Monday, March 21, 2005

Discovered Gem

Right now I'm listening to "Toy Matinee," an album from a group by the same name that was released in 1991 (I think). The group consisted of Kevin Gilbert and Patrick Leonard.

If you read reviews of this album on Amazon, or look up Kevin Gilbert on the Internet, you will learn that Gilbert was a very talented musician who played a significant role in Sheryl Crow's early career. He played on her Tuesday Night Music Club album and he was her boyfriend. (Read the liner notes -- she gives him a little thank you and his name is listed as one of the composers of a number of the songs, including "All I Wanna Do.") Unfortunately, Gilbert died in 1996 and so this album is a promise of what might have been.

It's a cool album. Some of the songs sound a little too late 80s, but the best songs are pleasantly evocative of Steely Dan. Gilbert had a wonderful voice — warm, intimate. He had a knack for a good tune, too, and wrote interesting lyrics. My favorites are "Last Plane Out" (which is the song that led me to this album), "Things She Said" and "The Ballad of Jenny Ledge." But truthfully, all the songs are good.

How did I find this gem? I used to hear "Last Plane Out" on the radio back in the early 90s. I loved the song, but never knew who did it. A few months ago, by googling the song title, I found the lyrics and who wrote it, which led me to Web sites and articles. I finally found the CD at a used CD store.

Kevin Gilbert probably wasn't the next Paul McCartney (some reviews at Amazon hail him as the next great songwriter), but he was talented and this album displays those talents well. Is this the best album no one ever heard of? Maybe not, but it's worth seeking out.

1 comment:

Valerie Comer said...

Welcome to blogging, Linda! Spring is just as odd in other parts of the world. Here in BC, Canada, we got spring in mid January, and now we're having winter. Go figure.