Album Reviews

Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans – Traveling Fool (ManHatTone)

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Brad Vickersʼ blues and roots credentials are in order, his dues having been paid beside legends like Hubert Sumlin, Odetta, Jimmie Rodgers, Pinetop Perkins and Bo Diddley. His brand of good time, back porch style music mixes ragtime, rock ‘n’ roll, blues and honky-tonk on this disc of originals and covers.

The album kicks off with the title track, a fine sax and piano driven shuffle featuring the guitar talents of guest Bobby Radcliff. “Uh Oh!” and “Rockabilly Rumble” perfectly capture the spirit of early rock instrumentals, channeling Duane Eddy, the Ventures and Booker T. and the MGs, and they’re just as much fun as those old gems, with lots of burning guitar and sax breaks. The Vestapolitans take on Sonny Terryʼs “Digginʼ My Potatoes” is a purist’s delight featuring some great clarinet work from Jim Davis. Messing with Brad’s ride obviously brings out his dark side: Vickersʼ original “Donʼt Take My Cadillac” has him threatening to “rob, steal and kill to get back my Coupe de Ville.”

New Yorker Brad Vickers and his band continue their archival journey through American roots music on Traveling Fool.

—George Kopp

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