Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans: Music Gets Us Thru (Man Hat Tone)
Brad Vickers has toured and recorded with some of America’s legendary blues artists – people like Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Odetta, and Pinetop Perkins. He now plays with his own band, the Vestapolitans – strange name, but it’s derived from Bo Didley’s “Vastabol” open guitar tuning.
The Vestapolitans play more than guitar, though – you’ll hear harmonica, sax, accordion, clarinet and violin on this great set of blues-tinged rockers. Twelve songs, a mixture of mostly originals by Brad and Margey Peters and some covers of songs by Jimmy Reed, J B Lenoir and Leroy Kirkland.
It’s a great, big band sound with something of an old-timey vibe. The album kicks off with the toe tapping and amusing Dumb Like a Fox, with some great guitar – saxophone interplay. Although Big Wind take us back to the 1920s with a jazzy feel, helped on by some cool violin, for most of the rest of the album we’re in the 1950s – Please Don’t Say is a delightful slow rock and roll number, and the rest of the album has a more up-beat feel with songs like The Music Gets Us Thru and What in the World which urge you to get on your feet and dance.
It’s all great, toe-tapping fun, both musically and lyrically, the sort of album that leaves you with a smile on your face. The album, Brad says, is “in memory of those we lost, in honor of the front-line and essential workers and in gratitude for all the great music that got us thru.”
That’s a fine sentiment, and as the pandemic lingers, we need as much of this sort of good, positive music as we can get.