone.” “Finale” closes this CD, but I truly hope that this is not the last of releases of uncovered Kevin Gilbert material. I have heard some pieces elsewhere that are still unreleased that are just as good as anything out so far, so we know that there is more. Give it to us!
Kevin Gilbert has definitely paid his prog-credentials, but with some minor exceptions this material is not that. Fans of Todd Rundgren, Beatles, Genesis, Spock’s Beard would find this essential. A warning to the uninitiated, once you get hooked to this exceptional artist, you will not rest until you get through his entire catalog.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on January 5th, 2010