The Promise is Hope
227 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA, 22180
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is all ages
Vance Gilbert’s BaD Dog Buffet
Can something be wry, aching, hysterical, evocative, provocative, fun, beautifully sung, and consummately played all at once? Can it?
That’d be Vance Gilbert and his transcendent new album “BaD Dog Buffet”.
With the generous assistance from a varied list of super-respected guests—including Celtic harpist/singer Aine Minogue, bluegrass boys Darol Anger and Joe Walsh Jr., jazz sax player Grace Kelly, country rock hero Roy Sludge, and guitar mainstay Kevin Barry—this talented man’s musical truth plays out shamelessly on BaD Dog Buffet.
Fully funded by his fans, the record has so far received raves reviews based solely on the material folks knew would be on it Those who know and love Vance have already enjoyed the life-loving capitulation of “God Bless Everyone,” the seething rocker “Nothing from You,” and the tonguein-cheek, happy break-up song, “Out the Way We Came In. “First Ring” is a Vance classic, a banjo love story rooted in folk whimsy, while “Kiss the Bad Boys” sounds like what would happen if Bootsy Collins and Bruce Springsteen were trapped in an elevator and ended up writing a song together. “Unfamiliar Moon,” which some may know as Vance’s signature song—a tune that landed him in the second round of auditions of TV’s “America’s Got Talent”—is revisited here in a pared down version with Anger on fiddle.
Like all great artists, Vance truly happens live. In fact he developed his reputation with his jawdropping, diverse, funny, devastating, and gorgeous live performances. Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, the late George Carlin have all requested Vance to be added to their bills.
Vance exploded onto the scene in the early 90’s, with buzz spreading quickly. Who was this multicultural arts teacher knocking them dead at open mics? After opening Shawn Colvin’s 1992 Fat City tour, he took much of America by storm and by surprise. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener,” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from the Colvin tour.
Vance followed with three acclaimed albums for the Rounder/Philo label—Edgewise (1994), Fugitives (1995), and Shaking Off Gravity (1998). Then, Somerville Live (2000), was lionized by the Boston Globe as the disc “young songwriters should study the way law students cram for bar exams,” and New York’s Town and Village called One Thru Fourteen (2002), “lively, eclectic, electrifying and transcending.”
Gilbert then released a duo album with his friend Ellis Paul, entitled Side Of The Road (2003). The Boston Globe described it as “the songwriter’s most compelling work; literate, heartfelt, rippling…emotionally resonant.” The Globe placed the album on its Top 10 list that year.
Gilbert only continued on with three more albums, Angels, Castles, Covers (2006) displaying his vocal virtuosity, with sounds of Motown, the R&B of Al Green, and classic Joni Mitchell. Up On Rockfield (2008) just after a year and a half as support for George Carlin, and Old White Men.
Which brings us full circle to BaD Dog Buffet, the latest in a growing, glowing oeuvre and an evocative catalog created by a cornerstone acoustic artist.
The Promise is Hope
Ashley and Eric L’Esperance first felt the electricity of their undeniable chemistry at an impromptu song swap. A year and a half later they were married and released their debut album “Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going.” Jessica Phaneuf, WUMB, says “I listen to A LOT of music, and this [album] would be at the top of the pile.” In the years following this release, The Promise is Hope has earned their place among New England’s finest emerging indie-folk duos, with a live performance that is often described as beautifully moving, inspired, and connected.
Their music marries two distinctly talented songwriters, and their sound is shaped by tastes of folk, electronic, acoustic and pop. Ashley performs subtle yet stunning melodies with a classically-trained, but often folksy voice. Her poetic lyrics explore the deep mysteries within nature and human relationship. Eric’s obvious reverence for the great folk songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s shines through his sweetly deep voice. His prose-like lyrics unravel the joys and struggles of life’s journeys, and take what appears to be freeform and make it flow beautifully into well-crafted pieces. Together, the two artists complement each other in every respect. Boston music blog, Red Line Roots, says, “.. there is an effortless feel to how they sing together, like they were made to create music as a seamless grouping.”
Their songs are sometimes fun, sometimes deep, and always aimed for the heart. As Eric puts it, The Promise is Hope aims to “write songs that are honest and true … in a way that hopefully helps others see the truth and the beauty that exists in their own lives.”
These “hometown heroes” won two 2017 Worcester Music Awards and were voted the “Best Entertainer in Central Massachusetts” by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette in 2017. They were invited to perform at the 2017 Connecticut Folk Festival, 2017 stART on the Street Art & Music Festival, and have shared the stage with national folk artists such as Amy Speace, Antje Duvekot, and Gaelynn Lea. They have captured the hearts of listeners in hundreds of crowds all over New England and the Mid-Atlantic, and are preparing to release their sophomore album, Every Seed Must Die, on May 18, 2018.
Regarding Every Seed Must Die (from Michael J. Media)
GA $20 | Premier $20 | Premier Plus $20
• Full dinner and drink menu available
• The Premier Plus section is a raised area with great views and reserved seats and tables. There is a dedicated server for faster service