Vance Gilbert - 'BaD Dog Buffet' album review

BaD Dog Buffet is the new album from Vance Gilbert. The album features good Americana music that is sometimes uneven.

Vance Gilbert began as a jazz singer, and then decided to become a folk singer. He has recorded eight albums and toured with Shawn Colvin.

Some songs speak to Gilbert’s core, while others sound thrown together. “God Bless Everyone” is a folksy album. The clever lyrics are from the heartland. There is a laid back feel to the song, “Nothing From You.” It is an easy, breezy ballad. The song is about a lost love that the singer does not want anything from. “Out The Way We Came In” begins with the sound of a court around a docket. It is a duet, and the vocal contrast is quite good. It’s a sleepy, drinking song. “First Ring” features banjo. Lyrics include, “If she don’t pick up on the first ring, he’s going to leave this girl alone.” “Kiss The Bad Boys” is a joyful song with saxophone and grooving keyboards. It’s a simple statement of Americana with pleasant harmonies.

“For Evelyne” is a song of dedication with the lyrics, “forever now, forever more.” It’s an important refrain. Eveylne is an important person to him, and someone worth fighting for. Gilbert’s voice is particularly gruff on “Holiday Employment.” With drunk horns in the background, the track is soulless. “Garden in Winter” begins with a strumming guitar. It is deeply reflective. He sings about the garden, the winter, and the beauty beneath the snow. “On December 3rd” is an anecdotal song, something a bit dark for the holiday season. Like other songs on the album, the track is a bit depressing, with beats that are consistent but not uplifting. “Unfamiliar Moon” is a song of discovery about everything new. His voice bellows and calls out. “Sweet Potato Dove” is a danceable, silly, and light-hearted. Gilbert scats a bit toward the middle of the song.

All in all, BaD Dog Buffet is a fun, although slow and deliberate album. I wish this album took itself a bit more seriously, and was a bit more consistent. It’s a fine listen if you are looking for American folk music.

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