Gadabout, raconteur, ne’er-do-well-er. Gregarious and fecund. An artist who has said his dream is to be the American Susan Boyle with an album title (Dirty Red Pagan) suggested by Andy Partridge of XTC. Gilbert Neal is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with a uniquely imaginative multi-genre style that’s refreshingly difficult to categorize. In addition to his contributions as an indie rock solo artist, his adventurous, exploratory spirit has even found him performing in a Genesis tribute and a country music line-dance band.
Born in Buffalo, NY and currently based in North Carolina, Gilbert Neal has performed in various bands, jazz ensembles and theater productions throughout the years. However, at the heart of it, Gilbert is first and foremost a songwriter, with most of his lyrics being quite personal, telling a specific story or referring to a particular incident. Thematically, Gilbert is inspired by religion, politics, sex, loss and parental love. His sometimes quirky songs can be tongue-in-cheek, theatrical and somewhat socialist, frequently weaving in sexual, and godless messages in the lyrics. Gilbert says he strives to make each album 1) a cohesive piece of work and 2) guaranteed to possibly make a fantastic musical!
Gilbert has been writing and singing in bands since he was 12. From an early age, it never occurred to him not to be able to play and sing at the same time, write harmonies, and arrange music. For his solo debut, ‘Drink The Beast With Me’ (2006), Gilbert worked with a full band for the first time. Since then, he has focused more on orchestrating the majority of the musical elements with his own artistic vision. His most recent musical outputs incorporate pieces of all of his various musical experience including jazz, funk, soul and prog rock, often with a healthy sprinkle of musical theater. (He has been a musical director for a dinner theater and has a degree in vocal performance/music theory.)
Gilbert has been inspired by an eclectic mix of musicians ranging from XTC and Stevie Wonder to Steely Dan, Radiohead and the Les Humphries Singers. His current band features Gilbert on vocals, piano, guitar and bass, Steve Camilleri on drums, Darrell Nutt on percussion, Marko Marisic on additional guitar, and Pamela Henderson on backing vocals.
His fifth album, ‘Mayor of Estes Park’ was released in Summer 2016. His previous four albums include ‘Drink The Beast With Me’ (2006), ‘Our Deepest Apathy…’ (2008), ‘Vultures and Diamonds’ (2010) and ‘Dirty Red Pagan’ (2013).