Nina Gerber - Not Before Noon - 2001 - Goatscape Music
After coloring the music of artists ranging from Queen Ida to Jerry Jeff Walker to Barbara Higbie and, most notably, Kate Wolf, Gerber has finally released her solo debut. But like her previous efforts, she still lurks behind the scenes. Gerber does not sing, instead letting Greg Brown, Lucy Kaplansky, Terry Garthwaite, Herb Peterson, and others handle the vocals. But vocals never were Gerber's forte; her marvelous guitar work has always been her meal ticket. During the six vocal cuts, the Northern California native relaxes comfortably into the role of filling and soloing, like she usually does in a supporting role. The other six tracks put her crystalline tone and perfect phrasing out front, which is precisely where she deserves to be. The music weaves in and out of folk conventions and Joni Mitchell-like jazz arrangements, but Gerber's melodic guitar voicings are always perfect for the moment. Anyone who has been waiting to this artist to cut loose with a burning solo can keep waiting. But anyone who has enjoyed her backing work more than the headliners she accompanies will be fully satisfied by a plate brimming with Gerber's sweet touch and magnificent taste. She may not be the biggest name around, but Nina Gerber is undoubtedly a guitar heroine of unrivaled proportions. © Scott Cooper © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/not-before-noon-r544799/review
First of all, Nina Gerber is a badass guitar player. Musta been the eighties when first I met her. I was managing sales at Mesa/Boogie, the Northern CA amp company. Nina had a Boogie and lived nearby, she'd come in to have it worked on once in a while. I had a couple of smart sales guys under me at the time. I'd insist they discretely get into earshot of Nina while she checked out some amps, demonstrated her amp's condition or assessed its repair. After they did, there was no need to banish the phrase or the mentality of a guitarist being "good for a girl," because she could kick any of our asses on the guitar, simple as that. And she was as sweet as she was good, so all you could do was shake your head and smile, go home and practice. In the many years since, Nina's played with so many good people. She first became known as the guitarist for Kate Wolf, whose albums will stand for many years after her untimely passing as folk classics. I wish I knew that long list of people. (When I bumped into her in Nashville about a dozen years ago, she was playing with Michelle Shocked.) But Nina's such a consummate musician and so understated a person that her bio says more about the great players that jumped to join her on this record than it does about her own resume. So I'll follow her lead, and talk about her interaction with them on a superb batch of tunes from decades and a world of experiences. Stellar vocalists cameo on about half the tunes: Herb Pederson, Kim Scanlon, Vicki Randle, Chris Webster, Terry Garthwaite (what a pleasure), Lucy Kaplansky, and big daddy Greg Brown on his incredible song for Nina, "Kate's Guitar." On "Riff Raff," a cappella ensemble Da We Be's play the band and let Nina's guitar be the singer. It's great to hear the fantastic rhythm section of Billy Lee Lewis on drums and Benny Rietveld on bass, brings back a lot of Bay Area memories. Joe Craven (who pops up in our Garcia/Grisman review this issue) tracks on fiddle case, mouth hat, lava lamp and other percussion. Cary Black contributes a couple of beautiful upright bass tracks, and Barbara Higbie adds the only piano on Abbey Lincoln's "Learning How to Listen." Young players think that the essential part of a musician is their hands. As you grow up, you find it's their ears. Nina's love of song is omnipresent in her choice of great material and in every passing moment of this lovely record, notably in her outstanding read of Clive Gregson's "It's All Just Talk." This is a must have for all fans of great guitar music. © FG © http://www.puremusic.com/gerber.html
Nina Gerber's guitar technique is wide and brave. As she glides through this album, she uses each of her guitars as if it's the one she was born to play. Whether acoustic or electric, she has a beautiful sound, precise, smokey, and full of great licks. Crap cover but great album! Buy Nina's "Good Music with Good People" album and support great modern acoustic folk rock [All tracks @ 256 Kbps: File size = 104 Mb]
TRACKS / COMPOSERS
1. Bigfoot - Keith Allen
2. Someone I Used to Love - Bruce Cockburn
3. Late into the Night - Nina Gerber & Ford James
4. Lullaby - Andrew Ratshin
5. I Know You by Heart (Instrumental) - Diane Scanlon & Eve Nelson
6. Back into My Arms - Vicki Randle & Mo Field
7. Learning How to Listen - Abbey Lincoln
8. Reflections - Terry Wollman
9. Kate's Guitar - Greg Brown
10. It's All Just Talk - Clive Gregson
11. Riff Raff - Nina Gerber
12. Workin' in Corners - Nanci Griffith
Nina Gerber - lead guitar, acoustic guitars, Hammertone octave 12-string guitar, high string guitar, and electric guitars
Scott Nygaard - rhythm guitar
Vicki Randle - rhythm guitar, percussion, lead vocal, - On "Back into My Arms"
Greg Brown - rhythm guitar, lead vocal, on "Kate's Guitar"
Benny Rietveld - electric bass
Cary Black - acoustic bass
Mike Marshall - mandocello
Barbara Higbie - piano
Billy Lee Lewis - drums
Jami Sieber - cello
Joe Craven - fiddle case, mouth hat, shaker and tambourine, lava lamp percussion
Lucy Kaplansky - vocal on "Workin' in Corners"
Terry Garthwaite - lead vocal on "Learning How to Listen"
Kim Scanlon - lead vocal, harmony vocal on "Lullaby"
Herb Pedersen - lead vocal on "Someone I Used to Love", harmony vocal
Chris Webster, Ed Johnson - harmony vocal
Da We Be’s (Joey Blake, Rhiannon, Linda Tillery, Dave Worm) - vocals
A fixture on the West Coast folk and acoustic music scene, Gerber is rarely in the spotlight because she doesn't sing, but those who know her, know her as the pre-eminent accompanist for folk, acoustic, and Americana artists touring California. Gerber's guitar has backed up artists ranging from Jerry Jeff Walker to Ferron to Queen Ida to Barbara Higbie. She possesses both an awesome, crystal tone as well as tasteful, melodic fills and solos, always phrased perfectly. Gerber got her start when, as a high school student, she saw the late folksinger Kate Wolf perform in 1975. From there, Gerber set out to become not just a musician, but specifically Kate Wolf's accompanying musician. She took lessons from Wolf's husband Don Coffin, who was Wolf's regular accompanist. When he couldn't make some gigs, Gerber stepped in and soon became Wolf's right-hand woman. After Wolf passed away in 1986, Gerber inherited Wolf's custom-made spruce-and-Koa guitar, with which she still performs. After years of backing others, Gerber finally stepped out on her own with 2001's Not Before Noon. Though it may not establish her as a solo artist in her own right, it was yet another specimen of Gerber's exquisite taste, tone, and style. © Scott Cooper © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/nina-gerber-p79608/biography