Alan Gerber King of the Queen of Hearts
by Natasha Slinko Alan Gerber just released his new album Queen of Hearts which shows his exceptional musical talent, as a songwriter, singer and multi-instrument musician. On Saturday November 10, 2009, we had the opportunity to hear Alan Gerber live, at a private concert that was held for a select audience at Earthsong, a new age store on Kingston Road in Toronto, Ontario. Alan was comfortable playing for this small group and it was as though he played to each of us alone. Versatile on many instruments, Alan, started out on his acoustic guitar, switched to keyboards, then to fiddle and finally electric guitar - all the while entertaining us completely throughout the concert. It truly was up close and personal as he shared his music and took time to share intimate stories and memories with the audience. His banter and musicianship made this a truly unique experience for this private concert. One story Alan shared was he was driving down the highway in his vintage Chevy, heading to a booking at the famous Hotel Nelson in downtown Montreal, and suddenly hearing ‘Tied On” playing on the legendary radio station, CHOM-FM for the very first time. He thought to himself “It just doesn’t get better than this”. And yet it did. Alan went on to play and collaborate with many other extraordinary musicians, and his list is truly mind-boggling. He has worked and played with the likes of B.B. King, Steppenwolf, Van Morrison, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, just to mention a few. Gerber also placed two songs on the soundtrack of Bob Dylan's movie "Renaldo and Clara", performed at Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue and also played with Lou Reed in the USA. He had the opportunity to record with Andre Perry, the whiz producer who recorded John and Yoko Lennon in their hotel room bed in Montreal for the 60’s anthem ‘Give Peace A Chance’. There is an eclectic mix of songs on The Queen of Hearts. There are songs that just make you smile such as “Doodah” and “The Dog Song”. Anyone and everyone that has ever owned and loved a dog would appreciate “The Dog Song”. (You have to buy the CD to listen to this one) The title song, “Queen of Hearts”, is loving tribute song to Alan’s mother who had passed away. The CD cover art,Claude Gauthier, incorporated Alan’s mom, Elizabeth, in a loving tribute with her face as the Queen of Hearts. (The album actually has a dedication to both his parents, Jack and Elizabeth Gerber. “The Engagement” song is such a musical love story that is so sweet and tender and that would be a great for a soundtrack for a movie, directors really need to have a listen, whereas, Uncle Boogie just gets your fingers and toes tapping to his famous boogie-woogie bluesy style. Each and every song is brilliantly created. “The Animals Are Acting Strange” is a perfect representation of Gerber’s talented songwriting and eccentric humour. Alan is extremely proud of all his three children who are multi-talented like their dad and he shared many wonderful stories. What was also refreshing was how Alan passionately he spoke of his wife Robin, “She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me”. Alan also mentioned that evening that his son Eli, who at 17 is already extremely talented, and joined his dad for various songs on the albums. His equally talented daughter, Hannah lends vocals to Alan’s recording and performances. Earlier in the day, Alan newsthat his song “The Pain and The Wine” was #24 on the Adult Easy Listening on the Cashbox Charts in the US. A well-deserved position for this seasoned entertainer. Gerber treated the audience to a few special tunes from previous CD’s and his final encore featured the soulful and heart wrenching “Take Me In”. The song is so powerful and touches you to the deepest part of your soul, truly moving. Alan will be touring Canada, the United States and Europe. Definitely look for an opportunity to hear him live, for it truly is a one-of –a-kind show, with his brilliant musicianship and incredible voice, Alan is truly the King to the Queen of Hearts.