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KEVIN GILBERT

Crossover Prog • United States


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Kevin Gilbert biography
Kevin Gilbert was born in Sacramento, California on November 20, 1966. For the first 13 years, he lived a nice, comfortable life - first in California, then in New Jersey, and then back to Southern California. But then something changed. No one's been able to figure out exactly "what" changed, but according to his brother Greg, "he ate less, slept less, read more, and composed more." His first set of compositions that are worth mentioning were released in 1984 under the moniker NRG. Kevin was still in high school at the time. Working with Jason Hubbard, this progressive rock LP showed a full range of material, from the sarcastic "Welcome To Suburbia" to the introspection of "Staring Into Nothing." Several albums of additional material were recorded at that time, but none have been released to date.

After realizing that progressive rock and flashy keyboard solos weren't his thing, he spent years working at TRS Studios in Sunnyvale, California, soaking in as much as he could about the inner workings of how to make records. Through his association with TRS Records, he met Stan Cotey, Scott Smith and Chris Beveridge - and the band Giraffe was born. Originally a project between Kevin and singer/songwriter Robert Ferris, Giraffe ("Gi" from GIlbert and "raf" from Robert A. Ferris.as the story goes) made its' home at TRS and recorded 2 studio albums - "The Power Of Suggestion" in 1988 (which was self-produced) and "The View From Here" in 1989. Released as a very limited run of only 500-1000 copies each, both CD's sold out almost immediately after they were released. They are now highly sought-after collector's items.

After the release of "The Power Of Suggestion", Kevin entered Giraffe into the "Yamaha Soundcheck Competition" in Los Angeles - a contest designed to help unsigned bands gain visibility in the music industry. The band won first prize. The next year Giraffe flew to Tokyo to go to the contest's finals - the Yamaha "Band Explosion" contest. The band took second prize. Although they didn't win, the show in Tokyo was not only special in the fact that it got Giraffe to be in the spotlight but one of the judges - Patrick Leonard - took a liking to the Giraffe front man. Patrick, known for his workings with Madonna and Julian Lennon, was impressed with Giraffe and immediately wanted to work with Kevin. He agreed and disbanded Giraffe soon after the Tokyo show.

Patrick Leonard brought in Guy Pratt, Tim Pierce and Bill Bottrell and Toy Mati...
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Kevin Gilbert official website

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ThudThud
Pra Records 1995
Audio CD$71.33
$14.44 (used)
NutsNuts
KMG
Audio CD$19.95
$21.73 (used)
The Shaming Of The TrueThe Shaming Of The True
KMG
Audio CD$49.97 (used)
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Genesis tribute CD SUPPER'S READY 1995 Annie Haslam Kevin Gilbert Enchant Cairo US $9.59 [0 bids]
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KEVIN GILBERT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KEVIN GILBERT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 8 ratings
No Reasons Given
1987
4.05 | 47 ratings
Thud
1995
4.22 | 125 ratings
The Shaming Of The True
2000
2.90 | 10 ratings
The Kaviar Sessions
2002
3.73 | 15 ratings
Nuts
2009
3.75 | 12 ratings
Bolts
2009

KEVIN GILBERT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 12 ratings
Live At The Troubadour
1995
4.44 | 9 ratings
Kevin Gilbert Performs Toy Matinee Live
2010

KEVIN GILBERT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

KEVIN GILBERT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

KEVIN GILBERT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Kashmir
1995

KEVIN GILBERT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I don't have much sympathy for concept albums about people destroyed by the evil music industry making them rich and famous and giving them everything they could have possibly dreamed about, even when they're recorded by people who had actually made it big in the industry (see: Pink Floyd's The Wall). I have even less when they're recorded by comparatively obscure artists who got passed over by the A&R men, because the taste of sour grapes generally doesn't improve the flavour.

In the case of Kevin Gilbert's Shaming of the True, what we have is a concept album about the subject matter which was completed after Gilbert's death, a death which - whilst tragic - shouldn't blind us to the album's shortcomings. Nick d'Virgilio of Spock's Beard took the lead in finishing off the album, which might explain why it has this Spock's Beard tone to it here and there, though I suspect this is also a matter of common influence - Dance of the A&R Men, the best song on the album, consists of complex, layered vocals in the sort of experiment Gentle Giant were known for back in the day.

However, away from that particularly amusing novelty track, the rest of the album seems rather bland and vapid to me, and I honestly wonder whether it doesn't get an easy ride and extra publicity simply because of the sad circumstances surrounding its release.

