Vance Gilbert, Ventures in the city this week
NEW HAVEN — This may be the first time that the names Vance Gilbert and The Ventures have ever appeared together in one sentence, but that’s just how local independent promoter Fernando Pinto rolls.
So what do they have in common?
Gloriously, both respected singer-songwriter Gilbert and instrumental and surfrock legends The Ventures will be playing in New Haven this week — in both cases, brought to us all by Fernando Pinto Presents.
The short version is that Gilbert (with opener Louise Mosrie) will be at mActivity as part of Pinto’s East Rock Concert Series today, while The Ventures (with openers The Zambonis) will be presenting “A Very Ventures Christmas” at The State House on Friday.
Need to know more? Read on!
Vance Gilbert, known for his live performances, has grown into a bit of a folk icon since first appearing on the scene in Boston in the early ’90s.
A former multicultural arts teacher who grew up in the Philadelphia area, Gilbert originally set out to be a jazz singer, but soon discovered his affinity for the storytelling opportunities of acoustic folk music.
Before too long, Shawn Colvin invited him to be special guest on her Fat City tour. The rest is history. Gilbert now has 12 albums to his credit, including four for Philo/Rounder Records and a duo album with friend Ellis Paul.
He even has a tune on a Grammy-nominated children’s album.
Showtime is 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, available at mactivity.com, or $25 at the door. mActivity is located at 285 Nicoll St.
The Ventures go beyond being iconic. In fact, they are the best-selling instrumental band of all time, formed in Tacoma, Washington, in 1958 — and still out on the road.
The list of songs they play — some by The Ventures, some covers of songs by other groups that The Ventures long ago made their own — is so deeply embedded in our popular culture that you’re likely to know even the ones you don’t know the names of.
The Ventures charted 37 records and released a staggering number of now-classic tunes.
They include “Walk, Don’t Run” — which sold two million copies — “Perfidia,” “Lullaby of the Leaves,” “Bulldog,” “Driving Guitars,” “Surf Rider,” “Apache,” “Tequila,” “Pipeline,” “Wipe Out,” “Out of Limits,” “Journey to the Stars,” “Diamond Head,” “Walk, Don’t Run ’64,” “Slaughter on 10th Ave.,” and “Hawaii Five-O.”
Over many, many years, The Ventures have sold over 100 million records. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
Many people thought The Ventures were finally through when they lost their longtime drummer, Mel Taylor, to cancer in 1996. But they returned with Taylor’s son, Leon Taylor, behind the kit and have soldiered on.
The current version of the band no longer has any original members, but continue to perform in the spirit of the original band.
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $27.50 in advance for standing room or $37.50 in advance for seating, or $35 day-of-show for standing. They are available in advance at statehousepresents.com. The State House is located at 310 State St.
BLUES ‘N’ BRISKET: Also at The State House is a new first-Sunday-of-themonth “Blues ‘N’ Brisket” jam featuring Pete Greco and some Texas-style barbecue, beginning this afternoon
MOVIE GUIDE & FAMILY RATINGS: from 4-7 p.m. Admission is $5. Information is at statehousepresents.com.