The excellent Micah Gilbert hails from Athens Georgia, but is resident on these shores. His debut album, Book Of Changes is wildly regarded as one of the great lost Singer Songwriter Classics. His latest album, Tales Of Love, was released late last year and enhances his reputation.
Gilbert writes songs of depth that may jangle or strum, but hang on melody and lyrical strength.
So who are your influences Micah?
"My biggest early musical influences are The Beatles, songwriters of good melodies and/or lyrics in general, e.g., Paul Simon, James Taylor, Leon Russell, Nilsson, Bob Dylan and some of the Tin Pan Alley songwriters. Slightly more recently, Sam Phillips and Aimee Mann are two favourites."
"I love making music is the basic answer to that question. Music was not a choice for me. I was born with the love of music and as soon as I could understand it I tried my hand at making my own. It moves me like few things do. I’m drawn to the energy of it, or composition of it, or the lyrical content, or by the sheer magic of something I can’t explain."
Tell us a little about your history?
"I was born in the southern U.S and lived in various places on the eastern side of the country. From a relatively early age (if memory serves, about 14 years of age) I started playing in bands and doing solo or duo work.
This was and has always been the case. I’ve always recorded, from the time I made my first recordings on two cheap tape machines bounced to each other live in the room. I’ve had spells of inactivity and an occasional (understandable) lack of interest in the business of music that sometimes goes along with making music, but I’ve always come back to performing in some way.
I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done. I went from a smallish town in the south to recording in New York, and Athens, Georgia and Scotland,and performing in large showcases like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. People still ask me about “Book of Changes”, my first album. I just released a new album “Tales of Love”."
What are your current and future plans?
"I’ve been rehearsing with a great group of dedicated musicians (Kevyn Smith, Paul Syme, and Jim Carney) for the IPO festival. Also, I’ve been working on a new album. More recording is planned, some live gigs with the Liverpool band and some solo performing to air out my new material and hang out with friends."
What you think of IPO and Liverpool?
"I love the IPO and Liverpool (great city). David Bash and I had known each other (without having met) for some 20 years. We were first in touch about my album “Book of Changes”. Four years ago, we connected face to face at the IPO.
David has done so much to give a helping hand to so many musicians. He and Rina Bardfield do an incredible amount of promotion for musicians, songwriters, and bands. History will look kindly on David’s dedication to the music world. I know I do.
The IPO also gives me the chance to catch up with the Big Stir Records folks and The Newds and an assortment of friends who seem to always show up at the Cavern."
You can listen to and buy Tales Of Love here. You can buy Book Of Changes and other songs here.
Micah plays at both The Cavern Pub and The Cavern Club on Wednesday 16 May.