Arts & Entertainment

North Salem Band to Rock 'Celebrate Somers'

ae260ba841b5dfe378cc_54520_.jpg
ae260ba841b5dfe378cc_54520_.jpg

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--It’s been a few months since we last caught up with Gilbert, the five-member band of teens from North Salem that is scheduled to play at this year’s “Celebrate Somers” event Sept. 9. Between that performance and others, one of which is scheduled to appear on TV this fall, there was a lot to catch up on. 

If you’re not paying attention to their Facebook page, or if this is your first time reading about them, then read on; you might someday say that you saw Gilbert before they were “Gilbert.”

Don’t let their age fool you; the self-described“rockabilly-bluegrass-jazz-punk” band who covers everyone from Stevie Wonder to Black Sabbath and Rush doesn’t sound like garage music.  

Sign Up for E-News

Tara Curran, 15, for instance, might style a song with the gravelly texture of Janis Joplin’s voice, but sings with the stamina and technicality of a Broadway star. Justin Giacchetto, 16, can shred like Kirk Hammett.

Though their Celebrate Somers set will include mostly covers, Curran reassured, “It’s still a lot of our own sound.”
With a Facebook following of 475, a recently recorded demo, and an upcoming appearance on the PIX11 revival of “Wonderama,” it’s safe to say the band is gaining momentum. They’ve accumulated a strong local fan base playing at bars they aren’t legally allowed to patronize yet. 

With prompting, Owen Hughes, 14 (drums), Wilson Yarnall, 16 (bass), Giacchetto (guitar), Curran, and Eddie Fiscella, 16 (keyboard) can recite the basics; they’ve been playing together for two years, they all met through “The School of Rock Bedford” music camp, and banded together when three of the members’ previous attempt at a group fell through.

Unprompted, they will tell you that the heart of their success is the dynamic of a group of kids that just likes hanging out. While their youth has elicited ageism in business dealings, such as venue owners not paying them at the same rate as older musicians, it just might be the ingredient that fosters their creativity and chemistry.

“Gilbert is a lot of fun because we all enjoy playing music together and also like hanging out,” Fiscella said. “Sometimes, we’ll just go to the movies or Chipotle or something; rehearsals and gigs rarely ever feel like work.”

Perhaps the security of having four best friends along for the ride has allowed “Gilbert” the freedom to proceed with unabashed creativity, or at the very least, given them a safe space to blurt out stuff, such as the name “Gilbert,” which they said was chosen simply because they needed a name for a gig and Giacchetto said it. 

Not only did Gilbert stick, but they took the idea and ran with it, writing a fictitious back-story about silent era film star John Gilbert to use when people ask them why they chose that name. 

The story has many versions and tends to evolve, they said, but at the crux of it, Gilbert turned to silent film because of his alarmingly high voice, and after hitting some setbacks, recorded a jingle for “Herschel’s Swine Pop,” a pork-based malt beverage.

What might seem like just a silly joke among friends, actually led the group toward the creation of their first original song, “Juicing the Swine,” which goes to show how their group dynamic feeds their music. 

Though they only have a few original songs, they said they might bust a few out at Celebrate Somers. Regardless of whether they play covers or originals, they think their audience will appreciate their one-of-a-kind sound.

“When we wrote our first song, something about it just seemed very original,” Yarnall said. “We said ‘that sounds like Gilbert,’ it doesn’t sound like anything else we’ve heard; it’s very much our own.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

Birthdays are Awesome Gifts

I celebrated my birthday last week, surrounded by the love of family: What a joyful occasion. I’ve thought about past celebrations and how tremendous it was to be remembered and loved. One such birthday was a real hoot.

As you know, my mother’s birthday also was in May. Years ago, we were having family over to celebrate her day; because of busy calendars, the party was scheduled ...

A Royal Foil

Because of my deadline, I’m writing this before the fact, but I never received my invitation to the royal nuptials last Saturday. Not even ONE invitation. Nothing. I was camped out at the mailbox all week, and even had a tip for the mailman, and also one from Christmas, which must have gotten lost in the mail. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle didn’t announce the guest list, but ...

Layers

Once upon a time, before computers and texting and email and Facebook, we had telephones with dials. They spun around and connected us with the live voice of whomever we were calling. That’s what telephones were used for: talking to other people. They had an ear piece and a mouth piece and we made what was known as “conversation.”

Today we have layers. If we use phones ...

She had file envy

Who says paperwork is not sexy?! This week, I was so impressed (and even charmed) by the paperwork and systems of two different women. I was even a little envious. In the first case, my client Lois in Ardsley decided that it was time to get her paperwork in order. After six years of shifting paperwork, a dysfunctional home office, an international move and the purchase of a new home, she had HAD ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...