Last night, I had the privilege to see The Who in Newark, at the Prudential Center. The opener was this fantastic band, Vintage Trouble. An edgy take on 60s pop and R&B, these guys rocked the Rock. The group’s lead vocalist, Ty Taylor (a New Jersey native), positively oozes charisma. Between songs, he turned the stadium into a chapel choir of call-and-response All Rights and Amens. His stage presence is reminiscent of James Brown, peppered with impressive footwork. His voice is equally impressive, filled with soul, and shows the tenderness of Al Green when the songs permit.
The band’s rhythm section puts the “Vintage” in Vintage Trouble. I was happy to see how reliant they are on their bassist, Rick Barrio Dill, which would be typical of any four-piece outfit, but there’s a real classic inspiration there. In their songs “Nancy Lee” and “You Better Believe It,” the bass rolls around the track, with walking basslines that show impressive talent, while keeping the two-guitar band far from going stale. Dummer Richard Danielson’s opening of “Jezzebella” is almost a Four Seasons B-side, and his perky beats kept my hands clapping through their album.
The “Trouble” comes from Taylor’s sizzling attitude and guitarist Nalle Colt’s searing fretwork. Colt gets about as close to shredding as possible without overpowering the vintage vibe of the band, and tastefully walks the line between retro and raucous. See the above video for “Blues Hand Me Down” for a taste.
I’m always happy to see a modern band take the classics to heart. The Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. have company in Vintage Trouble.
Their album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, is available on iTunes and Spotify.