Sunday, August 25, 2013

Vintage Trouble at Commodore Barry Park

Vocalist Ty Taylor and guitarist Nalle Colt had known each other from other local bands for 14 years when they formed Vintage Trouble in 2010. Deciding to finally collaborate, they constructed a basic home studio in Venice Beach, California, and invited their mutual friend Rick Barrio Dill to play bass for the band, and then recruited Richard Danielson to play drums. After just two weeks of rehearsals in early 2010, the group began playing local area shows and late night speakeasies. Vintage Trouble (sometimes abbreviated as VT) entered the Bomb Shelter Studio and recorded an album's worth of material in three days. These recordings were intended to be demos, but ended up being pressed into CDs, The Bomb Shelter Sessions. The band is a sensation in Europe and Australia, and is waiting to be discovered in America.

Imagine 1960s soul singer Wilson Pickett fronting a blues trio like Double Trouble. At the annual Afropunk Festival at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn this evening, Tyson dressed the 1960s part with his long sideburns and tight suit. I am not sure about the musicians’ dress but, it seemed like a scene out of Gunsmoke.  Between songs, Tyson commended the audience several times on its diversity (Tyson is African American and three musicians are Caucasian), but more often worked the crowd, encouraging the gathering to shout or dance with the music. Vintage Trouble has been compared to British neo-soul group the Heavy (which performed at the festival yesterday), but VT showed that it is doing more with less. VT’s music is locked into the stripped down 1960s era of James Brown, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Mitch Ryder, Sam & Dave and the Animals, powered with lots of sharp guitar licks. The simplicity and authenticity of the music was magic, and in today’s music world, unique.