Sitting down with the guys from Vintage Trouble is truly a pleasure; Ty, Rick, Richard and Nalle are not only great musicians, but lovely humans too. The American blues band have returned to the Bluesfest folds for the second year running to blow audiences away with tracks like their 2017 single Knock Me Out. The band is happy to be back in Australia with Rick saying, ‘There is a bubbly-liveliness about the people here that is really friendly. We went out last night in Melbourne and the people are just kind of like contagiously friendly, you guys don’t seem to get involved in the stupid shit we do in the States; it seems to breed a happy type of individual.’ The band is also in love with Bluesfest in general Nalle explains, ‘Bluesfest in particular, the guys who set this up make it feel like such a family affair. This is such a well-oiled machine, we were here yesterday and all of a sudden Bonnie Raitt walks by and Patti Smith and everyone is so casual about it. It feels like once you’ve joined, you’re family.’
The band themselves seem like a family, calling each other on their bullshit and encouraging each other on. The band erupts into laughter when Nalle says that he would love to play guitar for Eminem; Ty and Richard are tandem when they say jazz is where their passions lie. ‘I actually love jazz,’ Richard says, ‘Like I would love to retire to jazz, I understand it. I hear it and I can easily immerse myself in it. Sometimes people will hear jazz and say that it kind of annoys them, but I think I speak the language.’ Ty agrees and thinks that people might not think of songs like Blue Skies or Somewhere Over the Rainbow when they think of jazz, but maybe they just haven’t found the type of jazz that suits them. Rick is a hip-hop fan, likening it to a ‘new type of jazz’ with an amazing street poetry quality. Overall though, that is what makes Vintage Trouble a success, they blend their musical love into something so fantastic. Ty says, ‘I feel like our show tonight is the most ‘us’ that we have ever been, for the first time I feel like our songs are representative of all of the music we’re passionate about.’
The band has not only managed to meld their musical interests into a banging blues-rock sound, with an impressive live performance, they have also played with some great artists. Having written music with Booker T. Jones, Trombone Shorty and Beth Hart they have also supported acts like AC/DC, Bon Jovi and The Who. While they would love to collaborate with fellow-bill artists Mavis Staples or Neil Young, they are still beautifully humble in their appreciation of those they consider their ‘heroes’. When asked what they would like to leave behind Ty answers, ‘I would like to be remembered as people who challenged our community to enjoy themselves in life. I always feel like people would do anything a little deeper, whether it be joyful, whether it be emotional, whether it be sexual, if they’re invited to go a little further. So I would like to be remembered as the invitationalists.’ As someone who has been unable to keep myself from dancing along to their sets, I can confirm, I feel invited.
Photo credit: Gina Martin