Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

BRAD VICKERS & HIS VESTAPOLITANS

Traveling Fool

2011-05-26

FCC ALERT: "nothing here, folks"

ARTIST BIO: "Of particular note, I should add, is the equal importance of his Vesapolitans line-up: Bill Rankin on percussion; Margey Peters, who adds her rich and sonorous playing on bass and fiddle; the great Jim Davis on clarinet and tenor saxophone; Matt Cowan on baritone saxophone; and one of my favorite guitar (and piano!) pickers, Arne Englund. The estimable V.D. King also makes an appearance with this fine ensemble.

I can't say enough about Dave Gross's production on this CD. As a guest myself on this session, I had the opportunity to observe him in the production/engineer capacities. All I can say is this: I had one of the best times in years being involved with the making of this recording. A great captain at the helm always gets the best out of musicians. I'd put him up with my favorites, Hammond Scott (Black Top), Peter K. Siegal, and Chris Matheos. All of this said, if you're in the mood to spend some time listening and dancing-don't forget, Mister Vickers is a rocker to the core!-to some downright incredibly hip music, then slap this in your favorite player and tear it up!" -Bobby Radcliff

[5:43] 1. Traveling Fool [3:34] 2. Because I Love You That Way [4:37] 3. Diggin' My Potatoes [4:07] 4. Don't Take My Cadillac [2:43] 5. Uh Oh! [2:54] 6. No Baby, No [5:39] 7. Leave Me Be [3:58] 8. Low Down Dirty Shame [2:43] 9. Glad Rags [3:42] 10. In My Dream [4:05] 11. Fourteen Women [3:26] 12. Skeeter Song [3:35] 13. Without Moolah [5:58] 14. How Long Blues [3:33] 15. Rockabilly Rumble

Nick's Picks: 01, 03, 10

Review of Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans by Steven "Nick" Nickelson:

The very first jump jive song out of the box ("Traveling Fool") elicits that primal urge to toe-tap or more. Really tight group, and the sax just smokes. Arne Englund' piano playing is spot on, and his smokin' hot arpeggios keeps the audience in awe. The unique thing about Brad Vickers is that hs musical stylings are a throwback to earlier days when there were no mixing boards or synthesizers. It makes for some "authentic" sounds. Much of this cd reminds me of the time we spent in "Nawlins" in the French Quarter. We stayed on Bourbon Street and our room was on the second floor overlooking Preservation Hall. I can still hear that music coming out the doorway and wafting its way across the street. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band was cranked up until the wee hours! Listening to Brad Vickers and His Vestapolitans took me right btack in time to that Mardi Gras of twenty years ago. "Diggin' My Potatoes" is an old blues standard, but Brad and company surround it and make it their own. Most of the cuts on this third release by Brad Vickers are, in fact, penned by Brad; however, I just have to say that the arrangements and instrumentation sound SO classically delta-style blues. A lot of the work that went into making this realistically raw and tight sound accrues to producer Dave Gross (who produced a recent release by another talented artist - Gina Sicilia). I can confidently state that if Dave Gross is your producer, then you already have a leg up on all the other talent out there. I digress, though - this is about Brad Vickers and His Vestapolitans. On one of this cd's instrumentals, we are treated to a really fast-paced sax duet between Jim Davis on tenor, and Matt Cowan on baritone - followed briefly by a lead guitar, bass guitar duet. Although it was a short little tune, it was a toe-tapper ("Uh, Oh!"). From there, we segue into a blues cut as slow as Mississippi mud, but thick with masterly tunes from all band members. This is one band that should be a must-see-live band. That's my two nickels worth..............Nick

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.