EP Review - Convozine
If you love heart felt, stadium rock bands like The Eagles, The Killers, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, and The Black Crowes, then check out Chicago's Vintage Blue.
Regulars in the Chicago club scene, the band have been selling out shows at the House of Blues, Lincoln Hall, Double Door, Schubas and Subterranean.
Supporting acts like Lifehouse, Fitz & The Tantrums, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, The Punch Brothers, Brett Dennen, Local H, Vertical Horizon and 10,000 Maniacs, Vintage Blue are ready for headliner status.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Vintage Blue have released a video, No Going Back, which is the title track from the band’s new EP, out on April 29, 2014.
Directed by Kyle Dunleavy for Rhapsody Productions, the video was filmed on location in the Windy City and features fantastic visual effects and editing.
WIMS Radio Interview
In advance of the 2014 Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party, Ben Bassett of Vintage Blue joined host, Jim Ryan in-studio for an interview and live performance of the song "Alone" from Vintage Blue's 2014 EP No Going Back. Bassett talks about recording with producer Jamie Candiloro as well as developing the band's massively successful Kickstarter campaign to fund it.
Guster and G. Love & Special Sauce perform on Friday, June 27, 2014 while Vintage Blue, The Mowgli's and Third Eye Blind headline the World's Largest Block Party in Chicago on Saturday, June 28, 2014.
The Rock N' Roll Radio Program is hosted by Jim Ryan and airs every Sunday at 6PM CST on WIMS radio, streaming at wimsradio.com as well via the free TuneIn Radio app for the smart phone or tablet (just search "WIMS" to find us on TuneIn).
Follow us on Twitter: @RockRadioWIMS @RadioJimRyan, "Like" us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRockNRoll..., or email us: RockNRollRadioProgram@gmail.com
Thanks for listening!
Album Review - Liverpool Sound & Vision
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Chicago just happens to be one of the great American cities, full of wonder, a sense of heritage and iconoclasm having been showered upon it as one of the Great Lakes feeds its natural hunger and gives the city its cold stirring breath in winter and baked beautiful days in summer. It has been the resting place of American Mob culture, of iconic films and even more iconic bands, for example the truly distinguished band that bares the cities name. To the North Canada, to the East New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Boston and nothing rivals it as hub of industry and humanity till you reach the southern shores of the country. It is truly a remarkable city. From out of that place in which Lake Michigan freezes and drives an icy blast comes a smashing new band, Vintage Blue, and their album No Going Back.
No Going Back can imply running away, the urge to just wander off and see the world with your own two eyes and never regret moving on. It can also thankfully suggest that when the time is right to produce something very pure, driven and full of flavour, then the urge to put it off, perhaps through fear, perhaps even through trepidation of the hopeful adulation to come; is something to overcome, the art must be heard.
Whichever reason drives a band to do what they do, Vintage Blue have opened themselves up, they have made the chest bare and clean and produced something that is intensely likeable, image ridden and with just the subtlest of hints prowling between each note of some of the American greats to which they obviously have understood and emulated. In no short measure the ears can hear the Eagles at that very best in the corner of the songs that make up No Going Back, the small nod to a band that has captured many a heart and for whom surely inspire band members Benny Bassett in vocals and guitar, Cesar Corral on bass and vocals, Will Crowden on drums, Ryan Tibbs on guitar, Bent Shumard and Matt Zimmerman on baritone and tenor/alto sax respectively.
The expanse of sound is heartening throughout the album, it gives rise to the wide open spaces that linger just out of sight from those who dwell within the metropolitan conurbation, in the skyscrapers, on the streets and who shelter anyway they can to avoid the winds that come off Lake Michigan. The songs give a sense of hope that all can be conquered, that there isn’t a problem that cannot be solved if people actually just listen rather than shouting against the tide.
Tracks such as Remember, Alone (I Can Hear), the sensational Carolina and The Enemy make up a set of songs that growl with anticipation and who deliver with the weight of a howling wind. The promise of a great band from Chicago already fulfilled.
Vintage Blue just might be your next favourite band from the American state of Illinois.
Ian D. Hall
Radio One Chicago EP Review
That Chicago's Vintage Blue can draw respectable numbers headlining Metro and chart an EP on Triple A radio without the benefit of a label is a testament to the band's hard work, their attention to song-craft and, most importantly, the accessibility of the music that the 6-piece group creates.
