“If Joni Mitchell and Richie Havens had a love child, with Rodney Dangerfield as the midwife, the results might have been something close to the great Vance Gilbert.” As the above quote from Richmond magazine suggests, Vance Gilbert defies stereotypes. It’s little wonder then that he also exceeds expectations. In this case, those two qualities go hand in hand. “I’m black, I sing, I play an acoustic guitar, and I don’t play the blues,” Gilbert insists. That may be a broad statement, but it rings with truth.
What he does do is make memorable music, as evidenced by the 13 albums he’s released so far, as well as the mark he’s made on the folk and acoustic music scenes in general. Over the course of a prolific career that extends back to the early ’90s, he’s recorded with his good friend Ellis Paul and shared stages worldwide with Aretha Franklin, Shawn Colvin, Arlo Guthrie, the Milk Carton Kids, George Carlin (150+ shows), Anita Baker, the Subdudes, Paul Reiser and any number of others.
Cliff Eberhardt cut his teeth listening to James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, and Mississippi John Hurt at local clubs — but also Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and Rodgers and Hart. Cliff moved to New York in 1978 – because the clubs were great (the Bitter End, the Speakeasy, Kenny’s Castaway, Folk City) and the company amazing (John Gorka, Suzanne Vega, Lucy Kaplansky, Julie Gold, Steve Forbert, Christine Lavin, and Shawn Colvin). Between long hours as a taxi driver, Cliff played guitar on the road with Richie Havens, Melanie and sang jingles for Coke, Miller Beer and Chevrolet (“The Heartbeat of America” campaign).
Cliff recently released an album of original songs, “Knew Things”, to critical acclaim and wide-spread Folk and Public radio airplay. More information is available at www.cliffeberhardt.net.
Tickets $25 advance, $30 door