Saturday, 30 September 2017

Saluki “Saluki"1977 Norway Prog Jazz Rock Fusion

Saluki “Saluki"1977 very rare  Norway Prog Jazz Rock Fusion

Saluki was formed in 1976 in Oslo, Norway. Their style was jazz rock with Brass sections and some funky guitar bass lines. They released only one self titled album in 1976. They then disbanded after the release of this album. Also a bootleg entitled "Be Here Now” also exists which was apparently released around 1977. 
The Guitarist/Vocalist Freddy Dahl was better known as a member of Junipher Greene and also Sverre Beyer was also a member of junipher Greene as from 1974 onwards. …

The band was Freddy Dahl (vocals, guitar), Peter Berg Nilsen (vocals, saxophone), Kjell Rønningen (keyboards), Sverre Beyer (bass) and Bjorn Jenssen (drums). The group’s only album was recorded in October 1976 and released the following year. Everything from the painting on the cover, through the colorful disc label to the music in the grooves, testified that the Saluki wanted to assert itself among the country’s leading progressive rock bands. The disc also contained a new version of “Take The Road Across The Bridge”, which Dahl had recorded with ? Junipher Greene five years in advance. Sylvi Lillegaard (from ? Ruphus) and Radka Toneff participated as choirgirls on this cut. Unfortunately Saluki never got to show their full potential. During 1977 the group disbanded. One of the best progressive albums from Norway !! …

Bass – Sverre Beyer 
Drums, Percussion – Bjørn Jensen* 
Keyboards – Kjell Rønningen 
Piano – Even Stormoen (tracks: A2) 
Producer – Erling Jørgensen, Freddy Dahl 
Saxophone – Erik Balke (tracks: A1, B4) 
Trumpet – Petter Katraas* (tracks: A1, B4) 
Vocals – Radka Toneff (tracks: B4), Sylvi Lillegaard (tracks: A1, B4) 
Vocals, Guitar – Freddy Dahl

A1 Come Down 5:18 
A2 Autumn 5:53 
A3 The Awakening 3:45 
A4 Love To The Sun 9:30 
B1 Uranus In Cancer 6:26 
B2 Fantasy Suns 1:49 
B3 Hidden Path III 10:40 
B4 Take The Road Across The Bridge 7:20 

The 107th Street Stickball Team ‎" Saboreando - Pot Full Of Soul" US 1969 Latin Soul Funk, Boogaloo,Salsa- with Tito Puente

The 107th Street Stickball Team ‎" Saboreando - Pot Full Of Soul"  US 1969 ultra rare Latin Soul Funk, Boogaloo,Salsa- with Tito Puente

Super-rare latin soul and funk LP reissued for the first time, plus three tracks from latin supergroup the Nitty Sextet featuring Tito Puente, Jimmy Sabater and Louie Ramirez…

Amazing latin-boogaloo-salsa album from 1969 by The 107th Street Stickball Team, with the legendary Bobby Martin. With help from the groovy drummer Bernard Purdie this album mixture latin-soul-funk in a very hip and groovy way. Saboreando - Pot Full Of Soul got a expanded reissue back in 2009 by BGP

In the late 1960s, producer and arranger Bobby Marin had the concept for an album based on the sounds and experiences of his youth in his Spanish Harlem neighborhood. Credited to the 107th Street Stickball Team, this LP was rehearsed and recorded on the same day, fusing Latin music with soul and a bit of pop and boogaloo. The liner notes to the 2009 CD reissue of this rarity infer that this was a concept album of sorts, but while Marin’s background undoubtedly fueled his vision of the record, it’s really a collection of unrelated songs, not a series of tunes that tells a story or elaborates upon certain constant themes. It’s a pretty fair mixture as far as such Nuyorican albums of the era go, but it’s not quite as exciting or innovative as some of the collector buildup might portend. It does sound at times like the work of several bands rather than a single artist, with “On Old Broadway” fusing soul-pop with light Latin jazz and salsa; others, like the Spanish-language “Toma Guajira,” getting into more straight salsa-jazz fusion along the lines of Willie Bobo; “Barbara with the Kooky Eyes” (great song title) going for an instrumental boogaloo; and other songs getting into more of an updated Latin/doo wop hybrid feel. Though the sound and grooves are pretty cool, the material does seem to have been hastily written and recorded, with a shortage of really outstanding compositions and somewhat lo-fi sound by 1969 standards. It’s not a plus, either, that the best song, “On Old Broadway,” has a chorus that virtually replicates the one from Petula Clark’s “Downtown” melodically. The 2009 CD reissue does benefit from thorough historical liner notes explaining the album’s genesis, as well as three interesting bonus cuts from an unreleased, slightly earlier boogaloo album by the Nitty Sextet in which Marin was also involved…. by Richie Unterberger …

As well as being a legend in the world of latin music, producer and songwriter Bobby Marin was also in his younger days a champion of stickball, a street-based version of baseball played in and about the tenements of America’s big cities. Bobby’s neighbourhood was East or Spanish Harlem and his home was 107th Street, hence the name of the group that made this super-rare album. The spirit of New York is something that pervades the whole LP, which we are very pleased to reissue this month. 

Bobby has described to me the New York in which he grew up as a Nuyorican in the 1950s and 60s. It was a city that for him had the call of the island of Peurto Rico, from where his family came, which provided the many musical influences that dominated his brothers’ lives. Being younger than his brothers, as well as hearing the music of the two Titos – Puente and Rodriguez – Bobby had the influence of the nearby Apollo Theater. The sounds of Frankie Lymon, Jackie Wilson and the birth of soul filled his ears and influenced the producer that he became. 

When he started working as the in-house producer at Speed Record in 1967, he took this mix further using soul and funk luminaries like Bernard Purdie on his sessions to create an incendiary mix of latin, funk and soul. In 2006 his composition ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ was sampled by producer DJ Premier on Christina Aguilera’s worldwide hit ‘Ain’t No Other Man’. The original recording was big and brassy, but while working at Speed he was equally at home delivering more soulful items, such as the Northern soul classic ‘Spanish Maiden’. After he left the label he worked on various freelance projects, including several with producer Ralph Lew that appeared on logos such as Rado and Dorado. 

The 107th Street Stickball Team was such a project. Based around a nucleus of Bobby, Louie Ramirez, Ricardo Marrero and vocalist Butch Johnson, the record paints an accurate picture of the urban music of New York. From the sweet, big sounding soul of ‘On Old Broadway’, via the latin boogaloo of ‘Mojo Shingaling’, to the fiery funk of ‘Barbara With The Kooky Eyes’, it is a perfect album, which is what makes it so sought after by collectors the world over. 

Our CD is finished off with three bonus cuts from a 1967 project put together by Bobby and his brother Richard, who produced the sessions. They feature a latin supergroup comprising Tito Puente, Louie Ramirez, Jimmy Sabater and others, performing under the name the Nitty Sextet. They recorded an absolutely amazing LP, which in their wisdom RCA rejected. 40 years later, only these three tracks remain, rescued from an acetate. ……..By Dean Rudland…

A1 On Old Broadway
A2 Toma Guajira
A3 Look To Me
A4 You Put A Hurt In My Heart
A5 Rhythm And Soul
B1 Mojo Shingaling
B2 Barbara With The Kooky Eyes
B3 Tell Her I Love Her
B4 Let Me Do My Thing 

Kevin Gilbert “The Shaming Of The True” 2000 US Crossover Prog,Rock Opera

Kevin Gilbert “The Shaming Of The True” 2000 US Crossover Prog,Rock Opera..recommended..!
full  vk


official website….

