Vintage Trouble have just left Tokyo after 3 days of promotion including a performance of ‘Strike Your Light’ at NHK’s national TV show ASAICHI.
Following the appearance on ASAICHI to approximately 18 million viewers,
Vintage Trouble was the #1 trending topic on Twitter Japan and the #2 searched term on Yahoo Japan!!!
On iTunes, 1 Hopeful Rd. jumped to #19 on the overall album chart, #3 on rock album chart!
On Amazon, Vintage Trouble albums were at #2, #3, #5 and #8!!!
Vintage Trouble’s 4 song live performance on the No.1 Radio station J-WAVE was live streamed on YouTube.
You may recall, J-Wave is responsible for the band’s first #1 ever, when ‘Strike Your Light’ was the most played song on the station and #1 on their weekly Tokyo Hot 100 show
What even is this album? Witchcraft, probably. Magic, certainly. Or maybe science fiction: some kind of timewarped version of the past, come back to tempt us with its lush, alluring sounds. All I know is that ‘1 Hopeful Road’ is a marvel, like listening in on an alternate, retro universe with Vintage Trouble skilfully and confidently blending together r&b, soul, and rock, pouring their own heat and passion into every track and lyric.
There are tunes that are so smooth you feel like they barely touch the ground, like the silky and caressing ‘From My Arms’, and the exquisite ‘Doin’ What You Were Doin’ – a tune that makes the world better whenever I listen to it.
‘1 Hopeful Road’ also contains a good shot of Vintage Trouble’s “live-wired, straight-shootin’, dirty-mouth’d, pelvis-pushing juke music” with foot-stomping R&B rockers like ‘Run Like The River’, and ‘Angel City, California’ – “that’s where I found this soul I now call mine“. Or listen to ‘Strike Your Light’ and ‘Another Baby’- tracks that are all heat and fire and raucous joy.
Whether smooth or raucous, Vintage Trouble’s music and lyrics convey all shades of pain and passion, love and despair, hope and hurt. And many tunes here are irresistible gems of musical craftsmanship, like the happiness-inducing ‘My Heart Won’t Fall Again’, or the devastating ‘Another Man’s Words’.vintage_2
Unabashedly retro, yet never derivative, Vintage Trouble have their own thing going on, and it’s easy to understand why they’ve been recruited to open for such bands as The Who and AC/DC. Front-man Ty Taylor’s vocals are amazing – all sweetness and heat and power – and he can amp up the passion and pain just enough to wound you, as well as please you. With Nalle Colt’s effortless skill and power on guitar, and Rick Barrio Dill’s bass and Richard Danielson’s drums rippling beneath it all, this is a finely tuned crew: they get the most from each tune, with just a touch, just a nudge, just a thrust and pull here and there.
Vintage Trouble is a band that can legitimately invoke the name of people like Otis Redding, James Brown, and Tina Turner, and not come off as delusional. To use the band’s own words, they are “turned on by and tuned into the evolutionary period in music and life when there was a razor thin line between Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll”.
While this is a softer, more laidback release than ‘The Bomb Shelter Sessions’, it has its own kind of magic, keeping me happily spellbound throughout.
The Ready Room in The Grove celebrated St. Louis’ fiftieth year of Archdom with Vintage Trouble last night.
Tom “Papa” Ray was spinning cratefuls of local soul selections, including the classic 45 “St. Louis Breakdown” by Oliver Sain, which was recorded on nearby Natural Bridge Road. Papa Ray’s set was basically the goings-on of what happens live on his radio show for KDHX; sticky grooves with old-style MC commentary.
Los Angeles soul-rock outfit Vintage Trouble dressed their Sunday best and performed ballads, rockers, and groovers to a packed house of TroubleMakers.
Twas mighty a rowdy dance party.
