He was an accomplished instrumentalist and composer, who played keyboards, guitars, drums, bass and cellos, as well as singing vocals. His talents also extended to producer. He toured with Eddie Money before winning the Yamaha songwriting 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 produced Keith Emerson’s album Changing States.
The lone Toy Matinee album was released in 1990 but effectively shelved by the record company, so Gilbert assembled a new backing band to promote the album, eventually getting two successful singles released: “The Ballad Of Jenny Ledge” and “Last Plane Out”.
Later, Gilbert was part of a songwriting collective (called “The Tuesday Music Club”) that met at producer Bill Bottrell’s studio in Pasadena, California. After he began bringing his then girlfriend Sheryl Crow to the sessions, the result was Crow’s 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 Bottrell was 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 soundtrack work as well as studio work and producing and eventually released his first solo album Thud(1995) as well as partially reforming Giraffe to perform the Genesis masterpiece “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 Genesis front man to replace Phil Collins. His manager was coming to Gilbert’s home to tell him that he had managed to get him an audition when he discovered him dead.
Gilbert’s second solo album, The Shaming of the True was released posthumously. The album was largely incomplete, but Gilbert’s estate asked Spock’s Beard drummer Nick D’Virgilio to complete it based on the extant tapes and Gilbert’s notes. A live album (composed mostly of songs from Thud), and a compilation of Giraffe material that Gilbert had been working on and an “industrial” album with Gilbert’s latest group, Kaviar have also been released in the years since his death. His estate has promised two more posthumous studio albums and a live performance from Gilbert’s promotional group for Toy Matinee.
N.R.G. - No Reasons Given (1984)
Giraffe - The Power Of Suggestion (1987)
Giraffe - The View From Here (1989)
Toy Matinee - Toy Matinee (1990; remastered & rereleased 2001)
Sheryl Crow - Tuesday Night Music Club (1993)
Kevin Gilbert - Thud (1995)
Giraffe - Giraffe (1999)
Kevin Gilbert & Thud - Live at the Troubadour (1999)
Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming of the True (2000)
Kaviar - The Kaviar Sessions (2002)
Edited by kimpy on 17 May 2013, 13:22
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