Hands up if you have heard of Kevin Gilbert ?
Expanding on my comment buried in the “Lockdown Licks” thread, I thought this topic deserved a wider audience (more people to totally ignore !).
The late Kevin Gilbert first came to prominence with his prog rock bank “Giraffe” in the early 1980’s. This led to him being invited by Madonna producer, Patrick Leonard to join him in a new band “Toy Matinee” which also featured Guy Pratt (from the Lockdown Licks thread), They only released one eponymous album in 1990, which although is somewhat generic 80s soft rock sounding, has garnered a bit of a cult following. I’ve been listening to this again lately after it being mentioned on Guy Pratts videos and I must say, I have been enjoying it.
After lack of record company support, the group dissolved and Kevin Gilbert went on to join the California songwriting collective “Tuesday Night Music Club” with producer Bill Bottrell. He brought along his then girlfriend, Sheryl Crow, leading to the recording of her mega selling debut album on which he co wrote many of the tracks (see you have heard of him).
After that relationship went sour, he reformed Giraffe – there is a great video of them doing “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway’ at Progfest in 1994 (which apparently led to Genesis enquiring about him as a replacement for Phil Collins – unfortunately after his death). He continued to work in various roles before releasing his first solo album Thud and played live under the Thud name (which included Big Big Train’s Nick D’Virgilio on drums).
Kevin Gilbert died in 1996 aged 29.
Since his death there have been a number of posthumous releases, most notably the fantastic “The Taming Of The Shrew” album (which was completed by his close friend Nick D’Virgilio). A rock opera about the rise and fall of musician Johnny Virgil, its well worth seeking out.
There are reports of more archive material being readied for release – of which I look forward too.
Anyway, an artist that I find not many are aware of, but have probably heard without knowing. Hopefully this is off interest to some and leads you to explore further, Examples of his work in the comments……