Vintage Trouble might have signed with Don Was’ Blue Note Records a few months ago, but there is an indie vibe to the band that stretches back to their many years operating without a label.
Of course, the legendary Was wouldn’t be drawn to the Los Angeles-based soul merchants if they weren’t finding success with a D.I.Y. spirit.
With the 2011 release of their amazing debut album The Bomb Shelter Sessions, festival gigs and opening slots for the likes of Bon Jovi, the Who and Queen’s Brian May, Vintage Trouble is doing a lot of things right.
Each time Vintage Trouble takes the stage – whether during several appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno or at a grimy speakeasy, the band fits in and whips up a perfect party.
As The New York Times noted, “Like Otis Redding, Vintage Trouble makes music that is a little bit of everything…you can slow dance, groove, rock and let it all go.”
The seeds were planted a few years ago when virtuoso guitarist Nalle Colt and sparkplug frontman Ty Taylor met while working together on various projects. But in 2010, they finally found the right mix of people in bassist Rick Barrio Dill and drummer Richard Danielson, and formed Vintage Trouble.
“Richard is a kind of guy who, if I throw him maybe just like a regular blues shuffle thing, he might go, ‘Well, how about if I turned the beat around,’ and he flipped the beat completely around, and it was like, ‘OK!’ And it would just come out amazing!” Colt explained to Rock Guitar Daily.
“Same with Rick… When I started playing with Rick, he’s more of an R&B/soul type of guy, and when I pitched things to him, he would take it another way, which was awesome!”
Indeed, Paste Magazine summed up Vintage Trouble’s diversity as such: “Like an M-80 in church, Vintage Trouble lands with a hiss and then blows apart what’s come to define modern soul, blues and rock.”
That’s why it was no surprise when the seasoned quartet stepped in to Studio A at Capitol Records for their Fender Studio Session and unleashed a lock-tight mini-set that nearly blew the roof off the hallowed cylindrical building.
The band’s range and go-getting attitude was on fill display with the track “Run Like the River,” which Taylor introduced with a little story.
“One of the things my mother told me when I was a kid was to never stay inside of a box and to never let people tell you what you can and cannot do,” Taylor wistfully said before the music began.
Colt then launched into “Run Like the River” with a wailing guitar riff that recalled southern boogie at its swampiest, squeezing every drop of emotion out of his axe. Danielson then steamed things up with a thumping kick drum, and it was off to the races.
From there, it was a funk showcase for Vintage Trouble and their song “Still and Always Will,” another standout from The Bomb Shelter Sessions. Dill rode a bassline that James Brown would have loved, while Taylor strutted around the mic with fiery confidence.
Truly, Vintage Trouble came across as advertised at Capitol, with soul oozing out of their pores and blues and rock running through their veins. While it is impressive that the young band has already shared arena stages with massive acts, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them headlining such venues in the near future.