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NICK D'VIRGILIO

Crossover Prog • United States


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Nick D'Virgilio biography
Nicholas "Nick" D'Virgilio - Born November 12, 1968 in Whittier, CA, USA

Nick D'Virgilio is a US born and based composer and musician. As a child he was fascinated by drums, a fascination that became much enhanced after getting a drum kit as a Christmas present at an early age.

He joined his first band at age 15, although at that stage the music itself may now have been the most important aspect of being in a band. That would come later though. After High school he attended the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, at first specializing in drums but later switching to vocals, songwriting and music theory. He kept playing the drums though.

In 1992 he encountered fellow musicians Neal Morse and Al Morse at a blues jam, which was the start of what would eventually become Spock's Beard. One year later he met Kevin Gilbert, and soon became a close associate of him, lasting until Gilbert's passing in 1996. D'Virgilio had worked close enough with Gilbert to take it upon himself to finish his last album, which Gilbert had merely started working on when he passed. And in 2000 this resulted in the album The Shaming of the True.

One year before Gilbert died, Spock's Beard had gotten their major breakthrough with their debut effort The Light, and they were working on their sophomore effort at the time Gilbert passed away. They continued issuing popular titles for the coming years, which kept D'Virgilio rather busy. And besides his mani band, he was also brought in to be the drummer of Tears for Fears in this period, a task he has continued with to this date. At the same time he was also brought in as the drummer for what turned out to be the last studio effort by Genesis, the 1997 production Calling All Stations.

See also: BIG BIG TRAIN

Around 2000 D'Virgilio managed to find the time to assemble a solo album long in the making as well, and in 2001 Karma was issued. Shortly after this band leader Neal Morse left Spock's Beard, and D'Virgilio took over as lead singer. He still has this role to this day, and along with his commitments with Tears for Fears, hooking up with The Mike Keneally Band and a few select side projects - like Rewiring Genesis - his solo production has so far been limited to the one studio effort from 2001, and a live album - Live & Acoustic - issued in 2004...
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NICK D'VIRGILIO discography


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NICK D'VIRGILIO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.70 | 16 ratings
Karma
2001
3.22 | 21 ratings
Invisible
2020

NICK D'VIRGILIO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Live & Acoustic
2004

NICK D'VIRGILIO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NICK D'VIRGILIO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NICK D'VIRGILIO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.19 | 8 ratings
Pieces
2011

NICK D'VIRGILIO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Invisible by D'VIRGILIO, NICK album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.22 | 21 ratings

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Invisible
Nick D'Virgilio Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars There is no doubt in my mind that one of the most exciting drummers to come out of the scene in the last 30 years has been Nick D'Virgilio, who of course these days can be found behind the kit for Big Big Train, and while he recorded with Genesis and played with Tears for Fears for many years, for me he will always be the man at the back during the classic years of Spock's Beard. I was fortunate enough to interview him a couple of times during that period, and also saw him with the band on four different occasions, the last time when he had moved to become the frontman following Neal's departure. Now, it must be said I was not a fan of his previous debut solo album, 'Karma', which came out some 20 years ago, and his time as singer with Spock's Beard is probably my least favourite period, but this has nothing to do with his abilities as a singer and drummer, but more with the songs and arrangements he has utilised. There are many bands who would relish having him at the front of the stage, while he is definitely one of the best drummers around today, so what would his new solo album be like?

He has been able to bring in a host of famous guests, and there is no doubt that these guys are all at the top of their field, with the likes of Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Jem Godfrey (Frost*), Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings, Steve Hackett), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) and Carl Verheyen (Supertramp) all involved. Although many of the musicians are from a prog background, I would not have necessarily expected a prog album, and indeed that is what has happened with Nick taking the opportunity to work through many different styles of music. His version of ''Money (That's What I Want)' is a strange hybrid of Motown, rock and pop, and we get plenty of ballads and slower numbers in the likes of 'Waiting For No One'. The real issue for me is that it all feels somewhat middle of the road with little in the ways of excitement and real interest. When the songs and arrangements are good then they can be really uplifting, whereas there are plenty of others when it feels quite mundane. I realised it got to the point where I was not looking forward to playing the album repeatedly as it felt more like a chore as opposed to a pleasure, which is not what it should be like at all. It is a positive move from his 2001 release, but there is still a long way to go to make it indispensable.