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars 8/10

The unfinished project of Kevin Gilbert is a real journey through the world of rock and roll replete with references to the giants of 70's, outstanding musicianship and a vulgar, very vulgar language.

"My name is Johnny Virgil and I'm gonna be a Star. Gonna get my share of fame". This is the desire of the protagonist of the story of The Shaming of True by Kevin Gilbert. The album is best known theme of the genre, so often treated in fiction and reality: the rise and fall of a rock star. The letters sarcastic and vulgar (and unfortunately very real) set the tone of lyrical album.

It's a shame to know that Kevin Gilbert did not live to see his complete works, he died of positive auto-erotic asphyxiation in 1996. I think he would have been proud of what Joe Rubin and Nick D'Virgilio did with his album. Because there is no sense of something missing in The Shaming of True, even between the death of its creator and its launch four years have elapsed it.

The album itself is a complete cycle, as can be noted that the same notes of dissonant keyboards and terrifying open and close the album (well actually closes the album with sounds of rain, but the keyboards precede it). And in this cycle there are 14 impeccable songs, most of the same level. There is provided an occasion for introspection and quiet (Johnny's last song, From there to here) the acidity and sarcasm directed at the music industry (Certifiable # 1 Smash), the conventional pop and pleasant (Imagemaker, The Best Laid Plains) and even there a capella a la Gentle Giant (Suit Fugue (Dance of the a & R Men))! In general these are all great songs.

4 stars. A great album, I think that people more will come to know him.

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Bitterness and profanity.

After getting a taste of the limelight, being used and tossed around, Kevin had enough I think. And like Jose Canseco, Marie Osmond or Dan Wilson of Semisonic, it is time to settle the score and say the things that need to be said. The truth? At least, a lousy experience, a fake game that leaves you empty feeling.

I like the concept. Very much. It's appealing to hear the other side of the fame medal, and Gilbert does it very well. From the girls, to the management, to the brown nosing, to the fans, Gilbert is pouring out his heart...and has quite the potty mouth too. Wow, the speech has the quality of being frank!

I don't find anything particulary attracting about the music, sorry. The songs are okay, but nothing to throw you off your chair. It has that pop feel mixed with Neal Morse here and there, some will appreciate...some will find it ordinary. No long keyboard solos, 90's guitar and simple melodies.

I was not wowed, and frankly disappointed. After so many raving 5 stars review, this is not the pinnacle I expected. What am I missing? I mean, I get the statement of the record, but the music is too bland.

Par.

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Relayer Duos

4 stars This is a unique album. This is a rock album, written by a man who's been through the whole music industry and back, written to mock the entire music industry.

The album follows the rise and fall of the rock star Johnny Virgil, from when only dreamed of glory, all the way to the point when he hears himself on the oldies radio station. It's a beautiful story full of every stereotypical rock element, drug abuse, crazy stunts, women galore, you know the rest. It's gripping and raucous, but also sad and depressed as he drives his progressively empty life into the ground. At each point in the story, we see the music industry at its worst, and most generic, point. The blend of everything over-the-top and everything you know to exist already creates an amazing line of memorable lyrics, song after song.

The best part however, has to be?.. the music (what a surprise). As the story progresses, so do the sounds and styles of the music. From the departure point, singer/songwriter style, we hit a myriad of rock subgenres, each more rowdy than the last showing, and each style perfectly summing up the story at that point. Through grunge and punk?through vocal fugues and 70's fun, the story and the music weave together to make a pleasing array of idiotic satire and ironic humor.

A solid 4 out of 5 stars, an excellent addition to any music library.

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Obobass

5 stars This is one of my favorite albums of progressive rock ever, along with Close to the Edge, Foxtrot, and Images and Words. Kevin was such an amazing songwriter in every way, creating an ultimate fusion of pop sensations ("Imagemaker," "City of the Sun"), satirical commentary towards the music industry ("Certifiable #1 Smash") and solemn and sometimes sorrowful prog ballads ("Staring Into Nothing," "Water Under the Bridge"). I was first introduced to him by my music teacher who taught Kevin at my high school. My friend's dad also knew Kevin and he gave me a copy of Shaming of the True to see if I liked it. After that, I was hooked! Each song bleeds thriving emotion and pounding beats that won't stop me from jumping on the walls with excitement. Now I listen to it 24/7.

It's amazing to see an artist such as Kevin Gilbert to have a wide array of instruments at his disposal to create his colorful and meaningful music. Collaborating with Nick D'Virgilio of Spock's Beard fame, the presentation is very unique down to the creative booklet the CD comes in. As I'm transported into the world of Johnny Virgil, his world comes to life through the characters he meets and through his inner turmoil to find his true voice. Each song develops a personality of its own, which makes kevin very versatile in every way. Exposing the music industry through his gritty lyrical content and interesting expose, I've no doubt that such a feat is destined for becoming more progressive that still keeps going to the edge no matter what.

