Vintage Trouble / The Highline Ballroom / New York, NY

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All photos by Arnold Goodman

 

After several insider suggestions, I finally saw Vintage Trouble, to my delight. The band has everything that’s best in rock ‘n’ roll: good tunes, standout vocals, great looks and moves from the frontman, a solid band and enough unbridled energy to electrify the crowd and power the club with the leftover wattage…not to mention the most charismatic bassist since Will Lee. Refreshingly, the three band members sing excellent harmony, a huge plus when they swung into a brief acoustic portion of the set.

Jimi Hendrix was alive and well in Vintage Trouble’s version of “The Wind Cries Mary,” while Sam Cooke’s soul took front and center on the many R&B tunes like “Nobody Told Me.” David Hultz, a fan since he saw them in a tiny bar in Philly, described their sound: “Rock-oriented, they bring an old-style R&B angle to it, like Sam & Dave or James Brown.” Hultz aptly referenced Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, “which is more R&B, but that every once in a while reaches out and grabs a piece of rock and brings it into the mix.” Vintage Trouble balances on that same cusp, leaning more on the rock side.

Live, this band is unbeatable, with infectious energy and a tight leash between the audience and the band. Lead singer Ty Taylor sweats through his suit coat, and he’ll make you sweat through yours, too. The guy has a phenomenal voice and maintains it while walking through the crowd, climbing stairs to the balcony and dancing on tables (do not attempt this at home) and, when the show’s over, they pose for pictures and sign autographs, even if Whoopi Goldberg’s standing there (which she was).

As Hultz pointed out, “It will be interesting to see how they evolve as artists. They put on a really strong show, and they’re just starting out.”

– Suzanne Cadgene

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