The radio-friendly EP in question, No Going Back, kicks off with "Let Go," and it is apparent from the opening notes that VB is (perhaps with some irony) not trying to re-invent the wheel or even keep up with current trends. The song simply charts a course that was first mapped out in the laid-back California goldmine of 70's rock (Eagles, Jackson Brown, Fleetwood Mac, et al) and nods a bit to the 1980s (dig the Men at Work-style sax) and 90's OAR (Vintage Blue has supported Sister Hazel and lists Vertical Horizon as an influence).
The title track is even more concise in its song-craft: heartfelt, lyrical verses; big, hooky choruses; some smartly downplayed synth to give the song color. "Remember" is a bit more artful with its toy vibraphone, beautiful vocal harmonies, trains a' comin' percussion, etc.
"Alone (I Can Hear)" is the closest thing to a modern rock hit; not as arch or Anglo as The Killers but definitely in the ballpark. "Carolina" turns back to the 70's but, again, the attention to detail is there: nice female backing vocals; country-rock and lite-funk influences (think Little Feat) and sterling production. No Going Back closes with "The Enemy," the most outwardly "rock" song on the EP, which shows some late-period Yes and even a bit of U2 in the band's DNA.
IndyMojo Show Preview
It can be easy to get wrapped up in a particular genre of music and only focus on that. Variety is the spice of life and if you’re looking for something a little different this weekend Vintage Blue will be performing at Birdy’s on Friday April 25th. Vintage Blue is a Chicago based band that lives by the motto, “Trends and fads come and go, but honest and heartfelt rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay.”
They are touring right now in support of their new EP No Going Back. The album is a strong showing that features six tracks. The band has been working on these tracks since the release of their 2012 album Strike the Mics. It definitely shows that a lot of hard work went into these tracks as the entire album has a flow that feels natural and well thought out. The intensity of the album slowly builds to my personal favorite track “The Enemy.”
They have recently released their first video for the title track off the album “No Going Back.” For the video they worked with director Kyle Dunleavy of Rhapsody Productions. The video features a young woman who seems to be caught in a “groundhog day” scenario. It begins with the video completely in black and white, as she walks past lead singer and guitarist Ben Bassett playing the song in a park, she stops and drops some change in his open guitar case. As this happens Ben appears in full color. This theme continues throughout the video as she interacts with various people they continue to gain color as she stays monotone. Finally at the end of the video, after seeing a finished street-artist version of the album cover, she achieves her natural coloring.
The style of Vintage Blue is not necessarily one that the Indy Mojo festival-music-loving demographic would typically be drawn to. However, after viewing some of their live performances its clear that this will be a show that is definitely worth the time. The album is a beautiful collection of songs that will be interesting to see how they translate to the live arena. In our city we have a reputation for strong support of live music of all different genres. If you are looking for some live music Friday night, I can assure you this will be a good show to see.
Chicago’s Vintage Blue have just released a video for the song “No Going Back,” the title track from the band’s new EP (to be released April 29, 2014).
The clip, directed by Kyle Dunleavy for Rhapsody Productions, was filmed on location in the windy city and features some fantastic visual effects and editing.
Vintage Blue will be playing at the Metro on May 2nd.
The Total Scene
By ERIC SCHELKOPF
Chicago band Vintage Blue is not the type of band to stand still.
The band's sound continues to evolve, as evident on Vintage Blue's new EP, "No Going Back."
In celebration of the new CD, Vintage Blue, www.vintagebluemusic.com, will perform May 2 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago. The Future Laureates, The Ivorys and Mike Golden and Friends also are on the bill.
The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and advance tickets are $11, available at www.etix.com.
I had the chance to talk to Vintage Blue's Ben Bassett about the new EP.
Q - Great talking to you again. Of course, the band will be performing at Metro on May 2 to celebrate the release of your new EP, "No Going Back." What were your goals for the EP and do you think you accomplished them?
Thanks for checking out the new EP! Our goal on this endeavor was a focused effort to create a record that contained the best of the best. We wanted to present songs that fit into the current music landscape, while also staying true to our rock roots.
We worked on these songs for nearly two years and culled through nearly 60 to 70 tunes. We are very happy with the songs we created and the feedback we have been getting is great as people have responded well to every track.
Q - Is there a story behind the EP's name? The video for the song has been getting a lot of views. What was the concept for the video?
Choosing the name of a song, an album, or even a pet can be a crazy process. Input from a million people, friends, family, etc can be overwhelming. However, this one came pretty easy.