 Invisible by D'VIRGILIO, NICK album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.22 | 21 ratings

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Invisible
Nick D'Virgilio Crossover Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

3 stars I began acquairing a good measure of taste for Nick's vocals since my first contact with Spock Beard's album "V", and the acquisition is still going on with this one. He owns a strong, clear baritone, yet capable of coming across a fairly wide range. Of course, one cannot appear as a prog reviewer invoking nothing else than a good voice, if really expects to persuade somebody. That's why I have to tell you some good, some bad and some bittersweet news.

Regarding the good, I must emphasize (never enough) the classical sweetness of the orchestral arrangements, particularly in the strings rank. The bill presented by the studio must be justified for sure. Also sweet for the progger's ears must sound the clear Kansas influence imprinted specially in the singing, along with lots of dexterous instrumental interplay.

Now, regarding the bad (for the prog mind, at least), I've detected here a generous portion of Alternative Rock influence, mainly in the form of saturated, angular guitar riffs, and that classic blend of voice and acoustic guitar inherited from folk-rock. Not that I personally had a problem with that, it just doesn't sound like proper prog stuff

┐Prepared for bittersweet? Well, there's a fair share of balladesque material here, check out, for example, tracks 6 "Waiting for no one", and 8 "Where's the passion ?". Besides, midway pops up ... yes, the cover version of "Money (That's what I want)", a song invested with Beatle fame, but in no way progressive.

Still, I like what I heard, but I can't recommend it as addition to a prog collection, just as a very, very good album.

 Karma by D'VIRGILIO, NICK album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.70 | 16 ratings

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Karma
Nick D'Virgilio Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars This is Nick's debut solo album, and he has brought in help from many quarters, including from his day job with the Beard, but has also provided all of the drums and vocals as well as some guitar and keyboards. One is never sure what a solo album from a drummer is going to sound like, even one that can really sing, and the verdict is still out on this one.

Some of the songs are very rhythmic; such as opener, "The River Is Wide" yet also contains good hooks while others just aren't strong enough for one reason or another to be on an album. Nick is one of the best drummers in the business, but he really comes to the fore when playing other people's songs. Probably one for Spock's Beard devotees only.

Originally appeared in Feedback #64, Oct 01

 Pieces by D'VIRGILIO, NICK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.19 | 8 ratings

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Pieces
Nick D'Virgilio Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Nick D'Virgilio, of ... about 20 project's fame, but relatively new to releasing albums under his name directly. He is certainly skilled (one of the best drummers of today's Prog) musician and he handles virtually all instruments here, except the third of five (7 of 9 anyone?), which is a shame, because it's the best one, the one that sounds fullest, most lively, filled with fine sounds, which is a strange thing, because other songs doesn't lack anything in particular, but they limp behind it. Others gets a little bit close to Kevin Gilbert's work, but not so much. And average album.
 Karma by D'VIRGILIO, NICK album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.70 | 16 ratings

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Karma
Nick D'Virgilio Crossover Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Shortly after the new millennium took its turn I was pretty much into Spocks Beard and noticed back then some of their members made solo releases. Well, Neal Morse wasn't really a big surprise because he was they great songwriter of the band but Ryo Okumoto and mr. D'Virgilio were more unexpected to me for I didn't really expect these qualities with these guys.

If I look back at the three members and their solo efforts I have to say mr. Morse is by far the outstanding songwriter and the keyboardist and drummer have delivered some nice work with their respective solo albums Coming Through and this release Karma. Okumoto took the heavier road with his effort but D'Virgilio has chosen more middle of the road kind of approach with Karma. Real songs (instead of complex compositions) with prominent vocals and less important instrumental bits and pieces is what I notice most when I compare and have to describe this album.

Solid songs for sure but nothing mindblowing is another conclusion after hearing the whole album once more. The vocals are really good but the compositions are hardly prog I'm afraid which is also proven by the average length of the songs. Ok, not really the only element to call something prog or not but it's a significant feature of most prog in history. And the songs are quite straightforward, sounding a bit like a calmer version of Black Crowes or Live for instance.

It's just the final multi layered song Paying the Price clocking almost 19 minutes that can be called progressive in many senses. But all in all that's not really enough if you ask me. Like I said, a solid release but nothing really to go overboard about. The only outcome can be 3 stars for me because of all the mentioned aspects. Maybe slightly rounded down but it's the best I can do. Nick's drumming and singing are the definite highlights and if you are interested you could go for this release but it's not highly recommended for everyone I dare to state. It could be nice for Beatles fans or probably people who like the Van Morrison approach.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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