If you're looking for some great and truthful prog with a cool pop feel and edgy lyrics, this is definitely something to hear. Truly a masterpiece!

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Based on my initial look at the album's concept, I was fully expecting an album-long version of Bad Company's song Shooting Star, complete with the tragic lead character named Johnny. And that's exactly how this album starts, but boy oh boy does it dig deeper after that opening song!

Is this a flawless album? In my opinion, no, but the first half--from the intro through Certifiable #1 Smash--sure is darn close to perfect in my book. The music is great, ranging from an Alan Parsons sound (Water Under the Bridge) to rocking Who-style (Best Laid Plans) to Gentle Giant rounds (Suit Fatigue). The evolution of Johnny from an innocent music lover to over-the-top and misguided superstar/showman is absolutely brilliantly paced and put to catchy and multilayered music.

...and the lyrics! I am not a lyrics guy, but they are impossible not to notice in this album. My personal favorites are Suit Fatigue (the multi-part harmonies allow for new discoveries virtually each time you listen) and #1 Smash (which somehow explains the deranged artistic perspectives and logic behind the many incomprehensible and ridiculous music videos out there). And Best Laid Plans represents a legitimate killer single that somehow fits right in the middle of all this musical variety.

In the second half, I lose interest and the pace is less appropriate, though there is plenty to like, from the bitter cynicism in Fun to the unbridled anger in Beautiful Things. I do believe things tie together very nicely (and cohesively) with Way Back Home and Johnny's Last Song, which at least allows for a fulfilling ending to this captivating musical story.

Two people must be acknowledged for this great piece of work: Kevin Gilbert, who is a great writer, lyricist, orchestrator, and--not to be undermined--talented vocalist (perhaps not technically, but certainly with regard to the emotions of his pieces); and Nick D'Virgilio, who clearly was motivated by more than financial benefit and worked hard to deliver this gift to the prog community and his deceased friend.

I typically listen through #1 Smash, then skip to Way Back Home and Johnny's Last Song, which tells me the story I want to hear. The brilliance of this album is that you could tell a slightly different story with a new playlist, and it could be equally meaningful to you. Rewarding, well-produced, clever, and occasional powerful material--a worthy legacy for Kevin Gilbert.

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With so many glowing reviews here I was curious to get this album and know what the fuss was all about. After several spins I found that this work is a very good concept album even if the musicanship involved is not exactly what I call appealing to me. Like in most concept album the music works for the story line, so there are lots of changing styles and moods, but the instrumental side suffers a bit. And the concept is far from new. In fact is the same old story of the rise and fall of a rock star. It is well written and performed I should point out. But I heard far more impressive and pleasant ones, as far as the musical score is concerned (the lyrics are another story completely).

Not that The Shaming Of The Truth does not have its bright instrumenbtal moments.. it does. It is clear that Kevin Gilbert was a talented man and he knew music deeply. Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men) for instance is a highlight. This a capella song has some of the most delightful vocal cannons ever heard since Gentle Giantīs Knots. There are other bits and pieces that I enjoy too, but unfortunatly for my ears, the musical flowing is uneven at best and there is not too much instrumental interludes taht captured my atention. You have to pay atention to the story all the time for the music to make sense. And it kind of bored me after some time.

Anyway, if youīre into concept albums (specially of the american style), then I guess this is for you. Although I found it to be more interesting than really appealing, it does not mean that The Shaming Of The Truth is not a fine prog album of sorts. It just didnīt fit my tastes. Thatīs all.

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 The Shaming Of The True by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.22 | 125 ratings

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The Shaming Of The True
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

5 stars Indeed, American feeling is strong here. After all, it's not bad to deny your heritage and I have no problem with that. Well, I like it, it's just another way of doing good music, use your background, things around you and blend them to something bigger. Fun sounds quite like Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do", so after reading story of her/his life, it's all more clear. I'll not go into repeating the story again, as other did it far better that I would be able to, but I like it and can appreciate it. Well written and composed concept albums always attracts me, as I like reading, in this case listening stories. Music is very various, as Gilbert's category is eclectic, he truly belongs under this definition. Even I don't like these categories (as they confuses as much as they helps), sometimes they tells the truth.

