Artist: Vance Gilbert
Hometown: Arlington, Massachusetts
Song: “Black Rochelle”
Album: The Mother of Trouble
Release Date: May 5, 2023
In Their Words: “It’s a true story. The cruelest kids are often the kids who have been treated most cruelly. One of the easiest and hardest songs ever to write. I am proud that I heard that melody so clearly in my head even as the words were cutting my chest wide open. Lori McKenna again foils with background vocal perfection.
“As for the video itself, the videographer Jon Sachs and I decided it would be most effective to do it in one pass, the only video break during Joey Landreth’s heartbreaking solo over the bridge. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that lip-synching is easy, or that real life feelings don’t happen with the sing-along-to-self. It was like double illumination, and I was shocked at how it struck me.
“Part of my job as a singer-songwriter is to be a vessel of sorts, the story coming through me, while it’s the listeners’ job — if I’ve done my part with any facility at all — to be moved. I was trying not to indicate or show all kinds of feels in my face to the camera. That said, I did all I could to keep it together, because I had to. When the concept finally came alive with the music and selected images, the brokenheartedness really was replaced by a sense of accomplishment at a story well-told.” — Vance Gilbert
Photo Credit: Rob Mattson