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Rhythm and blues sensations Vintage Trouble get down with both soul and rock 'n' roll

Soul Power

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Ty Taylor had the pleasure of introducing the Rolling Stones when his band opened for Mick Jagger and company at Hyde Park in London during the summer of 2013. And the rock legend alliances don't end there — the hot R&B band has also toured with AC/DC and The Who. "It inspires you just knowing these incredible legends are backstage. Pete [Townshend] was so impressed by our performance that he asked our production team to give him the entire run of the show," Taylor says. "Then, Roger [Daltrey] told us if he could leave the Who, he would follow our band on the road."

It's no surprise Vintage Trouble has been paired with such rock legends. With the electrifying classic-rock guitar of Nalle Colt, heavy bass of Rick Barrio Dill, Richard Danielson's energetic percussion, and the smooth, robust vocals of Taylor, the band is a groovy marriage of rock and soul. For Taylor, the emotion in soul music drew him in while growing up, but the gritty realness of rock had a pull of its own. "Rock 'n' roll soul is better than just plain soul," he says. "It's soul but with rawness and that primitive nature that really gets down to the core of who you are."

Though the band's sound is easy-going and effortless — as evidenced on this year's 1 Hopeful Rd. — their live show is on fire, showcasing the tireless talent of a band that identifies with fans of various genres. "Compared to a lot of bands, the performance part is different than what you would think. We record live in the studio, and we're all type-A personalities and all like to show off. It's different every time," says Taylor. The improvisational aspect of the band inspires each member to improve his performance with every show. Vintage Trouble wants to resonate with the audience, build off their reactions, and send them home with an unforgettable experience. "Live, there's a certain dimension and fire and energy," says Taylor. "You connect with people more. We want to make sure that every person in the venue has been touched personally."

From their roots in L.A. clubs to sold-out coliseums and music festivals, the band wholeheartedly embraces diverse atmospheres when it comes to their live show. "When we're opening at an arena for AC/DC, it's a whole different feeling than playing at a juke joint down the street," says Taylor. "When you're closer, you can smell and feel the heat of people, and it makes you perform differently. In an arena, it's ultimately the same feeling, but you have to megaphone all your actions and emotions, because some people are watching from a mile away. If it's too small, you can't connect, just like if it's too big, you can't connect."

Released by Blue Note Records, 1 Hopeful Rd. explores the classic blues sound addressed in 2011's Bomb Shelter Sessions LP and last year's Swing Acoustic Sessions EP, but the disc also exudes a softer, straight-up soulful side, like in standout ballads "From My Arms" and "Soul Serenity." Lyrically, Taylor speaks to experiences, adventures, and unleashes words of wisdom — all of which have apparently resonated with a group of fans so hardcore, they actually have dubbed themselves the Troublemakers.

"It's one thing for people to love music,"Taylor says. "It's another for people to love the culture that goes along with it. We're like family to each other. Don't just come to see the show and band. Come to be a part of the audience."

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