Kevin Gilbert was a rock musician from southern California who worked in several projects during the late eighties and nineties. He was a skilled performer who could capably play many instruments (primarily keyboards), sing, and write dense, multi-layered compositions that offered catchy pop hooks spliced together with nuanced musical elements. In addition to writing and producing his own projects, Gilbert did production and songwriting work for musical stalwarts such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow and Eddie Money. 

Kevin Gilbert was also… Ok, I hear the snickering out there so I guess there’s something I should get out of the way right now. Some of you are saying, “Waitasec! Isn’t Gilbert one of these dudes who killed himself by autoerotic asphyxiation? Like he was wanking it while choking himself and it all went bad? Ha!” Sigh… yes, by all accounts this is true. But if you only think of Gilbert as a guy who jerked himself off to death then you are missing the much bigger and more important story. That future became even brighter when Patrick Leonard - a musician and producer best known for working with a mildly successful singer known as Madonna - approached Gilbert about forming a band. This ultimately led to a project called “Toy Matinee” which featured Gilbert as a co-songwriter and vocalist. The group released an eponymous* album in 1990 and two singles from the album—“Last Plane Out” and “The Ballad of Jenny Ledge”—charted respectably on Billboard. 

* I’d like to point out that this sentence allows me to fulfill a lifelong dream of using the word “eponymous” in its correct usage. 

The Toy Matinee album was how I first heard of Gilbert and his music. (Gilbert co-wrote the TM songs with Patrick Leonard so they both deserve credit for the album’s sound.) A friend played it for me while demonstrating his stereo and the song “Last Plane Out” immediately caught my ear. It had the candy sheen of a top forty hit but was slightly askew, utilizing unusual harmonic material and interweaving melodies one might expect to find in jazz and classical music. (Gilbert was influenced by the masters of jazz-pop, Steely Dan.) The rest of the album followed a similar formula, combining catchy songs (that - I should be clear - were not afraid to rock!) with a certain musical eeriness, a dark melancholy. 

Front and center on “Toy Matinee” was Gilbert’s lyrical persona. He had a sardonic wit and crafted verse that intrigued the ear even when its meaning was not always obvious. It was clear from the lyrics that Gilbert had a focus on the dark side of life, a resigned fatalism that would only get blacker during the coming years. 

The Toy Matinee project never really took off and after a few incarnations it disbanded. Bruised by the ups and downs of the music industry, Gilbert began taking part in a “just for the fun of it” music project called the Tuesday Night Music Club. The TNMC was a gathering of skilled musicians who would converge weekly to jam and write music. At some point Gilbert began bringing his then girlfriend to the events. The young lady was a former backup singer for Michael Jackson named Sheryl Crow.The story of what happened between Crow, Gilbert and the rest of the music club is controversial and burdened with steaming acrimony and confusing allegations. It’s clear that the result of those jam sessions was the creation of Sheryl Crow’s 1993 hit album aptly titled “The Tuesday Night Music Club.” What’s less clear is whether people were fairly acknowledged and compensated for their contributions to the album. Several of the music club members allege that Crow used them as songwriters and performers and then dismissed them when she had a hit record on her hands. Bass player Dan Schwartz once stated, “I add Sheryl Crow to a long list of people in Hollywood who told me they were my friend until they got what they wanted from me.” Crow’s take on the events has - to my knowledge - never been presented but one can assume she recalls things differently. Gilbert did get a co-writer credit on two of Crows biggest early hits - “Leaving Las Vegas” and “All I Wanna Do” - but the whole episode led him to take an even darker mindset about a music business that promised so much but failed to deliver. This bleak view would be heard on his final albums. 

As Crow’s album sailed up the charts Gilbert focused on his own solo album, titled “Thud” (which, as many have noted, described the sound upon its release.) On “Thud” a different Kevin Gilbert was heard. Gone was the power pop of the Crow songs or the ultimately affirming synth-pop of the Giraffe albums. The melancholy and harmonic sophistication of the Toy Matinee albums remained but combined with a darker flavor reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails. While “Thud” was certainly an accessible album and a pleasure to listen to it was not happy music. It was a great album that the public failed to take notice of*. 

* Another project worth mentioning from this phase of Gilbert’s career was a heavy industrial project titled “Kavier.” Unfortunately I’ve only heard a few songs from the album and can’t offer much commentary on it. 

“Thud’s” lack of success did not snuff out Gilbert’s desire to make music. In 1995 he began working on the album “The Shaming of the True.” It would ultimately be released in 2000 though Gilbert wouldn’t be alive to see it. 

“Shaming…” is an example of what some view to be the height of pretension for rock and roll: a concept album. It starts with the rise of an honest and hopeful musician named Johnny Virgil and culminates in his eventual destruction at the hands of the music industry machine. It’s a trite story - no doubt about it - and Gilbert broadcasts his grievances a little too loudly. I’d say the album could be ignored if it didn’t have absolutely fantastic music. Unlike “Thud” and the Giraffe albums, “Shaming…” has a very organic feel. Keyboards are present but held in check, allowing acoustic piano, acoustic and electrical guitars and drums to breath. Gilbert’s compositional abilities were at their peak on the album; he combined the unpredictability of progressive music - such as that created by his heroes, the theatrical art rockers, Genesis - with a creamy, dreamy kind of production that would not be ill-placed on a Norah Jones album. 

Several tunes stand out. The second cut, “The City of the Sun” is unapologetic prog-rock, cinematic in its scope. It starts out on propulsive dark funk groove before taking flight towards Zeppelin riffology, half time acoustic gloom and warped a cappella. The ambitious “Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Man)” takes the fugue - a music form that had its heyday in the era of J.S. Bach - and makes it relevant (and comical.) The hard rocker “Certifiable #1 Smash” lampoons the music industry’s vapid pursuit of hits. The emotional high point of the album comes with “A Long Day’s Life,” a seven minute long prog-rock ballad of lost hopes and crushed dreams. 

Kevin Gilbert succeeded in recording “The Shaming of the True,” but died by his own hand in an admittedly stupid way before it was mixed and mastered. The album was then assembled into a cohesive collection by engineer John Cuniberti who used Gilbert’s rough mixes as guide and filled in unfinished sections with material from live shows. Thanks to Cuniberti’s herculean efforts, a dead man’s masterpiece earned a second chance at life and is earning new fans today. 