5(-), as I don't see as much perfection here as in The Wall, another dramatical story about music star. But both are different, this one is more modern one. Suit Fugue is probably the most original idea I've heard in many days. I like irony tone here. Almost masterpiece and after all, it is. But that's of course not fair, everything fails when compared to bricky, vertical structure (masterpiece number 1 in my mind). But if something can do similar thing in different way, then I'm amazed. How could not I be.

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 Thud by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.05 | 47 ratings

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Thud
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Thud is an album by progressive rock musician Kevin Gilbert. This is an incredible album that is different than anything a pop, prog, or rock fan is used to. It's an excellent combination of the three with superb lyrics from one of the best in the genre.

Thud is a mostly mellow album with acoustic guitars and nice melodies. Don't be expecting any complexity, speed, or other things often associated with progressive rock. This is VERY different from anything you've ever heard, and can only be explained when you hear it, so don't go in expecting Yes or Genesis.

The lyrics are some of the best I've ever heard, and they are really what the album is circled around. From witty humor to excellent analogies and inner meanings, this is really what the album's main focus is. It has some songs about tragedies such as "Song for A Dead Friend", "Tears of Audrey" or "Tea for One". All of the songs I just mentioned are some of my favorites from the album. The melodies are absolutely beautiful, and the arrangements are perfect. It can be argued that many of the songs are pop, but who really cares? This is some of the best music I've ever heard!

"Joytown" has the best lyrics of all. It's about a place where everything is just absolutely perfect, with nothing wrong. So without further adieu I must quote some lines from this song:

"Senator McCarthy enjoys a book by Marx And people tear down parking lots So they can build more parks And Jimi plays the perfect note that never seems to end and Martin Luther King has got a blond white girlfriend"

The music on this track also seems to build incredibly without even noticing it. You almost get in a trance with the unstoppable beat and bassline. Kevin goes from merely singing softly to almost screaming near the end. And all of the songs contain something like that that is intriguing in a way that only few artists can capture.

It's not complex and doesn't have epic song lengths, so how is it prog?

The answer is simple. Progressive rock does not HAVE to be either of those things. If you can hear various influences, and is intelligent music with elaborate compositions and is still more than typical pop music, it can be described as progressive rock.

Excellent music, superb lyrics, and a genius behind it all makes this an excellent album that any prog fan should own. I can't quite get myself to give this five stars, but it is a flawless album that is a true hidden gem.

Rest In Peace Kevin

4.5/5

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 Thud by GILBERT, KEVIN album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.05 | 47 ratings

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Thud
Kevin Gilbert Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's difficult to put into words how talented the late Kevin Gilbert was. To quote Andy Thompson of Planet Mellotron : "By all accounts a musical prodigy-capable of playing any song he heard on any instrument handed to him-Gilbert possessed an impeccable sense of melody and a biting, cynical wit". I strongly suggest you read the excellent bio here at ProgArchives. He was a big fan of SPOCK'S BEARD and a supporter of those ProgFest's in LA in the nineties. He helped with the sound and lent his mellotron and other musical equipment to any band who wanted to use them. As far as this album goes the lyrics are simply genius. Absolutely brilliant in many ways.

"When You Give Your Love To Me" is mostly vocals and strummed acoustic guitar until the drums join in.This is all about the lyrics though. Some great lines in this one. "Goodness Gracious" opens with acoustic guitar as vocals and mellotron join in. Electric guitar comes and goes. A full sound a minute in. Some nice bass in this one. More mellotron late. Great tune. "Joytown" has these nice deep sounds but it's all about the lyrics as Kevin looks at this mythical place called "Joytown" where everything is the way it's supposed to be and everyone loves everyone. Lines like "Jimi plays the perfect note that never seems to end". Sax late. Brilliant stuff. "Waiting" opens with drums and percussion as guitar and organ join in. Vocals follow. The vocal melodies are a nice touch. Again the lyrics are humerous and witty.

"Tea For One" is such a gorgeous and uplifting track. A top three for sure. Cool story too. "Shadow Self" opens with strummed guitar as vocals come in. I like the processed backup vocals and the mellotron here. It gets fuller after 1 1/2 minutes. They're kicking it good 5 1/2 minutes in. "The Tears Of Audrey" opens with strummed guitar and reserved vocals. Drums and bass join in. Sad song. The bass and drums sound so good early on "Shrug (Because Of Me And You)". Mellotron comes in and it sounds outstanding. "All Fall Down" is solemn with horns to open as fragile vocals join in. The chorus is brighter as he sings about having a good time before we all fall down (die). "Song For A Dead Friend" is such a sad song about losing a close friend. Piano, acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. Check out the lyrics though.Gulp.

Thanks for the music Kevin, you won't be forgotten.

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