by Howard Alexander –
Someone once said “No simple formula seems to exist. What can be discerned is a grand simplification in the way a chord sequences in melodic development.” I think this describes rock n’ roll perfectly. It seems like we are always looking to change music, and discover new sounds, or even methods of making music. While that is exciting and fun, I don’t think it means we have to forget about something that works so well. I was listening to a couple friends debate about who they thought were talented bands, with an amazing front man or band that puts on a great live show.
One of the bands that we discussed is Vintage Trouble. I had not heard of this band, and I told them, to be fair, I needed to see more of them. After watching numerous videos and listening to their whole catalog of music, I became a fan. There is nothing overly complicated or super technical about their music. It’s just simply good. It’s very raw and boy does it work! The lead vocals are belted out by Ty Taylor, who exudes flashes of Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown.
It’s like they found this band frozen and when it unthawed, they didn’t realize it’s 2016 and not 1960. Ty’s soulful voice sounds like it should be coming straight off of a vinyl record. He also brings back that exciting, take charge, frontman showmanship that you just don’t see too often with today’s bands. The guitarist is Nalle Colt, a Swedish blues man, who brings back that classic ’60s blues rock and roll look and feel. The whole band has a very “vintage” feel, hence the name. Rick Barrio Dill on the bass and Richard Danielson on drums will, no doubt, keep your toes tapping. Finally, we get a cool occasional appearance by Charlie Brumbly on Harmonica.
The band started out in Hollywood, California in 2010 and first got noticed over in the UK where they appeared on Jools Holland’s Later… In 2011, they hooked up with Brian May of Queen to do some shows as well as with Bon Jovi on his UK leg. They have opened for bands like The Who, Dave Matthews, and have appeared on David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The band has released two albums between 2011 and 2015 along with an acoustic sessions album. The Bomb Shelter Sessions was their debut record in 2011, and it was a solid mix of upbeat rock n’ roll and soulful blues ballads. “Blues Hand Me Down”, “Nancy Lee”, “Pelvis Pusher” and “Run Outta You” are some of my personal favorites.
Their most recent album, and my favorite, is called 1 Hopeful Rd. and was released in 2015. My favorites on this album are “Run like the River”, “Angel City California”, “Another Mans Words”, and “Strike Your Light”. What I found impressive is that this band doesn’t stray away from what works, and they know who they are and how to do what they do, and they do it very well!
Watch this band perform live once, and you will immediately understand what makes them so good. If you are into a good retro band that makes you want to move your body, check them out on Blue Note Record/Capitol Music Group, and hopefully soon on a tour near you.