When one reviews Gilbert’s ouvre, one is plagued with nagging questions. How could someone with all of Gilbert’s talents fail to become a household name? If genius of this level doesn’t have a shot, how can anyone hope to? I think a lot of things damned Gilbert’s effort. Certainly, the ego-driven insanity of the music industry deserves its share of the blame. And timing was against him. He was creating sophisticated, complex and richly melodic music during the grunge era - precisely when such elements were not appreciated. (Indeed, they were openly condemned as signs of pretense and corporate deference.) But Gilbert’s biggest obstacle was probably himself. His lyrics speak of a fatalist streak, a “shadow self” (to use the title of one of his own songs) that would not allow him to be happy. He had high expectations of the world and life and fought bitterly when the tides turned against him. As he sang in the song “Waiting” off “Thud”: “I am waiting for love to come… I am waiting for wonder to return.” 

Maybe he got tired of waiting…………. By Wil Forbis…

I knew Kevin Gilbert during years when I was chasing tribute albums in mid nineties through a compilation album “Supper’s Ready” - a tribute to Genesis (Magna Carta, 1995) and “Tales From Yesterday” - a tribute to Yes (Magna Carta, 1995). Out of fourteen tracks featured in the Supper’s Ready CD, I was totally amazed with track 5 “Back in NYC” performed by Kevin Gilbert featuring himself (vox, gtr, bass, keys, cellos, recorder), Mike Keneally (gtr, kalimba, bell piano, recorder), Nick D'Virgilio (drums, backing vox), and Toby Holmes (trombone solo); produced and engineered by Kevin Gilbert. The song was re-arranged completely different with the original Genesis studio album but maintaining the tagline melody as basic structure. I do enjoy the opening part where he sung with acoustic guitar and I could not at first guessed what Genesis tune he was about to play. Wonderful one! This, of course became a masterpiece tribute song because Kevin Gilbert did make a successful performance in Progfest 1994 when he and the band (including Nick D'Virgilio) performed “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” in its entirety. 
On “Tales From Yesterday” he - under the name of STANLEY SNAIL featuring Kevin Gilbert and Mike Keneally - performed Siberian Khatru of Yes’ Close To The Edge album. It’s an excellent performance even though it’s not radically different than Yes studio album except the inclusion of one of Bruford’s melody taken from solo album during the interlude segment. By the time Nick D'Virgilio (later was popular with his Spock’s Beard) wasn’t famous yet. 

With the above background, combined with information available at his website, I could sense the kind of music style that Kevin Gilbert has adopted. The style has characterized his last album The Shaming of The True. 


This album represented Kevin’s life-long dream - to record a rock opera. Working closely with Nick D'Virgilio on the project, Kevin worked like mad on this project. The concept/semi-autobiographical project is the story of one Johnny Virgil, a broken rock star that battles the demons of stardom and the music industry and comes to peace with his life at the end. 

Unfortunately, this was not to be the case with Kevin. Sadly, he never got to see the results of his dream finalized. Kevin Gilbert died on May 17, 1996, of accidental asphyxiation, leaving the project unfinished. After his death, Jon Rubin and Nick D'Virgilio worked for years on the album, picking up where Kevin left off, finishing the album in late 1999. The album was released in 2000 by the Estate of Kevin Gilbert and through

At first listen I was not really sure about the kind of music Kevin was going to play as for me the first track Parade did not stimulate any typical prog I had been hearing thus far. My preconceived expectation was that he would repeat his wonderful arrangement with Genesis’ Back in NYC style. So I was dissatisfied for the sake of not fulfilling my expectation. But, one thing struck into my mind when I carefully listened to the lyric. This came to be true especially when I opened the black-and-white booklet of lyrics. Wow! It’s an excellent rock opera, I thought. And this song is basically about Johny Virgil’s introduction, self proclamation and affirmation about his future as successful musician. “My name is Johny Virgil and I’m gonna be a Star. Gonna get my share of fame”. This ballad opens the odyssey beautifully. It lays a strong foundation for next tracks with full stream of music rich with variations. 

It’s worthy to take note here when the album reaches track number 3: Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men). The choir performed here is really wonderful reminiscent of Gentle Giant. Through this track I knew why Spock’s Beard’s The Light (produced by Kevin) was heavily influenced by Gentle Giant. “Hi, John it’s Mel from Meglaphone. I’ve been listening to your tape for the 19th time. Oh that’s another call - can I call you ..” performed firmly with transparent voice augmented with nice choirs. Lyrically, it represents John Virgil’s mixed feeling of accepting a phone call from record company about his demo tape that might clear up his pathways to success. But at the same time it creates another feeling of not being important or significant as the caller excused for another call and closed the conversation. Well, I think this also represents Kevin’s personal experience on his struggle with record company. For example he was rejected by major label who produced Econium - a tribute to Led Zeppelin when he submitted the Kashmir tape. The reason was that he was no one. 

Another standout track that I like is Certifiable # 1 Smash that has powerful lyrics and messages Kevin is trying to convey. This track is dynamic as it outcasts a powerful story with an articulate lyrics, performed energetically in an upbeat rocking tempo with excellent vocal clarity voicing anger, frustration and dialogue in a dynamic way. It’s an exciting track to enjoy. 

This album must be enjoyed in its entirety and it’s suggested that you listen to this album while flipping through and reading the lyrics of the 40-page hard-bound book with excellent illustrations (mostly dark). Musically, please do not expect that this is the kind of prog you have got used to hear. It’s different. But I can tell you that there is an intensive use of acoustic guitar and piano throughout this album. This album was critically acclaimed and won a Grammy nomination for its elaborate packaging (the first issue of 1400 was in a beautiful 40 page hard-bound book). 

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Progressively yours,   by Gatot  

This is an incredible concept album about the music business. Kevin Gilbert truly was an imaginative person, and a multitalent on many instruments. On another website someone stated that he could pick up any instrument and play it nearly instantly - and knowing his music, I’m inclined to agree. 
I won’t go into too much detail on what his beef was with the music industry - suffice it to say that he wrote a lot of songs on Sheryl Crow’s debut album and wasn’t even mentioned in the liner notes. Having said that, let me assure you that The Shaming of the True doesn’t even remotely sound like Sheryl Crow … 

On this album Kevin is mainly backed up by Nick D'Virgilio, who is also a multi instrumentalist to no lesser degree - well, maybe just a tiny bit less. Anyway, every instrumental part is done flawlessly, and at the same time with great passion and ambition. Production is top notch, and the mix is very open, with very little compression. I apologize for the length of this review, but one of the most intriguing aspects of this album are the lyrics, and I just had to quote some passages. 

Parade: The song starts with a dissonant wall of synth sounds, which slowly get in tune and fade out. Then Gilbert sings a tasty introductory theme, accompanied by a lonely acoustic guitar. 

City of the Sun: Beautiful slow song with a nice groovy bass line, reminds me a bit of the Peter Gabriel pop songs (think Sledge Hammer). But there are enough “oddities” that venture far from pop - huge choirs, odd breaks, and plenty of sarcasm in the lyrics: 

Oh, Johnny you’ve got a seed in your head It is the seed of your demise Ambition’s gonna lure you away Into the land of compromise 

This wraps up the story so far: Johnny Virgil, a young musician, is tempted by the music industry to sacrifice his artistic integrity in exchange for commercial success. 

Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men): This is the most brilliant a capella fugue that I’ve ever heard. Sure, Gentle Giant did that first, but this is executed so flawlessly and utterly brilliant and convincing … you have to hear for yourself. 

