Community

North Salem Band to Rock 'Celebrate Somers'

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 Like

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

'What Have They Done to My City?'

Note:  This column was published on 9/13/2012, my very first for The Somers Record.  It has special meaning for me; I have rerun it each year since in memory of our fallen heroes, family, friends and those of us left to wonder “why?”

On that bright, clear Sept. 11, 2001, morning, I was in our office cafeteria getting coffee when the cafeteria manager came out and said ...

It's a Small World

We recently took a little tourist trip to Gulliver’s Gate, an exhibit near Times Square that depicts world cities in small scale. We began our tour right in New York, since we were already on 44th Street. We had a much better view of the Manhattan skyline than from our hotel room. Little Italy is even littler than we thought, the High Line not as high, and traffic whizzed by beneath us in ...

Clarence and 'The Duke'

When my daughters were very young, we had a Weimaraner whose registered name was “Silver Wraith” but was called Clarence at home. Clarence was somewhat larger and heavier than most Wy’s, and stood much taller than I on his hind legs. He was a “mush” at heart and as big as he was still tried to sit in my lap. His saving grace was his great loyalty to, and protection ...

To Home School or Not to Home School

Dear Dr. Linda,

We’re only into the second week of school and our fifth-grade son, Joey, doesn’t want to go to school again. He’s never liked school. For years we blamed his teachers. Then we put him in private school and it didn’t get better.

He’s a bright kid and self-driven. When he’s home, he’s never bored. He’s not playing video games or ...

Man of Letters

Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about Pop’s penchant for writing Letters to the Editor…

MOM: Whatcha doin’ there, Pop?

POP: Writin’, Mom.

MOM: Writin’ what?

POP: A ...

A Shampoo by Any Other Name

“What’s in the bag?” I asked my mother as she got into the car. She had just come out of the hair salon and apparently had been talked into buying some high-end hair products.

“New shampoo,” she said with some excitement. “My old shampoo was terrible. It really dried out my hair.”

“What brand were you using?” I asked. She thought for a ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_0b26bc2403984bf57d40_sklar_a_d

Fri, September 22, 1:00 PM

Somers

Alan Sklar Reads The Case of the Four and Twenty ...

Tue, September 26, 7:00 PM

Support Connection, Yorktown Heights

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Support Group

Health & Wellness

Wed, September 27, 9:30 AM

Lake Lodge Building in Heritage Hills, Somers

Driver Safety Classes Scheduled

Health & Wellness

Help the Monarch Butterfly

September 7, 2017

To the editor,

I was pleased to read the article about the “protect pollinators” stamp featuring the monarch butterfly (Aug. 17, “Championing the beauty of life”). My family and I have been raising monarch butterflies for the past five years after we learned of the decline in the population.

We start collecting eggs about the end of June, when the monarchs first ...

Tips to Offer Children with Poor Executive Function Skill

Dana Stahl, a learning specialist and educational consultant, will address educational questions and concerns that parents may have regarding their children’s academic development and progress in school. Topics can center on how to handle homework dilemmas to what questions to ask at a CSE meeting. Questions can range from “How best do parents advocate for their children?” to ...