The vintage in Vintage Trouble means something. The Los Angeles-based quartet built its sound from vintage rock ’n’ roll, blues, rhythm-and-blues and soul. All the while, it’s a modern-day act cruising at 21st-century velocity.
In the four years since Vintage Trouble formed, the group’s been especially popular in the U.K. Vintage Trouble will make its second appearance at England’s huge Glastonbury Festival on June 27 during another of its many trips to the British Isles.
The band’s 2014 Glastonbury gig follows 2013 touring in Britain and the U.S. with The Who. Vintage Trouble also played an opening slot for the Rolling Stones in London’s Hyde Park last year.
Back in the U.S. in March 2012, Vintage Trouble opened for KISS in New Orleans during the NCAA’s Final Four Big Dance Concert Series. It returns to the city Tuesday, June 3, for a show at House of Blues.
Vintage Trouble made securing a foothold in the U.K an early goal. Doc McGhee, the group’s manager — a music business veteran who’s managed Bon Jovi, KISS, James Brown, Scorpions and Darius Rucker — liked the idea.
“He asked us, ‘What do you guys want to do?’ ” Vintage Trouble guitarist Nalle Colt said. “The first thing that came out of all four of us was, ‘We would love to go to England.’ There’s always been this great history of American bands going to the U.K, like the Stax Records soul artists and Jimi Hendrix. So we had this beautiful dream of going to England.”
McGhee arranged for Vintage Trouble to join Queen guitarist Brian May for a three-week British tour. After BBC-TV host Jools Holland got a copy of Vintage Trouble’s album, “The Bomb Shelter Sessions,” he invited the group to be on his internationally seen program, “Later ... with Jools Holland.”
“We had no idea what the impact of that show would have,” Colt recalled. “After the show, we were the fourth highest tweeted thing in the world. And the three-week tour ended up being almost four months of touring. We joined Bon Jovi for a stadium tour. We developed an amazing connection with the U.K. fans. We go back every year. It gets bigger and bigger.”
Vintage Trouble came together in 2010. Colt, a native of Sweden, estimates that he and his bandmates had been in hundreds of groups before Vintage Trouble.
“We’d been playing and writing songs and working as hired musicians,” Colt said from L.A. during a rare day off the road. “But this band was about letting everything go. We said, ‘We’re not going to try to write a hit song. We’re just gonna play the music we love.’ ”
When Colt, drummer Richard Danielson, bassist Rick Barrio Dill and lead singer Ty Taylor met, they talked about the musical styles that meant the most to them.
“I’m a huge fan of Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner,” Colt said. “There is something about the late ’50s, at the birth of rock ’n’ roll. Rhythm-and-blues and gospel music connected and turned into rock ’n’ roll music. We all come from different musical backgrounds, but that’s the piece that connects us all.”
Classic rhythm-and-blues, soul and rock ’n’ roll continuously plays on the band’s tour bus, offering the group steady inspiration.
“I’m so sad that rhythm-and-blues has been shortened to R&B,” Colt said. “When you say R&B today, people bring up Beyoncé and Rihanna. I don’t get it. That has nothing to do with old rhythm-and-blues. We wanna bring back the words rhythm-and-blues and what that stands for.”
Colt and his guitar add a rock influence to Vintage Trouble through his interest in Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. “Bands like that,” he said, “their inspiration comes from old blues music and rhythm-and-blues. So it just works.”
Colt and Vintage Trouble instrumentalists Danielson and Dill also find inspiration in their perpetually moving singer.
“Ty, he has so much soul and energy,” Colt said. “It’s been so great to see him progress. He’s been active in the Broadway scene, in theatrical things, but it’s so fun to see him let go. I can say, for all of us in the band, when we stand next to Ty, he inspires us to let everything go as well. It’s such a release to be on stage. That’s where it all comes together.”