Jennifer Freed

“Knock Me Out” Official Video Debuts TODAY!

It’s HERE! Classic Rock Magazine premieres the official video for “KNOCK ME OUT” TODAY! Video was directed by famed photographer Danny Clinch.


“John Varvatos and Vintage Trouble!” enthuses Vintage Trouble frontman Ty Taylor. “As a broad stroke, we have always been fans of the indisputable fire that rises when music and fashion collide in the purest and most primitive of ways. What I wear completely effects not only my motion but also my emotion. From the moment we met John a few years back, we had a connection that reminded me of the way artists from different mediums melted into each others vibes during the beatnik period. We had a deep interest in what the other did and immediately joined the mutual admiration club. When we got the call to do the campaign I basically lost my voice cause I hollered for joy and pride so loudly. To say we feel honoured and are grateful is on the tip of the appreciation cherry.”

Tour de Fat Dates Added

New Belgium Brewing’s “Fat Tire presents the Tour de Fat” is back for its 18th season and this year without question will be the biggest and boldest yet.

The traveling philanthropic beer, music, and bike festival will kick off a 33-show season, with VT appearing in Washington DC on 7/22 + San Francisco on 8/19.

All events will be ticketed (price varies by city) and tickets will be available in advance online here or at any of the box offices for Tour de Fat venues. New Belgium has raised more than $4.5 million for partnering non-profits since its inception. This summer Tour de Fat hopes to generate more than $600,000 in support of local causes.

In addition to musical headliners, a touring ensemble of artists, cirque performers, and general mayhemists will appear alongside local buskers and street performers. New Belgium Brewing will host a battle of the bands in many cities prior to the event to give local bands the chance to represent their hometown scene.

For tickets + more info, visit the Official Website.


At the Crossroads of Music + Fashion

On Varvatos, Ty describes “John is…what do you call it? A curator of amazing, authentic music. And it probably takes him a bit of prying into to have him fall in love with a contemporary band, because he loves these legends, the authentics. And so the fact that he was there praising us, I cried basically. Not even just inside, outside as well. I literally let my guard down and let him know that he was a huge influence on my whole love for the marriage of rock and [fashion].”

Read the full Screamer Magazine article by Richard Rosenthal here.

Photo by Danny Clinch


John Varvatos has tapped the LA-based rhythm & blues band, Vintage Trouble, to appear in his much celebrated music campaign series, bringing their foot-stomping rhythm and infectiously irrepressible mood to electrify the new Spring Campaign in a video featuring their upcoming song “Knock Me Out.” For more than a decade, John Varvatos has collaborated with talented musicians and photographer Danny Clinch to capture both iconic, established artists and introduce new rising talents to create dramatic and memorable still imagery and short films. Vintage Trouble brings the emotional intensity and sophisticated musicianship to prove themselves worthy of following a roster which has included, Jimmy Page, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper.  This new season marks only the second time Clinch has used color photography to bring this powerful series to life.  “Wear your inspiration on your sleeve and make it your own. That’s the conversation I’ve been having with friends recently, and Vintage Trouble does

this very well. They’ve got classic style but with a reckless, modern twist. We chose VT because they represent what inspires all of us – energy, freedom and style. And they really bring it! Photographing them was a dream. I love when musicians are willing to participate and contribute something to the shoot. That collaboration takes everything to the next level,” says Clinch.

Using a multiple camera approach, Clinch’s short film documents the band as they arrive for sound check at the historic King’s Theater, which originally opened in 1929 and underwent a major renovation, reopening in 2015. The cameras follow VT whose four members hail from California. Singer Ty Taylor, guitarist Nalle Colt, bassist Rick Barrio Dill and drummer Richard Danielson each give fantastic performances that embody the rebellious spirit of the 1960’s from which they draw inspiration and which has such a strong influence on John’s own brand of style.  Notes lead singer Ty Taylor, “I have always been a fan of the indisputable fire that rises when music and fashion collide in the purest and most primitive of ways.  What I wear completely effects not only my motion, but also my emotion.  From the moment we met John a few years back, we had a connection that reminded me of the way artists from different mediums melted into each others vibes during the beatnik period.  We had a deep interest in what the other did and immediately found common ground in our mutual respect.”

The video captures the groups high-energy brand of soul and unabashed showmanship in the empty venue as they prep for the night’s gig.  According to Stephen Niedzwiecki, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of YARD and longtime Varvatos collaborator, “One can define the word ‘Trouble’ as the ability to stir things up mentally or spiritually. It’s what the John Varvatos brand has been doing for years. This season, we wanted to create content that does exactly that, using a lesser-known household name band and letting their soulful and very explosive performance do the talking. Vintage Trouble is that band.  For those who don’t know, they soon will, and crave more.”  Like their music, VT style is steeped in the heritage of old school, while managing to be utterly timeless. They are a fitting choice for the latest campaign which features John’s rock ‘n’ roll meets an urban romantic’s vision for Spring/Summer 2017.  John Varvatos adds, “Shooting this campaign with my good friends from Vintage Trouble was a special treat. This is a band that gives 200% at every show and this shoot captures their incredible energy, talent, and style. Ty wrote this killer song, Knock Me Out, “ along with these amazing songwriters Omar Tavarez and Federico Vender for our campaign video, and its powerful, poignant, and destined to be a smash hit. Long Live Rock!”