The first thing you should know about Vintage Trouble is that it’s a live band, with a very hard extra italics emphasis on the adjective. Lead singer Ty Taylor has been in the spotlight all his life; it’s his oxygen, and he seems unfazed by the entertainment machine. He was even a contestant on the reality TV show Rock Star: INXS. But his best performances are more than shows. He’s a commanding, strutting but also vulnerable dervish on stage, and his three-piece band plays revivalist soul, blues and rock & roll as if every note was a necessary reminder of how good it feels to be alive. Formed just five years ago in Los Angeles, Vintage Trouble does around 260 dates a year and has opened for everyone from AC/DC to the Who to Paloma Faith and Willie Nelson. So, yeah, the dudes are pretty versatile as well.
This year Vintage Trouble released 1 Hopeful Rd., a sophomore album that not only captures some of what it can do on stage but also points to a deepening confidence with the art of rock and blues songwriting. The band makes its way back to St. Louis for a headlining show at the Ready Room on Wednesday, October 28. After a sound check in Carrboro, North Carolina, Taylor spoke to the RFT about where the band has been and where it yet hopes to go.
Roy Kasten: I’m looking forward to chatting about the new album, but I’d like to circle back to the start for a minute. When did idea of being a musician and performer really take hold for you?
Ty Taylor: I started when I was five years old, singing in St. Paul Baptist Church in Mount Clair, New Jersey. The first thing I sang was “Kumbaya;” my solo was “Can you hear me Lord?” The church started crying. At five years old you don’t understand the power of doing something that causes tears that’s not for stealing someone’s toys. From that time, seeing people cry when I sang, it just caught my soul. I was the crazy kid, the one running around, jumping off buildings, that kind of stuff. I knew how to use my performing abilities to get out of trouble in school. I understood the importance of performance.
Did performing in the church continue through your childhood?
I had already been performing. I did my first commercial on national television when I was fourteen months old, which was a Pampers commercial. My ass was the first thing seen on national television. I did commercials up to the time I went to college and after. I did my first Broadway show when I was eight. As soon as I went to college, I got an acoustic guitar. A friend challenged me to learn to play and I started writing songs. That was a different soul recognition. I knew I wanted to sing music I had written, not just any music. I began thinking about music as a gift, rather than just an attribute. It was powerful to see people connecting to what you were singing that was different from what other people were singing.
Do you ever think how different your life would be if you had won that INXS contest?
I don’t really think about what ifs. When I try and think about it, well, the whole idea of that didn’t really work out. I think it would have hurt me is the truth. It was exciting, but it was more exciting just to be on national television two nights a week. If I had gotten that gig, I would have been singing Michael Hutchence songs, in Michael Hutchence keys, in front of Michael Hutchence fans. Maybe it would have been exciting to go around the world, but I’ve gotten to do that anyway. I don’t like to lose. I guess I would not have felt like a loser for that month (laughs). I might have gotten some media coverage sooner, but that happened anyway. I’m still friends with everyone from the show, and I get to hang out with them on the road.
Most bands start out naively, even romantically. They don’t have a lot of experience in the industry. But you already that experience. How did that shape things? Did it put undue pressure on the band?
I think it took pressure off. Dealing with business decisions, coming to crossroads where most people stress out, I have the experience of not needing to vacillate. I have a lot of experience to help me when others might wonder what to do. I’m not afraid to lose. I like gambling with what I think could lead to a big picture success. I’ve learned that it’s more powerful to take your time and gather fans over a long time because those people will stay with you. I don’t want to be here today and gone tomorrow.
Your first album was called Bomb Shelter Sessions. The new album is called 1 Hopeful Rd. Did you ever think, “Maybe we should have found a halfway house along the way?”
(Laughs). Well, we had the Swing House Sessions EP in between. That’s kind of like a halfway house!
Did your recording philosophy for this album change?
The first album had no philosophy. We’d only been together three months before we recorded it, and we recorded it in three days. They were demos really that stayed around for years. With 1 Hopeful Rd., we had been on the road for three or four years, and the idea of it feeling a little more spiritual, that’s because we’ve been a band longer. There was more to draw on. It’s really about how the road is going to be treacherous; it’s going to be winding and bumpy, but if you have hope you can get through it. We’re four guys. We’re not young guys. We told ourselves that we have no choice but to do this. When other friends maybe stopped and did something else, we’ve kept making music.
Was there still that desire to capture what you can do live or was it to show what you can do as artists on an album?
