Gilbert Neal is one of the more revered musicians among musicians in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh DIY pantheon. Adept at bass, guitar, keyboards, able to improvise Queen-esque vocal interplay on the fly, an arranger and singer par excellence, it is easy to forget that on Neal's two solo outings, he has, among other things, crafted some of the most likable, DANCEABLE grooves to come out of that hotbed of Indie music.Born in Buffalo, NY, Neal's first guitar was a Hait, which his mother bought at Brand Names, a catalog store on Union Road. "My first year or so with my guitar was an exercise in tuning all the strings to the same tone with maybe a 5th or two thrown in. My early raga-like drones were a perfect, almost undetectable forgery of those early Beatles hits. Kidding."After cutting his teeth in bands like Man Against Mauve, East of Idaho, and The Murk, Neal moved to Raleigh, NC. He formed Vibraspank with a group of guys who, like him, had a love of the dry funk of bands like The Meters and Sly Stone.Neal played bass more often than not, and this became his primary instrument. He has a college degree in Musical Performance, primarily in Voice. In his career, he has sung in a 40's revival group, a comedy music group that parodied TV commercials, a country band, played guitar and sang lead in a Raleigh funk band (Cabarrus Street Allstars), played bass for very large productions of well-known Broadway and off-Broadway musicals, been a Musical Director for a Buffalo dinner theater, played bass guitar for radio commercials, written copy for same, acted in productions in college (Neal was Doc Gibbs in “Our Town” at Buffalo State).And so on.But it isn't until you listen to Neal's two solo outings that you truly grasp the humor, the pathos, the anxiety and sadness, the hope and redemption, and the seemingly endless rhythmic inventiveness of this young soul, this funk-loving renaissance man singing about Van Gogh, inappropriate tumescence, George Bush, and his own evil twin ruining parties.
From: AMERICA NORTH: USA: North Carolina