WIN an Ultra-Light Bass Signed by Vintage Trouble

Enter to win Rick Barrio Dill’s Ultra-Light Bass signed by Vintage Trouble!

The Ultra-Light Bass is Traveler Guitar’s lightest, most compact bass offering ever. Weighing just 3 pounds 6.5 ounces and measuring only 33 ¾ inch in length, this short 30-inch scale acoustic-electric bass can go anywhere you want to take it.

Second prize is a Vintage Trouble T-Shirt and Third prize is a Vintage Trouble CD.


Contest starts April 20, 2016 and ends May 25, 2016


Ty Taylor to Appear at the James Brown Birthday Family Bash

Ty will be performing at the James Brown Birthday Family Bash on May 3rd at The Bell Auditorium.

The Birthday Family Bash is a FREE Show honoring the life and legacy of the Godfather of Soul. The show will reunite 13 members of the James Brown Band with very special guests Sharon Jones, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), Chris Rob (Nasty Delicious), Gavin Hamilton (FunkYou) and Greg Hester!

Visit JBFAMILYBASH.COM for tickets & more info!


JB Family Bash




This story of a Sri Lankan drummer boy will tug at your heartstrings

When an LA rocker saw a video of a barefoot boy playing drums made of plastic bottles and tin cans, he vowed to find him…


Last February, a YouTube video touched the hearts of thousands. It showed a young boy, barefoot in blue shorts, playing drums outside a basic brick hut in a clearly hot, but unknown, country.

His kit was obviously home-made, constructed from old tin cans, plastic bottles and scaffolding poles, with random scraps of wood and sticks for pedals. Yet what made the clip so memorable wasn’t so much the makeshift equipment, but the huge passion and talent of the child, whose name, age and background were all a mystery.

The post went viral, quickly attracting more than 30,000 views. Soon it was spotted by Richard Danielson, drummer with the LA-based rock band Vintage Trouble, who promised to give the boy a professional Gretsch Catalina drum kit worth £600, if only he could be found.

“[The video] reminded me of myself when I was young,” he says. “I wanted drums so bad that I made a kit out of big steel 50-gallon drums and old bottles, and what have you, much like this kid, but nowhere near as elaborate. Thing is, this kid really has got some impassioned innate ability. It’s my true feeling that he was born to play the drums.”

Inspired, one fan, David Tradewell, 43, a digital marketing consultant from Brighton, based in New York, set about tracking down the mystery boy. “I thought social media is used for so much nonsense, usually involving selling s— and posting selfies, so for a change let’s turn it into a force for good,” he says.

Months passed before Tradewell traced the video’s original poster, Gayan Nishanta, a man in his 20s living in a remote village near Galle in southern Sri Lanka, an area still recovering from years of civil war and the 2004 tsunami.

He spoke barely any English, so a local fixer was engaged who discovered that the child was nine-year-old Wanni Pura Thushan Anushka Dulanjana, known as Anushka, living a few miles away with his father, a cinnamon farmer, and 14-year-old brother, while his mother, who worked in Qatar as a maid, hadn’t seen her son for two years. “When I found that out, I knew we had to make this happen,” Tradewell says.

Having appealed for donations to cover travel, on January 5, Tradewell left his wife and baby son at home to fly with the drum kit to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. “In Sri Lanka, items have a habit of getting ‘lost’ in transit, so we couldn’t just ship it out there.”

From Colombo, it was a half-day journey down dirt tracks, via the local Buddhist temple where a monk gave their mission his blessing, to Anushka’s “dirt poor” village on a hill. (Its elevated status had helped it to escape the Boxing Day tsunami.)

“So many people thought I was crazy to take on this assignment, so as we drew close I felt almost drunk with excitement,” Tradewell says. He had decided not to warn the family, who spoke no English, that he was coming, in case of mishaps, so when he pulled up, they were “completely perplexed”.

“Through our translator we explained to Anushka that we’d come from the US, because we’d seen him drumming on the internet, and had brought him a T‑shirt and a few CDs.

“But then we brought out the tom drum from the kit and he was confused. Next we showed him the snare and he said, ‘But this is not enough to do a drum solo.’ Cheesy as it sounds, I got him to talk through exactly what he would need, then I said, ‘Ah, yes, but I also brought you this,’ and we set up the kit.”

Still stunned, but smiling irrepressibly, Anushka started playing, with his whole extended family gathering to listen. “It took him about 15 minutes to adapt to the new kit, but then he was knocking out rock ’n’ roll rhythms,” Tradewell says. As they left, Anushka’s father kissed Tradewell’s hand saying he wished he knew more English, to thank him properly. “It was a bit weird and very emotional. As we drove off, we could still hear Anushka drumming.”

