We caught Vance Gilbert's first set last night at Real Art Ways. First time I have ever seen him in a small space - usually he's on the main stage at Falcon Ridge, and I am way up the hill or wandering around or whatever. So, a nice change of pace.
He ragged a little bit on the space - referring to RAW / CCH as "ADD folk music" (because people would drift in and out from the raging cocktail party outside), commenting on the number of persons of color (or lack thereof, he called himself "...the only chip in this cookie..."), and at the omnipresent CCH photographers (after a few flash photos, he mentioned having to do a Stevie Wonder set (he riffed around a little), and then said simply "SLOW FILM", proceeding to vamp in slow motion for the photographer.
He also got a few folks upfront laughing uproariously, and then vamped on their laugh. I was happy to see (at the end of the set) a pretty full house, and lots of people heading for the merch table to buy product. Go, Vance.
He's working on an album called "Sounds Like..." wherein the songs are written in the mode of or inspired by other artists, and what he played sounds great. I hope he's back at Falcon Ridge next year....he was missed this year.