KEVIN GILBERT – The Shaming Of The True [Remastered] Out Of Print
This is a very nice request, the out of print, remastered version of KEVIN GILBERT’s masterpiece album “The Shaming Of The True”, being sold for over $200 now.
It’s hard to say what Kevin Gilbert would be doing today if he hadn’t passed away in 1996. Musically, the man could do it all. He could play just about any instrument that you’d put in front of him. He wrote outstanding songs, and then took things one step further by recording, mixing and producing them as well.
One of the last projects he was working on was a concept album called “The Shaming Of The True”, a biting commentary on the music industry at large as seen through the eyes of an aspiring young rock musician named Johnny Virgil.
Unfortunately, Gilbert died before he got the chance to finish the album. What he left behind was a massive collection of tapes with songs in progress (some dating back to the 80s), and only a brief handwritten note describing the current running order of the songs at the time. Several of the tapes were unlabeled.
Kevin’s long-time friend, impressive drummer Nick D’Virgilio and “a couple of other friends” took on the task of cataloging everything for Gilbert’s estate.
Soon after that, Blair Lamb and John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani) came in and began working on the unfinished album. Once Cuniberti was involved, “it was me and John C. going full bore,” said D’Virgilio. “We re-recorded and mixed at the same time. It just depended on the song and how much it needed.”
The disc begins with “Parade,” a quiet acoustic tune where Gilbert introduces us to Johnny Virgil. “Suit Fugue (Dance of the A-and-R Men)” shows Kevin’s enormous talent in the studio, overlapping vocal after vocal to create the (mainly) acapella conglomeration of messages left by PR men, agents and other musical lowlifes on Johnny’s answering machine.
“Imagemaker” is the first of three songs from Giraffe (Gilbert’s band from the late 80s) and its sounds… very ’80s. Love it.
From here, The Shaming Of The True heads straight into brilliance. “Water Under the Bridge” is a great proggy song, and features some excellent drumming by D’Virgilio. “The Best Laid Plans” is one of those Rock&pop songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it. Gilbert pays homage to several of his musical influences on the album.
Up next is (to some) the offensive part of the album, “Certifiable #1 Smash.” Gilbert’s anger and discontent with the music business is in full bloom here. Since Gilbert died before he was able to lay down a vocal track for the song, his vocals on the CD were lifted from an earlier performance at the Troubadour. You can still hear the crowd in places, but in the end, it just adds more character to the song. Once again, D’Virgilio’s drumming is spectacular.
Gilbert revisits another tune from his past with “Staring Into Nothing,” a track originally recorded with his pre-Giraffe band, NRG. Parts of this song sound like your typical 80s fare, but Kevin turns in a great, flanged bass line on the song.
“Fun” finds Virgil taking stabs at various people (all fictional, according to D’Virgilio), over an ultra cool arrangement, making it one of the best tracks on the CD.
“From Here to There” (the second of the Giraffe songs) is a sort of prelude to “The Way Back Home.” Things get a bit eerie at the end of the song as you hear someone quietly say, “my mind is quiet and still”…
By the time the story gets to “A Long Day’s Life,” Johnny is in a much more reflective state of mind, detailing recent dreams he’s had, etc. It’s one of the most complex songs on the album, but it’s also one of the best and most beautiful things Gilbert has ever written.
The last Giraffe tune on the CD is “The Way Back Home.” Listening to it, you can tell the end is near. According to Cuniberti, the only things they had to work with on this track were “drums, piano and a guide vocal.” Gilbert died soon after he had begun recording the song). Knowing the importance of the song in the opera, D’Virgilio took it upon himself to finish the track. David Levita was called in to lay down the guitar solo at the end of the song, and did a superb job.
The album proper comes to a close with “Johnny’s Last Song.” Gilbert recorded the song on a portable cassette player with an old, beat up guitar; effectively capturing Johnny’s desperation at this point in his career. The sound of falling rain and train whistles in the distance just makes the song that much more poignant.
When you consider the brilliance of “The Shaming Of The True” as a whole, it makes you appreciate the insight that D’Virgilio and Cuniberti had into the mind of Gilbert. But first and foremost, it shows Kevin’s potential in no uncertain terms.
This is one of those rare albums that grabs you the first time you hear it, and then keeps getting better with each listen. “The Shaming Of The True” is Kevin Gilbert’s reigning masterpiece.
This is the pretty hard to find remastered reissue of the album, clean and clear, where you’ll hear things you’ve never heard before. It’s that good.
01 – Parade
02 – City of the Sun
03 – Suit Fugue (Dance of the A-and-R Men)
04 – Imagemaker
05 – Water Under the Bridge
06 – The Best Laid Plans
07 – Certifiable no1 Smash
08 – Staring Into Nothing
09 – Fun
10 – From Here to There
11 – Ghetto of Beautiful Things
12 – A Long Day’s Life
13 – The Way Back Home
14 – Johnny’s Last Song
Kevin Gilbert – vocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, programming, sequencing
Nick D’Virgilio – drums, bass, percussion, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Brian MacLeod – additional drums
Tommy Dunbar, Rush Parrish, David Levita, Bill Bottrell – additional guitars
Robert Ferris, Jennifer Gross, Skyler Jett, Claytoven, Sandy Sawyer, John Rubin, Tommy Dunbar – horns
The Le Petomane Ensemble – backing vocals