Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90’s when buzz started spreading in the folk clubs of Boston about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking ’em dead at open mics.
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Once word got out about Gilbert’s stage-owning singing and playing, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City Tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 12 albums, including 4 for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, and Anita Baker, 2006 and 2007 found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser and The Subdudes.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, Gilbert’s approach to the acoustic singer songwriter idiom is significant. Gilbert’s compositions, while frequently employing sophisticated melodies and harmonies that attest to his jazz roots, remain sublime attestations to the storyteller’s craft. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
Imagine an experience where an entire audience feels like they are connected to a conversation; whether thru his music or his words, Jim brings a real life perspective, with an engaging and entertaining presence to the room. Joyful, sincere and magnetic are just a few of the words to describe Jim Trick.
As a child, he was bullied for choosing music over sports, for having a funny last name and for struggling with obesity. Through his experiences he delivers a blend of alternative folk, thoughtful pop, and spoken word. Influenced by Neil Finn, Bruce Cockburn, John Gorka and Charles Bukowski; Trick takes the acoustic guitar down a path of percussive, intricate, and ethereal ranges creating well thought out melodic support for carefully crafted lyrics.
Boston has welcomed Jim with open arms, as a frequent guest lecturer at The Berklee College of Music and as a solo artist. Jim was featured along side American Idol’s Alex Preston, by Berklee College of Music for a performance entitled “An Evening With New England’s top songwriters”.
His most recent release, Further From the Tree, produced by Michael Pritzl of The Violet Burning, was fully funded by his loyal fan base during a four week “Trick-Starter” campaign. The album features the song “A road called home” co-written with Nashville’s Rachel Taylor. It depicts a recent trip in which Jim traveled 10,500 miles all over the United States, not knowing from night to night where he would sleep.
As a touring member of Banding People Together, Jim also travels all over the United States using music and behavioral science to help companies create collaborative strategies and improve leadership.