Vance GilbertVance Gilbert
Album: BaD Dog Buffet
Label: Disismye
Tracks: 11

The name Vance Gilbert rang a few bells when "BaD Dog Buffet", his latest album came tumbling out of the envelope. I recalled an album "Shaking Off Gravity" which turned out to be album number three and released as, unexpectedly, far back as 1998. Since then, not counting this one, there have been another five, the most recent of which, "Up On Rockfield" which as the name implies picked up on songs of Vance's contemporaries and came out as far back as 2008.

In some ways, it is "Up On Rockfield" that makes "BaD Dog Buffet" possible. As an album, it saw Vance Gilbert writing in the style of some of the artists that he'd covered with his previous release and gave a real insight into his songwriting ability, all of which helped a great deal when he went to his fan base to fund this current album.

The title, is a tongue in cheek reference to the content, a veritable smorgasbord of songs in styles that run the gamut of the acoustic spectrum, but are joined by being story songs. It's here that Gilbert really lets his creative juices flow, being able to tell a tale in five minutes or so, to let us feel the characters and events and relate to them.

This is collection of songs, often simply put together, voice and guitar, though with occasional other instruments, that carry different aspects of the psyche, sometimes wanting you to laugh with him, sometimes to open up and cry. That nature also means that should you not like a song, don't worry, there won't be anything similar anytime soon.

"BaD Dog Buffet" is a showcase of the songwriters art. Gilbert is no mean performer either, so if the song and narrative are your cup of tea, this could very easily be your bag.

Neil King

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