Gilbert, John (Meade River)

Band members               Related acts

- Brett Barker -- vocals, drums, percussion

- John Gilbert (RIP) -- vocals, lead guitar, bass

- John Whalen -- bass


- none known





Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  John Gilbert / Meade River

Company: AV

Catalog: none

Year: 1971

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $320.00


Virtually everything I know about the late John Counts Gilbert and this record comes from the liner notes on the back of their album:


"From the time they were in the fourth grade John Gilbert and Brett Barker, another self-taught musician, were playing their guitars and drums in the family basements and attics.  Reunited in Senior High School after a separation of three years in different Junior High Schools, they formed a band with a new friend, John Whalen, on bass guitar.  They called the band Meade River.  Together and separately they composed songs and music.  They played at block parties, school events, and private homes, and dreamed of making a record album of their own music.  This record is a labor of love by John's parents and friends.  We wanted to make their dream come true."


One of the odder 'vanity' projects I've run across, "John Gilbert/Meade River" was put out by John Gilbert's parents and bandmate Brett Barker in the wake of John's death in an October 1971 car accident.  Musically the set's rather varied.  The first side features a series of nine home recorded instrumentals.  Most of the material is acoustic, though the lead off 'Runnin' On Down' boasts a full band arrangement.  As you'd expect, the results are rather raw, complete with plenty of blown notes and the sound of the tape recorded being turned off, though for a self-taught 17 year old, Gilbert comes off as a surprisingly accomplished guitarist.  The flip side features a mixture of four Meade River selections and four more Gilbert solo tracks.  Like the first side, the tracks are quite raw and under produced.  Judging by material such as the rocker 'My, My, My' and 'Cryin' for You' Barker wasn't much of a singer (Gilbert was a little better), but then if you've taken the time to read this much of the review, you probably already knew that.  Call if a fascinating tribute LP and leave it at that ...


"John Gilbert / Meade River" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Runnin' On Down (instrumental)   (John Gilbert) - 4:37

2.) Crystals (instrumental)  (John Gilbert)  - 1:35

3.) John's Rhythms   (John Gilbert)  - 1:16

4.) Chimes (instrumental)    (John Gilbert)  - 0:34

5.) Modern Chromatic (instrumental)    (John Gilbert)  - 1:56

6.) Smooth Riding  (instrumental)   (John Gilbert)  - 2:26

7.) Bells (instrumental)    (John Gilbert)  - 2:09

8.) Happy Rollin' (instrumental)    (John Gilbert) - 2:30

9.) Goodbye (instrumental)    (John Gilbert)  - 3:43


(side 2)

1.) My, My, My   (Brett Barker - John Gilbert) - 5:58

2.) Cryin' For You   (Brett Barker - John Gilbert) - 2:14

3.) Strain On My Mind   (Brett Barker - John Gilbert) - 3:39

4.) Travellin' Free   (Brett Barker) - 3:18

5.) Piano (instrumental)   (John Gilbert) - 1:46

6.) The Night Is Cold and Dreary   (John Gilbert) - 1:07

7.) Waitin' for the Sunshine   (John Gilbert) - 2:20

8.) All I Know    (John Gilbert) - 1:19




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