Different beat: Anushka with his new drum kit

Different beat: Anushka with his new drum kit

To Tradewell’s surprise, the kit in the video turned out to have been made by Anushka when he was only six. “It was so sophisticated, I assumed he’d had help from his dad.” Tradewell was especially impressed by the hi‑hat, or cymbal, “ingeniously” made from an old tyre and wood, rather than aluminium.

Drumming has been part of Sri Lankan village life for centuries. Drums are used to mark every occasion from births to deaths, for Buddhist ceremonies and to communicate between villages. “Although it was hard to talk to Anushka, I’m sure this is where he found his inspiration,” says Tradewell.

Figures show that about 6.4 per cent of Sri Lanka’s 20 million people live below the poverty line, and 90 per cent live in rural areas. Boys like Anushka usually go into the armed forces or the police to escape their background. Few get any chance to explore any artistic talents.

“A few people criticised what I was doing as ‘white man’s burden behaviour’, the patronising colonial urge to interfere,” says Tradewell. “They said, ‘Anushka lives in a poor but proud and happy community, why disturb him by rocking up with a drum kit?’ But for me, it came down to the fact I will be able to afford to buy my son any instrument he wants when he grows up, but Anushka might never have the opportunity to fulfil his talent and his calling.”

Now back in the United States, Tradewell hopes to persuade corporate sponsors to donate more instruments for promising child musicians, not just in Sri Lanka, but in his adopted home, New York. “I’d love to take pianos to Afghanistan and guitars to deprived areas of Brooklyn,” he says. “Nothing moves people on an emotional and spiritual level like music.”

VT on Austin City Limits!

Vintage Trouble makes their debut on Season 41 of renowned TV show, Austin City Limits, on an electrifying double bill with Alabama Shakes. VT performs a blistering five-song set filled with the electrifying soul, blues and rock. Episode premieres January 2 on PBS.

VT performs a blistering five-song set filled with the electrifying soul, blues and rock of their recent album 1 Hopeful Rd.  Ty ventures into the audience for the set-opener “Run Like The River,” and in an ACL first, climbs through the studio to deliver the song’s close from the theater’s balcony. “Can we go back to the 1950s, and can we imagine that we are in a juke joint in North Carolina?” asks Taylor, and the Austin crowd is happy to oblige, on their feet for the entirety, hands-clapping and fists-pumping. A sweat-soaked Taylor lets his passion loose on the set-closing ballad “Run Outta You,” sparking a crowd sing-along that moves the charismatic singer to tears for a memorable debut.

“I’ve never seen anyone take command of a stage (and audience) like Ty Taylor and Vintage Trouble!” says ACL Producer Terry Lickona.  “It was a musical and emotional roller-coaster ride. People are still talking about that taping—and now so will viewers.”

Watch the explosive clips now!


The 10 best rock guitarists in the world today

Nalle Colt Named One of the Top 10 Guitarists by Music Radar & Total Guitar Magazine!

If Vintage Trouble are a neo-soul oyster, then Nalle Colt is the speck of grit at the centre.

A bluesy-fingered, Gretsch-toting chap of no little retro style, he’s looked right at home on the giant stages Vintage Trouble have been filling of late while supporting the likes of AC/DC and Paloma Faith.

Get the full list here!


© Joe Branston/Future


The 22 best rock drummers in the world right now

Which drummers sit at the top of the rock tree?

Richard Danielson chosen as one of the World’s Top Drummers by Music Radar/Rhythm Magazine!

2015 highlight: 2015 felt like the year Vintage Trouble finally broke. As a band on the lips of those in the know for some years, it was great to finally see them make ground, including support slots with AC/DC and a brand new, grown up rhythm and blues album 1 Hopeful Rd.

See the full list here.



john varvatos In-Store Events

Come and watch VT perform acoustically & sign copies of their new album, 1 Hopeful Rd. with our friends at john varvatos who are hosting us at their retail stores in the next several weeks.


Saturday, October 3 | San Francisco

152 Geary St, San Francisco, CA · (415) 986-0138

Thursday, October 22 | New York – Bowery

315 Bowery, New York, NY · (212) 358-0315

Saturday, October 24 | Boston

100 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA · (617) 236-8650

1 Hopeful Rd. Available Worldwide

TODAY IS PRETTY GREAT! Our new album, 1 Hopeful Rd. produced by the legendary Don Was, is AVAILABLE NOW, Worldwide.

If you don’t have your copy, head on over the VT Store and pick it up today. Watch the album trailer below to get a preview.

1. Run Like The River
2. From My Arms
3. Doin What You Were Doin’
4. Angel City, California
5. Shows What You Know
6. My Heart Won’t Fall Again
7. Another Man’s Words
8. Strike Your Light
9. Before The Tear Drops
10. If You Loved Me
11. Another Baby
12. Soul Serenity