Skip to main content

Vance! - ChicagoLand, Carolinas, Texas, Oklahoma...and a sweet story

Hi VanceFriendFans!!

I play here (and no, the Aaron Neville shows at SPACE in Evanston IL did not come through. Why sure, I’m disappointed…but Chicago here I come this Saturday anyway!!):

10/13 Hinsdale, IL UUC of Hinsdale
10/18 Charlotte, NC
10/19 Bluffton, SC
10/20 Bolivia, NC Brunswick CC,
10/26 Dallas, TX www.unclecalvins.or
10/27 Oklahoma City, OK
10/28 Tulsa, OK

I ask for album fundraising money here:

~ PayPal is
~ Checks made out to me to:
Vancefunder/ Vance Gilbert
P.O. Box 17 Arlington, MA 02474
More details at

…and I tell stories here:


I met her at the bank - I was clowning a bit at the reception desk (imagine me, doing such a thing...) on a dare from the bank VP to be the receptionist for about 5 minutes. She came up to me asking for a bank rep and I correctly, albeit comically, directed her to the VP. Her name is Ginny.

The three of us started talking, the conversation turned to age (my birthday is this Thursday), and this beautiful imp of a woman, bright cobalt eyes, tossing her head back to laugh, proudly proclaimed she was 82 years old. VP and I were both taken aback.

And she started talking about health and time. She lives in a place where there’s a few flights of stairs. She proclaims that it is that ascension that keeps her in decent shape. I believed her. She asked what I did for a living. I told her, and she was delighted. Then came the story of a beautiful-voiced woman she was friends with back in the 40’s who was Count Basie’s first female vocalist. And what a bear of a man her son was, and how he was simultaneously the largest and kindest most gentle person she’d ever known. Then she told of how the woman had to decide between the road and raising a family.

I walked her to her car, shook her hand, and thanked her for a piece of my afternoon that was warmed with a small piece of her story. John Prine was never more right when he said (used without permission):

"So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care, say, 'Hello in there, hello'”.

22 more years from this Thursday and I can only hope to be 82 just like her. I mean, I don’t want to be a little old white lady, no. I just mean… oh, whatever. Happy Birthday to me, soon.

Coaching of songwriting, voice, performance, guitar, and custom driftwood woodcarving upon request..