We do record live. We do takes, and we choose the best takes, just the way bands did in the ’60s and ’70s. For our next record we might have more thought about it being more of a record rather than a live document. Maybe there are some things we haven’t thought about yet. Maybe you think more about the record and less about doing something live. You don’t get to record everyday. We worked with Don Was. He’s one of the smartest producers; he taught us so much. We’re four headstrong men, and we pushed back as hard as he pushed us. But even since the record has been pressed, we’ve learned so much.
The album ends with the song “Soul Serenity,” which is probably your most power gospel moment. Tell me about the genesis of that song.
For a year that song was called “Nashville.” We came up with it at a sound check. We didn’t know what to do with it. It was electric, more hard-hitting. We just couldn’t quite get it together. I went to Thailand last year for Christmas, and I was on the beach, talking to my mom or dad, because I talk to them when I’m in church or on the beach, because neither one is here on the walking earth anymore. I connect with them on the beach. I wanted to be serene. I wanted to find peace in Thailand. For some reason the melody kept coming around, and I just started singing the words “serenity” and then “soul serenity.” Then I took a canoe ride through the really hard part of Thailand, very third world, where people are throwing bread crumbs in the water and trying to catch fish with their hands. All the words started flooding to me. It was about wanting to understand a serene life. When I want to feel grounded I go to Otis Redding, Carole King, the Staple Singers. When people tell me it’s a song they go to, it just blows my mind.
It was Friday night (October 16, 2015) at the Cannery Ballroom, a prominent Nashville music venue, and the room is quickly filling up with people anxiously anticipating the acts of the night. The night kicks off with England-bred, New York-based, singer/songwriter Greg Holden. Holden made his first appearance in the music scene by co-penning the hit song “Home,” made famous by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips. Just as I situated myself into the ideal spot in the audience, the sultry, alt-pop/folk singer hit the stage and mesmerized the audience with his purpose-driven songs, full of passion. His set included crowd favorites such as “Hold On Tight,” “Home” and his current hit single “Boys In The Street.”
After a slight intermission, 4-piece soulful rock band, Vintage Trouble entered the room and the atmosphere was electric. The band kicked the night off with “Heavy Days” and the infectious energy from the entire band, consisting of Ty Taylor (vocals), Nalle Colt (guitar), Richard Danielson (drums) and Rick Barrio Dill (bass), instantly got the crowd moving and dancing along to the beat. Vintage Trouble has a timeless sound, a fusion of rock n’ roll and old school soul and blues, that folks young and old can enjoy. Front-man Ty Taylor has this undeniable charisma and stage presence that is so captivating you cannot take your eyes away from him – a modern-day James Brown, if you will. I was over the moon with the band’s live renditions of personal favorites like “Angel City, California,” “Another Man’s Words” and “Run Like The River.” The night ended with a two-song encore of “Soul Serenity” and “Pelvis Pusher,” that left the crowd yearning for more. Vintage Trouble, along with fellow musicians like Alabama Shakes and Leon Bridges, are pushing the genre barriers with their modern vintage sound and, in the simplest terms, GOOD music that will be well-received by fans for generations to come. I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the next time I can experience their electrifying stage presence and live performance with music that truly speaks to the soul.
Vintage Trouble press image 2013 • photographer Lee Cherry
Nalle Colt, guitarist for the red-hot blues-rock band Vintage Trouble, left his homeland of Sweden to pursue his musical dreams in America when he was 21. In fact, he was so sure of his convictions that he even bought himself a one-way ticket to Los Angeles. “That’s how badly I wanted to be part of the American scene,” he says. “I couldn’t get anything going in Sweden, but when I came to Los Angeles I discovered all of these people who were just like me. They wanted to be in a band and make something happen. I loved it.”
Growing up in Sweden, Colt found himself virtually alone in his love for the blues. There was one local guitarist, however, Jan-Eric ‘Fjellis’ Fjellstrom, who took the budding young axeman under his wing. “Fjellis was an amazing guitar player,” Colt raves. “I would go see him play and I couldn’t believe how good he was. He gave me a copy of Texas Flood and really helped expose me to a lot of great music. More than anybody, he inspired me to pursue the guitar.”