Imagemaker: Here the vocals remind me of 80s Peter Gabriel again. The song is a nice up-tempo tune which is not very progressive, but it’s not meant to be - it tells about Johnny’s way towards more success - that doesn’t leave much room for progressiveness. At the end, there’s an odd sample of the german word “Schlußmoral” … strange. 

Water Under the Bridge: This is the second utterly brilliant song after the Suit Fugue. Johnny has become “comfortably numb”, if you will: 

What’s a drop of water In an ocean of compromise 

Beautiful mellow track based on piano and acoustic guitar, with a beautiful - yet short - guitar solo and a nice build-up near the end. 

The Best Laid Plans: Cool up-tempo song based on piano and guitar riffs. Johnny apparently reaches the peak of his success, everything is working out just as planned. But even in this “happy” song, there’s Gilbert’s bitter sarcasm: 

You can tell a big man by the company he fleeces Step right on up here son see how your wealth increases Get your Cross of Iron, get your thirty silver pieces. 

Certifiable #1 Smash: This is the most direct criticism of the music industry. I don’t want to spoil anything, but here Gilbert elaborately describes the means which the music industry employs to cheat people into buying crappy music albums. The music plays a minor role in this song. 

Staring Into Nothing: This is where things start to turn out bad for Johnny, he begins to feel empty, because he traded is art for money. This song features beautiful multi-voice interludes on the classical guitar, and again very strong vocals. 

Fun: Johnny has entered the phase where he’s entirely reduced to money - no real friends, just alcohol and sex … but the lyrics are far from clichee: 

Now Sheryl’s in the kitchen with the L.A. Lakers Trying to get herself laid but there ain’t no takers Cause they heard about the guy that she did with Aids And she’s callin’ ‘em fags saying they’re afraid 

The whole song has a hypnotic feel, getting you in a state of trance, just like it must feel when you’re on a bad trip - “uncomfortably numb”, if you will. 

From Here to There: Johnny begins to realize that something as gone awfully wrong and tries to find a way out of this situation 

Ghetto of Beautiful Things: This is my favorite song on the album. Johnny is disappointed and get’s angry about the music industry and tries to find the artist that he once was. But he’s just too angry: 

Change my sex, burn my cash Stick my tongue up the client’s a** And I vanish into Nowhere’s End New Jersey Uniforms, formulas, Formica, office forms Conformism, formalism, formalities 

Musically, this is a nice avant-garde track which reminds me of Zappa a little bit. 

A Long Day’s Life: A huge contrast to the previous song … this is again a truly beautiful work - of art. Johnny has found the artist he once was, but he is quite tired. The song has an epic quality, with underlying strings, slide guitar and an occasional choir and mellotron. Here the lyrics become utterly divine: 

Love came to my house and knocked on the door I answered and said “What are you here for? Go away. 'Cause I’m busy looking for truth. 

The Way Back Home: Nice up-tempo song which reminds me of Porcupine Tree. 

Johnny’s Last Song: This song is the counterpart of the first song - Johnny has come full circle. In the first song he was a young ambitioned man, now he’s an old man whose songs are played on "oldies radio”. Again the vocals are only backed by a lonely acoustic guitar and ambient sounds - and at the end, the song fades into the dissonant synths from the beginning, followed by the sound of rain on a window sill…….. by MikeEnRegalia …

Best known as a co-writer for Sheryl Crowe’s debut album, Kevin Gilbert was in the process of recording this scathing, unflinching indictment against the recording industry at the time of his all-too-early death. 
His friends were later able to sort through his many tapes and sketchy notes to complete this tortured prog-rock-pop magnum opus, a “rock opera” concerning Johnny Virgil, an auto-biographical character who learns firsthand the hypocrisy and decadence of the modern music industry. 

The album opens with “Parade,” a quiet, acoustic, naïve song with the lyrics “My name is Johnny Virgil/ I play this here guitar/ I play it for myself.” This leads to “The City of the Sun” with an off-kilter rock feel similar to Gabriel-era Genesis. An early favorite, “Suit Fugue” is a mostly a cappella fugue of messages left by PR men, agents, and other musical lowlifes on Johnny’s answering machine. The result is equally humorous and dispiriting as Virgil first considers and eventually gives in to their demands to change his image and dump his band, justifying the decision in the sobering and haunting “Water Under the Bridge.” 

After the industry attempts to androgynize and pasteurize him in the “Madman Across the Water” influenced “The Best Laid Plans,” Johnny finds himself empty (“Staring Into Nothing” with Yes-ish Italian guitars and melotron) and quits the business. He turns to self-destruction with “Fun,” a mocking, seamy underbelly of the hit he co-wrote with Crowe. Taking the familiar melody, Gilbert contorts it into a doped up, hideous distortion that takes the listener along on a tale of a Hollywood party full of drugs, transvestites, and a particularly vicious slam on Crowe herself. 

“A Long Day’s Life” is a lonely, emotionally raw song of longing for innocence past with a melody that evokes the sorrow and tiredness of our hero. This beautiful, complex song takes many turns, guiding the listener back home with Virgil, back to a reprise of the opening song, this time sounding as down and out at our hero with lyrics “My name is Johnny Virgil/ I used to be a star/ A long, long time ago./ Sometimes I hear my records/ in the wee hours of the night/ on the oldies radio.” 

Everything about this album is absolute perfection: the lyrics, the vocals, the musicanship, the production and the incredible songs that keep me coming back long after I’ve memorized every note. Of course, as brutally honest as this album is, don’t expect it to be released by a major label. 

5 stars,highly recommended and a modern masterpiece…….by TheProgtologist 

The Prog Archives have many fine concept albums and I have listened to my fair share of them. This album by Kevin Gilbert is the best concept album I have heard in 2005. It is also one of the top 5 albums I have been turned onto this year. I was unaware of this unique individual until only recently when a good friend told me I should give this album a listen. It tells the story of one Johnny Virgil and his journey from fledgling songwriter through the insincere and cynical machinations of the musical industry. Kevin Gilbert won a grammy for co-writing Sheryl Crow’s hit “All I Wanna Do”. He was dating Crow at the time and became known as the man who discovered her. The two parted on less than cordial terms and it was claimed that Gilbert wrote most of the songs on the album that catapulted Crow on the road to stardom. 
When Gilbert was young he and his friends would listen to bands like the Dead Kennedys although when he got home he would listen to Genesis. His first introduction to the band was the album 'Foxtrot’ and he knew immediately this was his kind of music. He also enjoyed Gentle Giant but admitted he was inspired by the energy and vibrant nature of the punk movement. As he himself said “I think progressive rock took a really bad turn in the late 70s.It lost its adventurous spirit……..a lot of the bands made horrible records”. 

The album opens with 'Parade’ - an orchestral phrase leads into acoustic guitar and we hear Johnny Virgil telling us that everyone is soon going to know his name. It is a fairly straightforward song which segues into 'The City of the Sun’ which has similarities to the narrative style that Crow obviously borrowed. The drums are solid in this track due to the playing of Nick D'Virgilio, who helped in the realisation of this album. This was before Spock’s Beard became famous. Next up is Suit Fugue (Dance of the A & R men). As Bill Hicks would have said, if you are an A & R man do us all a favour, go and kill yourself. These corporate sharks along with advertising types are bottom feeders and contribute NOTHING and CONSUME everything. 'Imagemaker’ is a track that Gilbert had in mind for years prior to this rock opera. It is an excellent song featuring Gabriel- esque vocal stylings and a strong hook. This album has many highlights including 'Water Under the Bridge’ and 'A Long Day’s Life’. 

