This ‘Vintage Trouble’ article was written by Al Hall, a GIGsoup contributor

3.5*2015 has not been a bad year for Vintage Trouble. California’s hottest blues band, consisting of Ty Taylor (lead vocals) Nalle Colt (guitar, vocals), Rick Barrio Dill (bass, vocals) and Richard Danielson (drums, vocals), is currently supporting monsters of rock AC/DC on their Rock Or Bust world tour. Whilst the pairing may seem an unlikely one, it is testament to the success Vintage Trouble have enjoyed since their inception in Hollywood just five years ago, and has served to significantly swell the ranks of the ‘Troublemakers’, the band’s die-hard following.

For new and veteran Troublemakers alike, the arrival of a second full-length Vintage Trouble album is yet another reason to celebrate 2015. The band’s first effort, 2011’s The Bomb Shelter Sessions, was met with great critical and public acclaim, and left us wanting more. Well, finally, the wait is over, and for anyone worried that 1 Hopeful Road. would not live up to expectation, it is time to put your doubts aside and get down to the nearest record store. This album is a stunner.

1 Hopeful Rd. kicks off with the raucous and rocky ‘Run Like The River’. The song, featured as a bonus track on The Bomb Shelter Sessions, has been re-recorded and revamped; providing the perfect opener for the new album. The combination of the hanging slide-guitar and the hand-clapping, bass-drum driven verse immediately transports the listener back to smoke-filled juke joints in the glory days of Chuck Berry and Albert King; and ‘Run Like The River’ is guaranteed to leave you shouting the ‘Run baby Run’ refrain at the top of your voice.

This is followed by the beautiful ‘From My Arms’. This song is a real standout, with its deep, soulful melody and reflective lyrics, speaking of a dream in which the protagonist loses all that he holds dear. Whilst more thoughtful and restrained, the interweaving of the guitar and backing vocals in the chorus adds a catchy element to this number, and songs such as this and the acoustic ‘Soul Serenity’ show a softer side to Vintage Trouble.

Another highlight comes with ‘Strike Your Light’, which includes a guest vocal from Kamilah Marshall. This song fizzes with energy, and shows the band doing what they do best, making original and fun music that makes you want to get up and dance. The track has an infectious groove, and is given a live feel through the ‘question and answer’ vocals, accompanied by occasional hair-raising screams from Taylor.

Whilst it would be fair to say that this second offering leans more on the “soul” side of “rock and soul” compared to its predecessor, 1 Hopeful Rd. more than lives up to expectations. The album contains no superfluous frills, but rather speaks of a band who knows what they are about, and who have mastered their craft. So whether you are after rollicking, upbeat rock ‘n’ roll or more soulful, reflective blues, 1 Hopeful Rd. has it all

1 Hopeful Rd. is out now via Blues Note Records.

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3.5*

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