In compiling his choices for five essential guitar albums, Colt realized that they all share certain criteria, like great songs (“It can’t just be virtuoso guitar playing without the songs”), but also a level of communication through sound. “What I also look for is somebody who can use the tone of the guitar and turn it into something unique and personal,” he explains. “If you can show me a side to your personality through your sound, that’s key. It’s about conveying a feeling through your instrument, much like a singer does with his voice. Great guitarists know what that’s about.”
Colt also notes that the guitarists on his list, for the most part, speak a sophisticated language through an approach that is deceptively simple. “I love guitar players who can say more with less, which is harder than it seems,” he says. “The guitarists I tend to gravitate toward use their limitations to their advantage. I found out pretty early that I was never going to be a super-technical kind of player, but I decided that I was going use a couple of notes to get my point across.
“I listen to Hendrix and Page and Stevie Ray, and they could say everything they wanted with just one guitar part. It’s about purity in the message. You don’t need 20 overdubs and all kinds of crazy things; if you have one guitar saying what you want it to say, that’s enough. Find your weirdness and your joy and use it.”
Vintage Trouble’s new album, 1 Hopeful Rd., is available now.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced (1967)
“This is the album that made me want to play the guitar. I was 11 years old when I heard it, and it gave me the most insane goosebumps. I had to get a guitar. I had to try to do what Jimi was doing. There was no question about it – this record pointed the way.
“There was something about the way the guitar sounded in songs like Hey Joe and The Wind Cries Mary – it spoke to me in a way that I immediately understood. Hendrix could sound so cosmic but yet so earthy. It’s like he took the blues and send it into outer space. How somebody could play with such fire but then turn around and sound so beautiful? It just blew my mind.
“I sat for days and weeks near my turntable trying to learn the licks on this record. It became a constant pattern – on-off, flip the record over, start again. I was driving my mother crazy. I learned all the riffs. One thing that really struck me was how Jimi could play little melodies within guitar chords. Figuring that out was worth a year of guitar lessons. I use that type of technique today.”
“Growing up in Sweden, it was hard for me to find cool music. One day a friend came over with a record, and he said, ‘You’ve got to hear this.’ It was Texas Flood. We put it, and I just looked at him like, ‘What the fuck? This guy is incredible!’ That kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it’s something special.
“It brought home everything I loved about Jimi Hendrix. Suddenly there was this young guy doing what Hendrix did and taking it one step beyond. After hearing Texas Flood, I nosedived into the world of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I bought every album and studied him completely. I wish I could have seen him live, although I have watched all the DVDs. His appearance on Austin City Limits was magical. Our band got to do the show a couple of weeks ago, and all I could think was, ‘Stevie was here.’”
“Now that I was such a Stevie Ray Vaughan fan, I read all of his interviews. He kept talking about his hero Albert King, so that made me go out and investigate him myself. I picked up King of the Blues Guitar and was knocked out. The attitude in the playing just came roaring out at me. It was totally out of control.
“I realized where Stevie Ray got everything from; he seemed to be a mix of Albert King and Jimi Hendrix. Once I got into Albert King, I started really putting it all together. The music was bold and raunchy. It came through with such confidence, and that made it so expressive. Nothing was held back – there was no filter between Albert and his pure, gutsy delivery.
“It’s always interesting when you hear the pioneers – you can’t spot their influences. They just seem to come at you with this ‘Fuck you. This is what I’m doing’ kind of attitude. If anybody wants to hear raw and original blues guitar, the guy who schooled so many greats, check out King of the Blues Guitar. It’s a trip.”
“I love Physical Graffiti and Led Zeppelin II and all of their albums, but there’s something special about hearing Zeppelin live. They had a force all their own. They didn’t just perform; they exploded. To me, this was Jimmy Page at his best.
“What he could do with a Les Paul going into a Marshall. What tone! The Rain Song, Stairway to Heaven, Since I’ve Been Loving You – my God, talk about beautiful guitar playing. I love that it’s a little raunchy in places – you know, it’s live. So many bands can make good records, but they can’t cut it on stage. Zeppelin made incredible albums, but they could always bring it in concert.