I cannot hope to write the review which this album deserves. Kevin Gilbert was also known for his work with the progressive bands Giraffe and Toy Matinee. At one point in his life he received a call from Keith Emerson saying he would love to work with Kevin on a project. In 1994 he and his band including Nick D'Virgilio performed 'The Lamb Lies Down in Broadway’ at Progfest to much acclaim. Sadly he was found dead on May 17th, 1996. He had been due to fly to London to audition for Genesis as their replacement lead singer. The man was a musical genius. It was said he could lift up any instrument and play it immediately. He is sorely missed………… horza 

Given the 90s, which are mostly sound-visionary, neo-expandable, prog-retro, metal-glorious, then alternative, post-operatic and “experimental on the side”, bombastic sequential or loop-prog sophisticated (none of these are bad mottos, nor expand to speak of no referential music and art movement whatsoever; nevertheless, the more typical and more un-refreshed characters do sting the most), I’d say I rarely heard music of Kevin Gilbert’s kind. Clear, artistic, conventional or rather not, delicate or rather mechanistic , a lyrical blast or a sentimental impasse, a shape of gold, a powerful instrumentality, some kind of hedonistic ideas in mix with progressive shapes and influences, music of a genre full of charm. 
The magnum opus, Shaming Of The True, acclaimed more artistically than based on popularity (a great detail, if you stand to think Gilbert is keen to many music ways, thus is the first within artists to never be closed-minded), is unfortunately a posthumous recording, based on Gilbert’s dream of concept music, rock opera and “art’s artistry” and a bit finished by his own work, but later brought to a serious four years work by Nick D'Virgilio and fellow friends, into a complete shape and a desire (or rather taken from desire) final shape. Kevin Gilbert died abruptly in 1996, right after glory (one, again, more artistic than popular-based) came from a full-blown interpretation of Genesis’s Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and a first great concept album, Thud (later to be considered the first volume of his dreamed rock opera, Shaming Of The True being, sensefully, the second) and has made him a better artist than ever before. It’s actually strange how, from a childhood alienated by different feelings and special emotions to the entire music career, eclecticism and power-option, his demise was no less stranger - autoerotic asphyxiation. Incidentally, Genesis’ manager was on his way to give him the chance for an audition, for Genesis’s recently lost vocal entry. Imagine Genesis not with Ray Wilson, but with this lucid complex artist that was Kevin Gilbert! 

Moving on to Shaming Of The True, the concept bears exactly the kind of quality I’ve already mentioned that Gilbert always appreciated - or, at least, has reached within years of practice, mastered in his relative brilliant way, to finally, upon all the glory achieved, to never forget it (or to blunt it by guilty, deceiving or effortless passions): music and art above popular forms (even if they exist in the entire music’s way of existence and persistance, though the concept is formed on the base idea that the new-industry is one practically demonic) and stagnating easy impressions. Johnny Virgil’s wondering story is mixed with the best music ever to impress and deeply be created. The auto-biographical idea is becoming, by the music’s entire glow, more auto-interpretational, in what is a concept mention of popular, artistic, song-written, avant-shaped or bit alternative and fresh rock. By thinking bigger or smaller details, the rock opera comes in touch with a progressive form of expressiveness, a deep rock sense, mostly unused so brightly and so equivocally, and an interiorized mention, by which the artist is barely narcissistic, but has the lead of songwriting (flawless), multi-instrument playing (pretty outstanding) and symbolic style ambition (mostly big, but also powerful). The interpretation lacks nothing, it actually discovers richness’s richness. And the deepest thing remains to like the music and recognize the beautiful work. 

This is concept by refinement, deep sentimentality, a bit of geniality and a great shape of music, rock, transcendence symbols and auto-characterizing large aphorisms. At least given the triumph of the work, I cannot go lower than expectations, so this is a 5 stars fragrant of craft, art, skill and suspicious quality. And, finally, even with a most tenacious grand album, the word of advice (by paradox) is to discover Kevin Gilbert even better……by Ricochet ………….
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…….by Flucktrot 

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…… by Marty McFly ……

As others have said, this album is a masterpiece. Sadly, like many great artists before him, Kevin Gilbert wasn’t as fully appreciated as he should have been in his lifetime, but that frustration led him to his greatest creative heights. The way I see it, Gilbert’s music was like the musical equivalent of the current Ford Mustang, seamlessly combining early 70s retro and modern styles and everything in between into a timeless whole greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, unlike the wildly popular Mustang, Gilbert’s music had difficulty finding a market, and for that I blame the narrow-mindedness of the record company and radio station executives. If it doesn’t fit a predetermined radio-friendly format, they don’t market it. Kevin Gilbert understood this all too well, and rather than compromise his vision, he chose to channel his anger and frustration into this brilliant rock opera. Ostensibly the story of a fictitious rock star named Johnny Virgil, I’m sure much of it was based on his own experiences. What really boggles my mind about it is that it wasn’t completed at the time of his death, but thanks to the efforts of his collaborators Nick D'Virgilio. John Cuniberti, and others, it sounds every bit as polished as the other great rock operas, “Tommy”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “The Wall”, and “Scenes From a Memory”, and even more heartfelt. Stylistically, it runs the gamut from soft acoustic guitar ballads to angry metal riffs, with a lovely piano ballad and a baroque fugue thrown in for good measure. “Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men)” is one of the standout tracks, a satirical hodgepodge of A&R clichés elaborately set to overlapping counterpoint to create the head-spinning feeling of an artist being courted by several record companies at once. “Certifiable #1 Smash” is even more bitingly satirical, and so it goes, tracing Johnny’s path from obscurity to fame and back, skewering every target that deserves it along the way. I agree with those who say this disc deserves to be on a “desert island” list. It’s immediately impressive and continues to get better with repeated listenings…..By AZEric……

The late Kevin Gilbert, aside from being the guiding light of the cult favorites Toy Matinee, was a well-respected songwriter and session player, contributing to Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club, Madonna’s I’m Breathless, and Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. Prior to his untimely passing in 1996, he had just finished the final touches on this fabulous concept album, The Shaming of the True. Essentially the tale of a fictional rock & roller named Johnny Virgil who travels through the music industry sausage grinder, this album is a virtual rock opera in all the best ways. Highly influenced by Queen, The Who, and Genesis – three true masters of the form – Gilbert’s tale is an epic, sweeping, complete work that is cinematic in its scope. Loaded with both pathos and humor as well as some rock-solid performances, this album is a bittersweet farewell from one of the brightest lights to emerge in the last 15 years…… Matthew Greenwald…

I found out about this concept album by Kevin Gilbert in 2005 I believe after seeing a string of 5 star reviews on a Prog site. It took me many years but I finally got a copy. This is a “Rock Opera” that apparently was a dream of Kevin’s to create but sadly he passed away before it’s completion and release. Enter Nick D'Virgilio who finished it off and it was released in 2000. 

