Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming of the True

Prior to his untimely passing in 1996, Kevin Gilbert just finished the final touches on this fabulous concept album, which would become his posthumous rock opera entitled “The Shaming of the True”. An ambitious project, the tale of a fictional rock & roller named Johnny Virgil who gets signed and dropped by a soulless record company, “The Shaming of the True” is epic, cinematic, loaded with rock-solid performances, cynic, temperamental, sharp, dark, funny, frank and infectious enough to grow on you listen after listen. The protagonist's hopes and disillusionments become tangible through Gilbert’s complex lyrics, biting commentary, insightful and heartfelt observations about the record industry as they relate to human nature. All these elements are eloquently mixed with his amazing writing, instrumentation and productions skills, which had earned him the respect of his peers. Gilbert again makes you take a look at yourself through perhaps the autobiographical heartfelt story of Johnny Virgil. Gilbert’s cynical view of the record industry, which never diminished his love for the music he created or collaborated on, was probably enhanced after being out-cast by then girlfriend Sheryl Crow from her breakthrough success "Tuesday Night Music Club" and after his run-offs with the record company regarding the promotion of the Toy Matinee release. Crow’s "Tuesday Music Club" was crafted around the songs and spirit of a group of friends who would gather on Tuesday nights to drink beer, jam, and write songs at producer’s Bill Bottrell's studio. Gilbert and Bottrell were hired to re-shape Crow’s already finished production after the record company had spent half a million on it without favorable results (read San Francisco Chronicle article by Joel Selvin). Gilbert co-wrote and appears on many of the songs on that album, including 1995 Grammy Record of the Year "All I Wanna Do". After Crow broke through, she dumped the club’s collaborators. At the time of his death “The Shaming of the True” was an incomplete masterpiece with a pile of tapes and handwritten notes by Gilbert. A few months after Gilbert’s passing, recording engineer John Cuniberti and Spock’s Beard drummer and close friend of Gilbert's, Nick D'Virgilio, who had been working along with Gilbert on this production, were asked by manager and friend Jon Rubin, to archive and catalog all of Kevin's recordings for his estate and thus finish “The Shaming of the True” based on the existent tapes, Gilbert's album planning notes and rough mixes as kind of blueprints along with the constant question: what would have Kevin done? (Read John Cuniberti’s article). Thanks to their hard labor of love we can enjoy this masterpiece. Personnel are: Kevin Gilbert on vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and percussion, Nick D'Virgilio on drums, percussion, guitar, bass, keyboards and backing vocals, Brian MacLeod on drums, Robert Ferris, Jennifer Gross, Skyler Jett, Claytoven, Sandy Sawyer, Jon Rubin and Timothy Dumbar on backing vocals and Tommy Dumbar, Ross Parish, David Levita and Bill Bottrell on additional guitars plus horns by The Le Petomane Ensemble.

Track Listing:
1. Parade
2. The City of the Sun
3. Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men)
4. Imagemaker
5. Water Under the Bridge
6. The Best Laid Plans
7. Certifiable #1 Smash
8. Staring into Nothing
9. Fun
10. From Here to There
11. Ghetto of Beautiful Things
12. A Long Day's Life (sampled above)
13. The Way Back Home
14. Johnny's Last Song

Buy it at Kevin Gilbert’s webpage (and help his state & family)


  1. the greatest album ever written

  2. Kev is one of my musical heroes and my main reason for hating Sheryl Crock! I miss his music so much.

  3. Kev is one of my musical heroes and the main reason why I hate Sheryl Crock! Man, I miss his music. Toy Matinee is a masterpiece.