July 10, 2012 in song of the week
As I prepared myself for the Sasquatch Festival back in May I created a series of lists on a yellow legal pad. The first list was for the bands I needed to see, the second list was for those I wanted to see. I was familiar with about half the bands performing, and of that half, about three quarters were on my list. That still left a lot of festival to be had, so I went back through the full schedule and came up with a third list of bands that I would like to squeeze in if possible. After reading their press release and a quick sampling of their music I penciled Vintage Trouble into that third list.
When they took the stage and began playing I looked around at the handful of photographers and smattering of people and thought to myself, “really, is this it? Is everyone seriously going to miss out on what’s happening here?” There was some kind of invisible musical grape vine that could work its way through the festival, it drew people to stages, Vintage Trouble was a prime example of this.
What VT is doing isn’t happening all over the country, it’s not part of a steam rolling movement, it’s unique for its time. This is like a flash back to the immortalized sound of James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Otis Redding, Buddy Guy, I could go on and on, but you probably get the idea. If you somehow are imagining some awful Universal Studio’s Blues Brothers impersonators, get that out of your head right now. These guys are genuine. Okay, so they do dress the part, but rather than looking hokey it comes off as pretty awesome.
What’s also amazing about Vintage Trouble is that their debut album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions is not simply a compilation of classic rock and soul covers, all ten songs are original. The genre and era they drew their inspiration from is ever present in every song, so much so that you spend the first moment wondering if you already know it before you realize you don’t.
Nancy Lee is R&B inspired and exploits the exceptional voice of frontman Ty Taylor. At Sasquatch Taylor began with a story about how his mother and father met at a barn dance in the 1950‘s. He explains that in truth the story isn’t all that romantic, so instead he imagines that if his father could write a song for his mother it would be Nancy Lee. No song better encapsulates the heart and soul of VT better than this, it’s the kind of hip-swinging, hand-clapping music that you’ve only heard about from your parents.
Sasquatch was full of amazing performances this year, but most have not stuck with me quite like Vintage Trouble’s. It’s one thing to see a good band but it’s far more rare to see a band play with the love and enthusiasm as VT did. Their positive vibes were like gamma ray’s infecting the crowd which grew and grew until it filled the lawn lining the Yeti Stage. They danced, they clapped, they rocked out unlike the crowd at any other performance. There wasn’t a moment that made me more grateful to be at Sasquatch then while watching Vintage Trouble.
None of those positive vibes are lost on the album, it’s just as wonderful and fun as watching them live. You can pick up The Bomb Shelter Sessions at all the usual digital retailers.