I’m really not into concept albums because the focus becomes the lyrics even at the compromise of the music itself. So it’s rare for me to rate a concept album high but there are some. This is a story about a musician called Johnny Virgin and his rise to the top and eventual fall and just about every thing in between. I was surprised at the foul language which would make Zappa proud but much of the subject matter is in bad taste unfortunately. Just not my scene. 

The 3.5 star rating reflects my opinion that while I have a problem with a lot of this it is also really well done. So many good ideas and there’s a lot of humour. He was a talented man that’s for sure. Kevin was a huge SPOCK’S BEARD fan which I think is pretty cool and he was involved with the Prog festivals in L.A. back in the nineties recording the live music and lending out equipment etc. 

“Parade” reveals how Johnny plans to be a famous singer and how THE WHO and THE BEATLES would one day be listening to his songs. “The City Of The Sun” is a top three tune for me. It has a nice heavy sound to it but it does settle. Some funny lyrics here. “Suit Fugue(Dance Of The A&R Men)” is hilarious with GENTLE GIANT-like vocal arrangements. Maybe the best track on here. 

“Image Maker” has random drum patterns, sampled words and synths to start before it kicks in with vocals. Catchy stuff. “Water Under The Bridge” is a top three for me. Vocals and keys early on then it turns fuller and the sound here is beautiful, very melodic. A feel good song. “The Best Laid Plans” features strummed guitar and a beat as keys join in. It turns powerful with vocals. Again this is catchy but too commercial sounding for my tastes. 

I really like how “Certifiable #1 Smash” starts and how powerful it gets. A calm arrives quickly though with drums and prominent bass as he speaks the lyrics. Soon he’s singing as it picks up. Powerful stuff! Love that bass. Some country picking before 3 minutes then we get that video idea which I find insulting to say the least. “Staring Into Nothing” is a relaxed tune with vocals although we get some heavier sections as contrasts. I like that bass and also this song. 

“Fun” sounds quite sultry I’d say, different from the rest. He’s singing softer and while the lyrics are interesting again they are off-coloured at times. I do like the sound of this one despite that. Just swinging to the groove of this one, horns too. “From Here To Where” opens with atmosphere and foot steps as piano and vocals join in. It turns fuller just before a minute. It ends with atmosphere and spoken words. 

“Ghetto Of Beautiful Things” opens with drums pounding away as we get a yell from Kevin along with heaviness. Spoken words follow. This is good. Funny lyrics and a powerful sound. Head banging time. Several “F” bombs follow. “A Long Days Life” is ballad-like with fragile vocals and piano. Quite moving and it does pick up around 1 ½ minutes as contrasts continue. 

“The Way Back Home” opens with atmosphere and drums as vocals and keys join in. Love the lyrics about Jesus here. It kicks in after 1 ½ minutes as contrasts continue. Some great sounding guitar before 3 ½ minutes that goes on and on. Nice. The vocals are back late. “Johnny’s Last Song” opens with the sound of rain falling as acoustic guitar and vocals join in. A reflective closing track. How cool is it when this powerful atmosphere arrives and drowns every thing in it’s path starting before 1 ½ minutes. So cool. The atmosphere lifts just before the song ends and all we hear is rain as the album ends. 

Sad that Kevin didn’t hear the final results of his dream album but thankfully many, many people have and most have enjoyed the experience. 
3.5 stars is just right for my tastes. I was glad to have finally heard this….by…mellotronstorm ……

By all accounts, The Shaming of the True should have been a complete failure. Not only is is a concept album (which are generally either really good or really bad), but it uses possibly the most hackneyed theme for a concept album: a thinly veiled tale of the artist’s life. However, when the guy making this album is Kevin Gilbert, the regular rules do not apply. Kevin had been through it all and did not even live to see the album finished, but his experiences were more than enough to create a brilliant album. 

The Shaming of the True revolves around Kevin’s alter-ego Johnny Virgil and his beginnings, his rise to fame, his subsequent collapse and what happens afterwards, all told in one sometimes funny, sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, always beautiful tale. One of Kevin Gilbert’s greatest talents as a songwriter was his ability to write both bitingly sarcastic and honest, naive lyrics, often one right after the other. You truly feel what Kevin wants you to feel; the build-up of people telling him he’ll never make it in “City of the Sun,” a great track with a killer riff; the chill in your spine when Johnny says “Fuck it,” and gives in to the whims of a chorus of record execs in “Suit Fugue;” his lament about being a has-been in “Ghetto of Beautiful Things.” Kevin does regular singing but uses a liberal dose of “Sprechstimme,” or speech-singing, on a number of tracks, It’s used to great effect on the bitter “Certifiable #1 Smash,” in which Kevin’s manager pitches a ludicrous video idea which is met with applause. And yet, through it all, there’s still moments of hopefulness and. The wide-eyed innocence of “Parade,” the mellow “Water Under the Bridge,” and especially the bittersweet “Long Day’s Life,” one of the most haunting pieces of music I’ve ever heard. One of Kevin’s other skills is the juxtaposition of various cultural allusions against each other, giving old phrases new or double meanings, evident in the Spoonerism of a title. 

That’s not to say nothing about Gilbert’s instrumental prowess, which is tremendous. As Johnny’s manager says, “It’s got more hooks than a tackle box.” The riffs and melodies of this album, all of which Kevin composed and performed himself, will stay with you for days, especially the incredible harmonies of the aforementioned “Suit Fugue.” Musically, it’s classifiable as progressive rock, but, probably as a result of Kevin’s long producing resume, is full of pop elements. These two styles are blended perfectly together. If there is a flaw to this album, however, it’s that it, like Kevin’s life, seems unfinished. The two tracks leading up to “Johnny’s Last Song,” which brings the album full circle, do not quite feel like an end. It seems like there’s another song meant to be in between those two, and its absence is noticeable. Perhaps there was; as I said, Kevin Gilbert died, apparently of an accidental suicide, in the middle of making the album, and Spock’s Beard Nick D'Virgilio compiled it into an album based on Kevin’s extensive notes. The final song on this album seems even more powerful considering all the difficulties Kevin faced in his all-too-short career, and the end that came all too quickly. 

While it’s not perfect, The Shaming of the True is one of my favorite albums of all time, and I highly recommend it……….GreatMizuti 

In 1995 I was introduced to Kevin Gilbert by his manager and friend, Jon Rubin. I was called in to confer with Kevin about recording gear — in particular digital vs. analog equipment and drum micing techniques. Kevin also had questions about some 
recordings I’d made. Although Kevin was a very good engineer and had a great studio, he liked to collaborate in some areas and often worked with other engineers at different studios. Apparently he was unhappy with some of the results he’d been getting at his own studio and liked the work I’d done with drums on a Joe Satriani record. The questions about technical matters turned out to be a sort of audition. I guess I passed, as Kevin and Jon hired me to work with them a few days later. 

