James Brown and Chuck Berry Have a Son: He’s a Troublemaker

  • photo by Noah Dayan.

  • photo by Athina Lugez.

You might have caught Vintage Trouble’s energetic performances during last summer’s Montreal Jazzfest or as a supporting act of Rock giants, The Who. Formed in Hollywood in 2010, the quartet from California screams the music of the 60s. You can think of them as James Brown meeting Chuck Berry. They mesh good ol’ rock n’ roll with some soul, blues and R&B roots, resulting in a surprisingly bombastic new musical genre.

Lead by singer Ty Taylor’s astonishing voice and Nalle Colt’s bluesy electric guitar riffs, the band takes you back to the 1960s resurrecting the music that made people twist.

From the very first opening song of the night, Vintage Trouble took control of the entire crowd and space at the Cafe Campus. Despite the usual age demographic associated with the venue, baby boomers invaded the bar and shamelessly rocked their socks off; unlike our generation who just bop heads or grind booties in clubs.

The highly charismatic singer showcased neither fear nor timidity on stage. He naturally bonded with the audience and used all possible means to make the show engaging and entertaining. Stepping in the crowd and singing from the balcony were some of the many tricks up his sleeve.

It is fairly obvious that the pace of the show was carefully thought out. Energetic songs were spaced out with acoustic sessions and the show’s mood swings were transitioned with unexpected surprises, such as additional performers invited onto the stage. Symbolising lust in the song “Jezzebella”, a local female burlesque dancer made a shocking appearance.

Fans — nicknamed the “Troublemakers” — and first-time attendees were also taken aback by the band’s vigorous performance of “Blues Hand Me Down” — a fast-paced song with lyrics retracing the roots of blues. Poignant emotions of stories that genuinely affect relationships between human beings are shared between performers and spectators in songs such as “Nobody Told Me” and “Total Strangers”.

It is somewhat reassuring that in a world dominated by EDM, we still find a few gems who have a strong desire to revive music created with real instruments. It is unfortunate that our generation doesn’t express further interest in the history and origins of popular music.

The Cali band kicked off their North-American “Swing House Sessions” tour with a setlist of new acoustic compositions found on the latest EP “The Swing House Acoustic Sessions” released this year, along with acoustic arrangements of previously recorded electric tunes from their debut album “The Bomb Shelter Sessions” released in 2012.

If you haven’t already seen their performance on the “Late Show with David Letterman”, check it out, it surely is worth the procrastination.

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