“What I love is the spirit that comes through in Page’s playing. People talk about him being a little sloppy, and who cares, you know? I’m a little sloppy myself. I don’t need to hear perfection. I want to hear attitude and emotion, and that’s what I get from Page, especially live. Jimmy has become a big influence on me, more so now than ever before.”
“I love the blues and rock‘n’roll, but this album speaks to me in a whole different way. When I was a kid, a friend gave me a copy of it, and it dazzled me immediately. It’s not the kind of guitar playing that I do, but I could appreciate each guy’s complete mastery of the instrument.
“Flamenco music has always intrigued me, and the fire and passion these guys bring to it is very inspiring. Their technique is out of control, but what I really love about it is the way they communicate with one another. They aren’t playing licks or doing tricks; they’re speaking to each other and to the audience.
“If you’re an electric guitar player, you might want to check out what these three guys can do on acoustics. Your jaw just might drop to the floor, as mine did. I’m still in awe of it. There’s music on here I still don’t really understand, but I feel it, and that’s what counts.”
Last year I went to see Vintage Trouble for the first time and they played one of the most memorable gigs I’ve seen in a long time, featuring a piper, a marriage proposal, Ty Taylor climbing a balcony and all of this in an old church hall. Since then they’ve released their long awaited second album, 1 Hopeful Road, and the rise in their popularity was pointed out as DJ and music critic Billy Sloan introduced them onto the stage at the Barrowlands for their biggest headline gig to date. This iconic old venue has seen some sights, and playing it is a dream for many artists. To play your biggest gig to date there must have made it even more special for this band.
The show was opened by Slydigs, who had the honour of being introduced onto the stage by Vintage Trouble frontman Ty. They got off to a slow start, but as their set went on the crowd warmed to them, which the band clearly realised, commenting, “that’s more like it,” whenever they got a louder cheer than before. I didn’t particularly enjoy their set myself, but once they’d finished I discovered I was in the minority as everyone else around me seemed to have had a good time. I guess if we all liked the same thing it would get dull pretty quickly!
By the time Vintage Trouble took to the stage the venue was full and they were greeted with a roar that pretty much didn’t stop until the end. Opener Soul Serenity got everyone swaying and voices were raised right up to the beautiful old ballroom ceiling. Next things were kicked up a notch as Ty told the crowd this was going to a be a dance party and they went into Blues Hand me Down. I discovered yet again that my ability to simultaneously
take photos, dance and sing along needs some work! What a brilliant song that is, and there can’t be many better for kicking off a party. I had wondered whether Ty would spend as much time in the crowd as he did in smaller venues but my question was soon answered as he launched himself across the photo pit to stand on the crowd barrier during the next song, Nancy Lee. Hands were raised to hold him steady straight away. He was all over the place, in the centre of the floor encouraging the crowd to form a circle around him and dance. His talents are many, but not least is the fact he has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the very beginning. He told us to dance, we did. He told us to high five someone we didn’t know, we did. He told us there was a fan in the crowd who was at her 50th Vintage Trouble show, and to shout, “Happy 50th show Jade,” and we did. At one point he even got a wave going. Later in the gig during Run Like the River he jumped straight into the crowd and made his way to the very back, demanding people dance as he went, ending up standing on the barrier around the sound desk, then falling onto waiting hands and surfing literally from the back row to the front, while the crowd sang “Run Baby Run”
and he somehow managed to still sing along. This was a show from an ultimate showman, and yet the glue that sticks it all together, while never leaving the stage shouldn’t be underestimated. Nalle Colt, Rick Barrio Dill and Richard Danielson are brilliant musicians, never missing a beat while Ty gyrates and spins, conducts the crowd and runs all over the building. They always look like they are having the time of their life and on a night like this who can blame them. During Another Man’s Words the crowd became almost like a choir, voices providing perfect backing vocals. There were quieter moments among the madness, in the form of Shows What You Know and first track of the encore Nobody Told Me. They finished with Pelvis Pusher. For me this song sums up everything a Vintage Trouble show is about. We danced, we waved, we sang and Ty gave us everything he had. He’s an incredible performer, with the soul of Marvin Gaye, a performance like a deep South gospel preacher and the hips of Elvis. The band are so much fun and I can only see their upward trajectory continuing. Brilliant.