The work we began would become Kevin’s rock opera, The Shaming of the True. I began working as a recording engineer on this project at NRG studios in L.A. in 1995. This was my first insight into the way Kevin went about recording his music. The process could be described as extremely creative, open-ended, chaotic, or the only way an incredibly intense musical prodigy was capable of working. Bits and pieces of song ideas appeared — a bass track here, a synth track there, scratch vocals with piano, etc. There were no track sheets or notes on the technical information and song titles, just a lot of interesting music. 

We recorded Nick D'Virgilio’s drums on the songs Smash and Water Under The Bridge. Nick’s performance was spectacular, and I was thrilled to be working with him and with Kevin. I felt I’d gained much more than simply a new client, I saw the beginnings of a friendship with two very talented people. 

Sadly, I never saw Kevin again after those sessions. Like most people who were fortunate enough to know Kevin, I , too, was shocked to hear of his death. But this event didn’t end my involvement with Kevin and his music. Instead, Kevin’s tragic departure intensified the process of making the album in a way I could never have predicted. 

Jon Rubin contacted Nick and myself a few months after Kevin’s death and asked us to finish, archive, and catalog all of Kevin’s recordings for his estate. As mentioned above, Kevin never felt it necessary to label his tapes or make track sheets, a general and usually essential practice in commercial studios where dozens of takes of many instruments and musical phrases need to be organized and put together to mix and construct final pieces. Only Kevin knew the shape, the final plan, for the project. Only he knew what fragments would be arranged in what order, how they would be pieced together and how all the scattered parts would be used, if at all. 

Nick began the huge task of cataloging the tapes, some dating back to the early eighties, and eventually created a computer file for us to evaluate. Jon Rubin, Nick, and I were able to determine that we had on hand at least five CDs of unreleased Kevin Gilbert material. I am happy to say that as of this writing all of Kevin’s tape library has been cataloged and archived, and all the material to be released has been mixed (if necessary) and mastered. 

The first project that we undertook in early 1997 eventually became Kevin’s rock opera The Shaming of the True. Those of us who took on the task of finishing this work decided to use Coast Recorders in San Francisco. The fact that the studio had an automated vintage Neve console and that I managed the studio made it the likely choice. Kevin loved the sound of the Neve, and I was sure he would have insisted on it as the mixing desk. 

The constant question of what Kevin would have done haunted me throughout the entire project. In most cases, I collaborate with the artist on all aspects of the mixing. So instead of a detailed collaboration with weeks of decisions made by an artist, all we had to go on were rough mixes on a DAT and a handwritten note of Kevin’s with what we believed was the last running order of the opera. I remember at one point being upset about a mix, not knowing what Kevin had intended and feeling hopeless. Someone said, “Kevin f….d up and he doesn’t get to be here. So do what you feel is right for the song.” With that in mind, I got on with the job at hand, always referring to Kevin’s rough mixes as a kind of blueprint and never venturing too far from them. 
Song-by-Song Notes 

Parade: There are two versions of this song. One was recorded with footsteps keeping time, and one was recorded without. Because Kevin used the second version on his rough mix, I assumed this was the one he wanted to use in the final version. The intro synth chaos was never found on the 24 track, so I pulled it off Kevin’s rough mix. 

City of the Sun: The cross fade into this piece is a combination of about 20 tracks of TV and radio shows all mixed together and faded up. I really liked what Kevin had done without fader automation, and it took me a long time to equal his rough mix. What a great song and production! After spending a day mixing this song, I put on Kevin’s rough mix and was floored at how good it was. I learned again that I couldn’t venture too far from the rough mixes. There are some backing vocals on the rough mix that aren’t on the master 24 track. Did Kevin have a slave reel with more vocals that we never found? We’ll never know. 

Suit Fugue: This shows Kevin’s brilliance as a songwriter, singer, and producer. I loved mixing this and look forward to mixing it again in 5.1 surround. 

Imagemaker: This was the first track Jon Rubin asked me to mix. It was a test to see if I could improve Kevin’s rough and finished mixes. All involved agreed there was an improvement, and I got the green light to do the rest of the record. When I told Jon I used Dolby SR on the two track mix, he told me that Kevin hated SR. Out of respect for Kevin, I mixed the rest of the record on BASF 900 +6 @ 30ips. 

Water Under The Bridge: This track was incomplete when Kevin died, but was a necessary element to the production. The vocal was a scratch recorded as a guide. I had only one vocal chorus to work with, and moved it around to complete the lead vocal. Nick did a great job of doubling the lead vocal and adding harmonies. I asked Tommy Dunbar (Jon’s partner from The Rubinoos days and a collaborator and friend of 
Kevin’s) to play a simple George Harrison style guitar solo to complete the song. 

Best Laid Plans: There is no doubt that Kevin was paying tribute to some of his mentors on the production of The Shaming of the True. In this case, it must have been Elton John. As a fan of early Elton John recordings, I was thrilled to mix this classic rock production. To get the feeling of this piece, I spent equal time listening to Kevin’s rough mix and referring to Elton’s Madman Across The Water. 

Smash: Early on, it was decided that Smash could not be a part of the rock opera. Kevin never sang a vocal on it, not even a guide. There was some talk about a Kevin Gilbert sound-alike singing the song, but that never happened. It was only after working on the Kevin Gilbert Live At The Troubadour CD that I thought it possible to pull Kevin’s vocal performance from the live show and apply it to the studio version. After many hours of digital editing, we had completed the song portion but left the rap (story) section out. We thought it would be clever to have someone else do that bit, so we hired a comedian named Bobby Slayton. Bobby was great and very funny, but in the end we went back and pulled Kevin’s vocal from the live recording. If you listen carefully, you can hear the Troubadour audience in the background. 

Staring into Nothing: One of my favorites tracks. The crucial elements: flanged bass on the intro, drum and guitar sounds, monks, backing vocals, reverbs from hell. This track took me three days to mix, and it was worth it. This is maybe the best work I have ever done. There was a problem with some leaking time code on the right channel intro piano track. The piano track was a guide for vocals and was never replayed by Kevin. 

Fun: As with most of Kevin’s recordings, the use of processing (i.e. compressors, EQ, and distortion) was applied at the time of recording. Unlike most producers, he knew what he wanted and laid it down processed as a raw element. If he decided later he didn’t like the sound, he would just do the recording again. I am sure this practice led to the confusion regarding track sheets and tape box notes. The vocal processing on Fun had serious sibilance problems. There were also three vocal performances on the 24 track. We used Kevin’s rough mix to sort out what vocal he wanted to use, when he wanted it to be used, where he would have wanted it. I mixed this song four times before I felt I got it the way Kevin would have wanted it. 

From Here To There: This might be Kevin’s finest vocal performance on the CD. I still get goose bumps when I hear it. The end is down right creepy. 

Ghetto of Beautiful Things: This song was a late arrival. We knew it existed only because we found a mix Kevin made of it to DAT. In my opinion, the mix was not good enough to go on the CD. The master was found at the last minute and it was the last to be mixed. When mastering the CD, I decided to replace the drum intro I had mixed with Kevin’s original. When we tried to cross-fade the two intros together, the tracks were a bit out of phase with each other. Jon and I liked the effect so we left it in. 

