Posted on

Great Day In The Morning

images

Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans

Great Day In The Morning

ManHatTone, 2013

http://www.BradVickers.com

On Great Day In The Morning, Brad Vickers and his cohort of New Yorkers continue in the vein established over their first three releases: a full band, playing predominantly acoustially; a broad-minded attitude toward styles, with a pre-war blues and jazz feel often informing the music (due only in part to the presence of staple jug and string band instrumentation); and smart songwriting that eschews the usual suspects and subjects, and leans hard toward the lighthearted end of the spectrum.

The title track, “Chapter And Verse,” “This Might Not Be Your Day,” and “Saving String Rag” are representative good-time numbers. More serious fare comes in “Sit Down And Talk,” a terrific slow number arranged for a simple trio that hints at both Delta blues and a posh, languid sound, and the gospel-inflected “Together For Good,” sung in subdued, soulful fashion by Peters and guests Christine Santelli and Gina Sicilia. The upbeat “The Way It’s Got To Be,” the Caribbean-flavored “It’s A Good Life,” and the roll-and-tumble “Train Goin’ Westward Bound” are other solid tracks. Covers from the songbooks of Tampa Red and Memphis Minnie round out the playlist.

Vickers’s slide work is exciting, and the other instrumentalists contribute strong parts, especially Charles Burnham and Margey Peters on fiddle (if one likes that sort of thing), Matt Cowan (bari sax), Jim Davis (tenor and clarinet), V.D. King (banjolele), and guest Jeremy Baum (keys). The vocals are less assured. Vickers has a dispassionate style of delivery that, on the bright side, is unaffected. On the downside, it can tend to sound monotonal. His sometime singing partner Margey Peters has a kind of warble in her voice that recalls old-time records. That same quality, however, makes her sound pitchy.

While there are other bands that take a determinedly throwback approach, none of them, to my knowledge, is incorporating that sound as casually as The Vestapolitans, who don’t exclusively trade on it.  But I’m not certain who Vickers’s target audience may be. Fans of acoustic blues might find these proceedings a bit busy or overwhelming, yet even the uptempo numbers could, to the ears of dedicated listeners of electric blues, be perceived as a bit bloodless. In the happiest outcome, the Vestapolitans’ no-man’s-land stylings would be recognized by all as a welcome change of pace, marking the proverbial nice place to visit, even if one wouldn’t want to live there.

TOM HYSLOP

Review copy provided by Frank Roszak Radio Promotions.

Advertisements

About mrtom1

More than a lifelong fan, I am a degenerate music fiend. I was a staff writer and contributing editor for the print version of Blues Revue for more than 15 years, and serve in the same capacity for the excellent new publication Blues Music Magazine (bluesmusicmagazine.com). I have contributed to the newsletters of the Golden Gate Blues Society and the Detroit Blues Society, and freelance, writing artist biographies, liner notes, and all types of promotional materials. I support the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research (http://seancostellofund.org/) and The Blues Foundation (www.blues.org/), and encourage you to learn more about these important causes. Please support live music and buy CDs by your favorite artists! If you care to submit your CD, DVD/Blu-Ray, book, or other media for consideration and possible coverage, please contact me at tahyslop[AT]gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s