What: Josh Gilbert Band with Jacob Johnson.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday.
Where: The Camp House, 1427 Williams St.
After a decade performing at the head of local experimental indie-rock trio Jettison Never, Josh Gilbert has enjoyed the chance to stretch his creative wings as a solo artist the last two years.
Jettison Never "fizzled out" last year, Gilbert said, and at first, he was terrified of taking the stage alone. However, he soon realized solo performances offered a chance to more fully engage with his audience.
"I used to hate it [because] I like having a band behind me, but I started to own it and enjoy it," Gilbert said. "It was not something that happened in an instant.
"Over the course of about 20 shows, I started to feel like I was connecting to more people and talk to them one on one."
Although he once again is fronting a band alongside his brother and Jettison Never co-founder Matt Gilbert, Josh Gilbert's vocals are highlighted now more than ever.
When he takes the stage at The Camp House tonight, fans of Jettison Never will hear him sing in a way that is more distinctly soulful than in the past. After years of being influenced by bold vocalists such as Ray Lamontagne, Coldplay's Chris Martin and U2's Bono, Gilbert said he decided several years ago to begin developing an approach that reflected his Southern heritage.
"It's something that's mine, and that appeals to something more in our area," he said.
Despite this new vocal tack, Gilbert said, he and his band continue to emphasize the bold, dynamic soundscapes that helped Jettison Never fill up a room instead of simply "jamming on power chords."
As both a solo artist and with Jettison Never, Gilbert has toured across the country as well as internationally. He recently returned from a series of Canadian dates including shows in Toronto and Montreal. His concert at The Camp House will be filmed for use in an upcoming live concert DVD.
Gilbert said that his music most often is inspired by the universal journey to find purpose in one's life and overcoming the obstacles that impede that quest. The goal, he said, is to offer people a reason to hope without coming across as preachy or self-absorbed.
"It's not like I can offer people a solution, but I can offer them encouragement, if they need it," he said. "I'm the voice encouraging them to keep going, whatever they're dealing with."