Randy McStine Presents a Kevin Gilbert Retrospective featuring: Nick D’Virgilio, Don Carr and Lloyd Landesman
Who was Kevin Gilbert? Who is doing this Retrospective?
Our all-star tribute is for Kevin Matthew Gilbert (November 20, 1966 – May 18, 1996). Kevin was an American songwriter, musician, composer, producer and collaborator. Kevin was also an accomplished singer and multi-instrumentalist who played keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, cello, and drums. He toured with Eddie Money before winning the 1988 Yamaha SOUNDCHECK International Rock Music Competition with his progressive rock group Giraffe. Producer Patrick Leonard was impressed with Gilbert’s performance at the competition and invited him to join him in forming a new band which became Toy Matinee. During this time, Gilbert worked on the projects of several established pop musicians, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Keith Emerson, acting as producer for the latter’s album Changing States.
Later, Gilbert was part of the songwriting collective “The Tuesday Music Club” that met at producer Bill Bottrell‘s studio in Pasadena, California. Gilbert introduced his then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow to Bottrell and his fellow Club musicians and the sessions allowed Crow to workshop new material, leading to the recording of her breakthrough debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. Gilbert co-wrote many of the songs on that album, including 1995 Grammy Record of the Year “All I Wanna Do”. Crow later acrimoniously split with most of the musicians in the collective and only producer Bottrell and drummer Brian MacLeod were involved in her follow-up album. Meanwhile the remainder of the collective worked with singer-songwriters Susanna Hoffs and Linda Perry on two more albums.
Gilbert continued to work in television and movie soundtracks, studio sessions, production, and eventually released his first solo album Thud (1995) as well as partially reforming Giraffe to perform the Genesis double album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway at Progfest ’94. Gilbert’s manager sent a copy of the recording to Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford who were searching for a new front man to replace Phil Collins. Coincidentally, shortly after Gilbert’s death, his manager, Jon Rubin of The Rubinoos, was contacted by Genesis’s management to arrange an audition.
Several albums of Gilbert’s music have been released posthumously, beginning in 1999 with the live album Kevin Gilbert & Thud – Live at the Troubadour (consisting primarily of songs from Thud) and a compilation of Giraffe material that he had been working on.
Gilbert’s second solo album, The Shaming of the True, (2000) was also released posthumously. The album was largely incomplete, but Gilbert’s estate asked Nick D’Virgilio (a former member of Thud, the Giraffe Progfest ’94 gig, Spock’s Beard drummer and close friend of Gilbert’s) and producer/engineer John Cuniberti to complete it, based upon the extant tapes and the album planning notes left by Gilbert. Following this, an “industrial” album of music performed by Gilbert’s group, Kaviar, was released in 2002. In June of 2012 Nick D’Virgilio headlined CalProg in Whittier, CA and played the entire The Shaming of the True album live.
In October 2009, three new works were released; Nuts and Bolts (collectively a body of mostly unreleased songs and mixes, released as two individual CD albums) and Welcome to Joytown – Thud: Live at The Troubadour, a DVD/CD which expanded on the original 1999 release. A live performance from Gilbert’s promotional group for Toy Matinee was made available in March 2010, and late 2011 saw a deluxe expanded release of The Shaming of the True with additional orchestration and engineering by Mark Hornsby. In 2012, the two Giraffe albums and 1984’s No Reasons Given were re-issued with complete re-mastering from the original analog tapes. Late 2014 saw a similar expanded release of Thud.
Randy McStine (The Fringe, Lo-Fi Resistance) is a 28-year old guitarist, songwriter, and producer. He recorded his first album when he was 11 years old, and hasn’t stopped since. Randy has recorded and performed with a diverse list of talent, including Dave Kerzner, the Pink Floyd Experience, Jane Getter Premonition, Stu Hamm, and members of King Crimson, Tears For Fears, Porcupine Tree, Miles Davis, and Joe Satriani. Randy performed on guitar/vocals on the 2014 Moody Blues and YES Cruise to the Edge with Sound of Contact, at the 2015 Marillion Weekend Montreal (with Lo-Fi Resistance), and at RoSfest 2014 (with Sound of Contact), RoSfest 2015 (with Lo-Fi Resistance), and RoSfest 2016 (with The Fringe). Those of you who have seen Randy perform live know that he is the perfect person to be leading this tribute to Kevin Gilbert.
Nick D’Virgilio is an American drummer and multi-instrumentalist musician, often referred to as NDV, best known as a former member of the progressive rock band Spock’s Beard. He was also one of two drummers chosen to replace Phil Collins in Genesis on the Calling All Stations album. He has also done session work with many artists including Tears for Fears and Mystery, and is an official member of Big Big Train and The Fringe. Nick’s previous work with Kevin Gilbert’s material makes him a perfect fit for this event.
Don Carr is a legendary Nashville guitarist, best known for his 23 years of work with the Oak Ridge Boys. Don collaborated with other musicians writing, recording, and performing a wide variety of original music and also found success as a sideman and session guitarist. The mix of original music and sideman proved to be a potent one, providing him with the skills to perform and record with diverse artists such as David Slater, Danielle Alexander, Shelley West, Girls Next Door, Earl Thomas Conlee, Tommy Tutone, Marie Osmond, JoDee Messina, Sarah Evans, Colin Raye, BJ Thomas, and Tim McGraw. Don has made over 100 television appearances, been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and made a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry.
Lloyd Landesman is a veteran live and studio musician, with talents for piano, organ, keyboards, vocals, composing, arranging, and producing. Recent live work includes fronting his own fusion band, Meridian Voice Project, and performing with the heavy progressive rock band Fright Pig at RoSfest 2014. Lloyd has recorded with artists such as Foreigner, Squeeze, Carl Perkins, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), Clarence Clemons (E Street Band), Michael Bolton, Johnny and Edgar Winter and many more. In addition, he has composed and produced hundreds of commercial spots for television including The Super Bowl, CBS NCAA College Football, SEC Football, Budweiser, Dr. Pepper, Cheerios, Chevy, Subway, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ford, Pringles, Burger King, and the catchy “Every kiss begins with Kay” tagline for Kay Jewelers’ commercials.