As a group, we all loved the title track "No Going Back" and when it was suggested we just use that as a album name, we all agreed. Probably the easiest band discussion we have ever had.
From there, the ideas flowed into doing a music video and the cover art and developing a story in the record.
The idea for the video was a collection of ideas from different band members. [Vocalist, guitarist] Ryan Tibbs had the idea for the transition of black and white to color through a Groundhog's Day type sequence, where the protagonist is constantly reliving days, but during each day there are elements of color added until eventually she finds something and gains her own color.
It was my idea to incorporate an artist that would be painting through the video, and that the painting would ultimately become our album cover. Paul Rodriguez did an absolutely AMAZING job on the painting, so making it our cover art was an easy decision.
Q - The band raised $15,000 through Kickstarter to help make the EP. Does the fact that EP is now done mean even more to the band knowing that your fans contributed to making it?
The success of the Kickstarter was truly humbling. When we first picked that number we were really nervous.
As many people know, if you do not reach the number, NONE of the money gets delivered. We were preparing backup plans to cover amounts and all sorts of craziness.
We are proud to say that our family, friends and fans made it happen all on their own and we could not be more grateful. Making an album is always a long and wild journey, but holding the EP in our hand now, knowing it happened because of our Kickstarter is definitely very rewarding.
Q - Last year, you guys played at Taste of Chicago for the first time. How was that experience and what is the band's next goal?
Yes! Taste of Chicago was such a great experience for us.
Everyone at the City of Chicago Events Department were so helpful and complimentary of the band. It was a beautiful day last year and we had a blast seeing all the bands that shared the stage with us!
The goals for us are always changing. Our big goal this year was to expand our festival reach outside Chicago.
We have been considering a number of different festivals and are hoping to get back to Summerfest this year as well. Longer term goals include securing some licensing deals for the new record, as well as continuing the success of our current radio campaign, which has seen our single reach the top 150.
Q - How do you think the band has evolved since forming and how do you see the band continuing to evolve?
The easiest answer is that we officially added Brent Shumard to the band lineup. The new record has a heavy bandwidth, as our producer Jamie would tell you.
It means that there are many layers to the work we tracked and bringing Brent on as a multi-instrumentalist, allows us to add layers to songs that we could not do live without him.
This record truly is an evolution for us. It feels like we moved from our '70s and '80s rock roots to a '00s and '10s indie rock type sound on many of the cuts.
We hope to continue growing as writers and musicians and keep seeing where it takes us.
Q - The music industry continues to change. How has the band tried to keep up with those changes?
The music industry is a wild animal. There are so many different ways to make an impact, to be heard, to distribute your music and to exist as an artist.
The funny part is that no one really knows which of those options are "THE" path to exposure and success. If major labels knew they would not be losing so much money.
If indie artists knew, then all of them would be trying the same tricks. The facts are that nothing has replaced hard work, professionalism and damn good music.
We do our best to cover each of those, and we cannot wait to show the world this EP.
Deli Magazine Chicago
Vintage Blue is celebrating the release of their video for the single "No Going Back" tonight, Feb. 28th, at Double Door. This is their first music video and it was masterfully produced by Rhapsody Productions. The track comes their forthcoming EP of the same titled which is due out in April.
Vintage Blue Video Release on Radio One Chicago
Chicago rockers Vintage Blue are celebrating the release of the first video from their upcoming EP at Double Door tonight.
The clip for "No Going Back," which you can check out here, was created by Rhapsody Productions (directed and edited by Kyle Dunleavy, camera by Becki Pikula and special effects by Matt Kowynia) and is perfectly suited to the song (a piano-led ballad that invokes the meticulous studio craft of 80's hit makers like Bruce Hornsby and Toto).
The video features a beautiful female protagonist traveling through familiar windy city neighborhoods that magically transform from moody black and white to full color. The visual effects (color and B&W often occupy the same frame) are stellar and the video smartly incorporates images (the face of a clock, hands moving forward; a mural being painted) that speak directly to the song's overriding themes.
The inevitability of time marching on, relationships changing like the seasons and the beauty of nature (flowers blooming, leaves falling), art and human interaction in a big city that can often be stark and impersonal are all addressed to stunning effect.
Vintage Blue on Deli Magazine Chicago
“Chicago’s Vintage Blue is the musical equivalent of comfort food. The rock band’s sound is familiar and accessible without a hint of pretense.”