Long Days Life: Mixing this song was like mixing three songs. In fact I had to mix it in sections or I would’ve gone crazy. I no sooner got a mix I liked than the arrangement would change and guitar tracks would turn into vocal tracks and a percussion track would turn into a keyboard track then back again. Kevin would often put many different instruments on the same track. He had a 24-track tape recorder and a pair of 8 track digital recorders locked up for a total of 40 tracks. But that still wasn’t enough for this complex and beautiful production. 

Way Back Home: This cut was bare bones. Only drums, a piano, and a guide vocal track. Nick D'Virgilio, who worked on this cut prior to Kevin’s death, is the person most responsible for its completion. Nick knew what Kevin wanted regarding instrumentation and vocals. Nick decided to finish the track knowing how important it was to the opera. I am certain this must have been very difficult for Nick since he had been so close to Kevin and was now working at Kevin’s studio without him. Nick did a great job, and I know Kevin would have approved. The guitar solo is one of the high points of this CD, played by David Levita. Nick doubled Kevin’s guide vocal track to help reinforce it bit. 

Johnny’s Last Song: Kevin wanted this last song to sound as down and out as Johnny Virgil must have felt. He recorded it outside the studio somewhere, onto a portable cassette player. The guitar was some old beat up junker. It was then transferred to the 24-track and sound effects were added. Kevin recorded the wonderful rain track himself. The faraway train whistle, that always leaves me with a sense of sadness, was another stroke of brilliance on Kevin’s part. 

A final note: There are two other songs that may have been part of the rock opera but were pulled at the last minute by Kevin. They are The Best of Everything and Miss Broadway. Miss Broadway appears on the Thud Live CD, and The Best of Everything will be on a forthcoming compilation of unreleased solo material…… John Cuniberti……

Well, here we have Kevin Gilbert’s posthumously released “Shaming of the True.” With the greatly appreciated help from several talented musicians (primarily Spock’s Beard drummer/vocalist Nick D’Virgilio), this beautiful gem was polished and released to a very eager crowd of Kevin fans. 
The CD has a concept that recall a VH1 “Where Are They Now” episode about Kevin’s alter-ego Johnny Virgil. It goes from Innocence (“Parade”), Temptation (“City of the Sun”), Greed (“Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men)”), Success (“Imagemaker,” “Best Laid Plans”), Compromise (“Water Under the Bridge”), Sense of Loss (“Staring Into Nothing”), Decadence (“Certifiable #1 Smash,” “Fun”), Journey back to Innocence (“From Here to There”), Acceptance (“A Long Day’s Life”), Search for Truth and Answers (“The Way Back Home”), and finally Reflection (“Johnny’s Last Song”). And along this incredible journey you are treated to some of the most incredible singing and songwriting that surpass genre and categorization. 

It all starts very simply with acoustic guitar and voice as Johnny sings of his talent and dreams on “Parade.” “I’ve been listening to Dylan, I’ve been listening to the Dead. I’ve been listening to the music that plays inside my head. Been listening to the Beatles, I’ve been listening to the Who. They don’t know it yet, but they’re gonna listen to me too,” he sings with dramatic longing. 

“City of the Sun” is also very clever where he meets an ex-musician, working at a Texaco station who sings a line from his minor hit that Johnny doesn’t remember. Johnny, trying to avoid his stare sings “I didn’t want to see him see himself in me.” “Suit Fugue” is an homage to Gentle Giant, as several A&R executives try to lure Johnny away from his integrity and into a life of commercialism and sell-outs, all while singing in madrigal rounds. 

He gets closest to his prog sensibilities with songs like “Water Under the Bridge” and “A Long Day’s Life.” He goes into the Zappa territory with “Certifiable #1 Smash” (You have got to hear the video pitch!) and “Ghetto of Beautiful Things.” Kevin is re-using many of his past songs to tell the story of Johnny Virgil like “Staring Into Nothing” from his first band, NRG; and “Imagemaker,” “From Here to There” and “The Way Back Home” from his Giraffe days. “Ghetto of Beautiful Things” sounds like it’s probably from the Kaviar sessions, Kevin’s experiment with heavy rhythmic guitars, strong percussion and angry lyrics spoken angrily. I wonder if this was Kevin’s plan all along for these songs, to be part of this rock opera theatrical piece. 

Lyrically, Shaming of the True is a coherent and entertaining story. He even borrows one of my favorite John Lennon quotes with “Life is what happens while you’re making plans” on “Long Day’s Night,” which also includes Dream #2 which you must hear for comic value. Musically, it is close to flawless with memorable melodies and instrumental passages. Kevin had the ability to play pretty much anything he picked up, and he is ably assisted here by another talented multi-instrumentalist, Nick D’Virgilio. 

Kevin had so many styles and faces, his talent really knew no bounds. It is a shame that we won’t be treated to any new music from this amazing performer. He was truly on the precipice of a long and prolific career. This is a solid work of art. Highly recommended……by Terry Jackson on April 30th, 2010……..

Line-up / Musicians 
- Kevin Gilbert / vocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, programming & sequencing, percussion, drums & programming, co-producer 

- Nick D'Virgilio / drums, bass, percussion, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, co-producer 
- Brian MacLeod / drums 
- Tommy Dunbar / additional guitars, backing vocals 
- Rush Parrish / additional guitars 
- David Levita / additional guitars 
- Bill Bottrell / additional guitars 
- Robert Ferris / backing vocals 
- Jennifer Gross / backing vocals 
- Skyler Jett / backing vocals 
- Claytoven Richardson / backing vocals 
- Sandy Sawyer / backing vocals 
- John Rubin / backing vocals 
- The Le Petomane Ensemble / horns 
- London Philarmonic Orchestra (CD2-tr. 2) 
- Jamie De Wolf / Spoken Word (CD2) 
- Jon Rubin, Cintra Wilson, Greg Gilbert and Christopher Gilbert / comments (CD2)

Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Parade (3:44) 
2. The City of the Sun (5:55) 
3. Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men) (2:24) 
4. Imagemaker (3:38) 
5. Water Under the Bridge (5:29) 
6. The Best Laid Plans (5:38) 
7. Certifiable #1 Smash (7:20) 
8. Staring Into Nothing (5:51) 
9. Fun (5:33) 
10. From Here to There (2:11) 
11. Ghetto of Beautiful Things (4:53) 
12. A Long Day’s Life (7:28) 
13. The Way Back Home (4:55) 
14. Johnny’s Last Song (2:15) 

Bonus Disc from 2011 Box-set: 
1. Parade (Alternate Version) (1:41) 
2. A Long Day’s Life (Alternate Orchestral Version) (8:08) 
- Spoken Word versions of most of the original tracks : 
3. Parade (1:17) 
4. The City Of The Sun (1:38) 
5. Suit Fugue (3:24) 
6. Imagemaker (1:29) 
7. Water Under The Bridge (1:03) 
8. Staring Into Nothing (2:54) 
9. Fun (3:28) 
10. From Here To There (0:57) 
11. Ghetto Of Beautiful Things (2:23) 
12. A Long Day’s Life (3:54) 
13. The Way Back Home (1:25) 
14. Johnny’s Last Song (1:15) 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..







Cassette Deck

Cassette Deck









Hi`s Master`s Voice

Hi`s Master`s Voice



music forever

music forever

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958