Since their last time in town, Vintage Trouble have continued to tour relentlessly and have just had a run of dates here in the UK with Paloma Faith. They bring their high octane live show to the Marble Factory on Saturday 27 and offer “live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth’d, pelvis-pushing juke music” – believe me, you can believe the hype. The guys took five minutes to answer a few questions for us.
B24/7 Quick fire round to kick things off – pick one of each of the following:
Stax or Motown?
(Ty Taylor – lead vocals): Motown for melody and lyrics, Stax for passion, rawness and vibe!ã€€
Star Trek or Star Wars?
(Rick Barrio Dill – bass): Star Wars all the way!
Big Sunny Festivals or Small Sweaty Clubs?
(Richard Danielson – drums): I personally love the feel of festivals, which is kind of the dream you dream as a kid, to be on big stages in front of big audiences. But sweaty clubs is where it gets more adult and dirty and where some of the true magic happens, so I’d never want to lose that. Sometime there are sweaty club-like tents within the big sunny festivals. Once the sun goes down they can take on a juke-joint kind of feeling. We’ve had some great times in some of these smaller environments within the larger festivals.ã€€
You’ve played the UK a lot. When you see British dates on the schedule what do you most look forward to about returning?
(Nalle Colt – guitars): Our TroubleMaker community, it’s a great group of friends that has support us since day one. Also, lot of these venues are iconic places that all my favourite bands released great live albums from. We are playing KOKO in London soon. That’s one spot I really like!
…and when you see those dates, what do you look forward to least?
(Nalle): Well sometimes the weather is not the best around here, that’s about it.
Do you feel any affinity with bands like Alabama Shakes, St Paul & the Broken Bones and Sharon King & the Daptones – all of whom are mining the rich heritage of Soul, RnB and the southern sound?
(Ty): Rhythm and Blues and Soul is the music that touches me the deepest and what I relate to the most. So whenever I hear anything that rattles me in the same way, it makes my spirit shake, rattle and roll. ã€€It makes me feel so good these days to know that there is an army of like minded soldiers on a mission to keep the torch alive, representing people like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Ruth Brown, Sister Rosetta Thorpe and the like. ã€€
You have a well earned reputation for fearsome live shows. Are there any bands that make you feel you need to raise your game when you’re on the same bill?
(Richard): Hmm… We don’t really think about that too much. Maybe when I was a kid in young bands we’d have that kind of spirit. But we put on the same energized show no matter where we are, and it’s just a natural thing. We just do what we love to do. We have said that this is a band with four alpha males, so that may play into it. No way can any of us slack off, we’d get eaten alive from the other members.ã€€
What’s the best new music you’ve heard in the past few months? Any up and coming bands that you’d like to mention?
(Rick): No new bands in the last couple of months I can think of but the new Alabama Shakes single sounds great, and I’ve been tripping over everything from Charlie XCX to Ed Sheeran, and probably more than anything, continually rediscovering my old Otis, Wilson Pickett and Solomon Burke records of late again. So much good stuff as well as Northern Soul deep cuts. Never gets old to me
If you could hop back in time, is there any single key choice you’ve made that you’d like to change – and if so what & why?
(Ty): If I could go back in time the only key choice I would correct is that I let myself deal with people’s bullshit for so long instead of just seeing through it and understanding what is obviously good and positive. ã€€I think when we are young we mistake edgy for cool. We also allow industry falsities to be the truth. ã€€And it can handicap us without knowing it. Life is a lot simpler than we make it at most times. I wish I had decided to really know that in my soul earlier on.
The Meltdown Festival enables artists to create a festival with an eclectic mix of artists & bands with some unlikely combinations and collaborations. Given the opportunity, who would VT bring together at Meltdown?
(Rick): VT and Beth Hart
(Nalle): We are coming with a pocket full of Rhythm & Blues and juke joint vibe in general, that what we like to share to this eclectic group of artists.