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Vegabonds - V

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 22 / 2 / 2019

Vegabonds - V
Label: Blue Elan Records
Format: CD


First-rate fifth album from Nashville-based country rock outfit the Vegabonds that elevates them to among the very best of New South Rock

The Vegabonds are a five-piece country rock band originally from Alabama, and are easily among the best of Nashville’s recent New South Rock rebirth. My husband says that he stopped listening to Top 40 radio on his daily commute because the guitars had basically disappeared from the music. Where did all the guitars go? Well, apparently to Nashville. The Vegabonds are lead vocalist Daniel Allen, lead guitarist and vocalist Richard Forehand, bassist Paul Bruens, keyboardist Beau Cooper and drummer Bryan Harris. Anyone fond of classic Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, .38 Special, and the Black Crowes should give 'V' a listen. The band has spent years touring, playing festivals and colleges in the southern US, opening for acts like Gregg Allman, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kid Rock. The fact that they have successfully toured Europe three times certainly shows in the size of their fan base in Germany. There is just enough twang to make the music on 'V' sound authentically country, but their bluesy rock roots are strong enough that guitarist Richard Forehand will just as often throw in a riff that sounds sort of like AC/DC being played by Tom Petty and Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell. The opening track 'Partyin’ With Strangers' briefly fools the listener into thinking it’s going to be a slow, sad song about losing a woman, but the flash and bang kicks in almost immediately. The rest of the album drives headlong in the same way. The band is in the same lineage as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band, and more recently the Brothers Osborne and Jon Pardi. They are absolutely capable of delving into jam-band territory. There is a surprising piano break in 'I Ain’t Having It' that really wouldn’t be out of place in a Jimmy Buffett song. Aside from the country-rock fusion the strongest point of the music on 'V' is lead singer and songwriter Daniel Allen’s warmth and personal storytelling talent, singing about working-class life and youth ('Generation of Happiness'), life on the road ('Traveling Man', and the ups and downs of long-term relationships ('Everything I Need', 'I Ain’t Having It'). The band sticks to traditional song structure without falling into cliches, and it works well.

Track Listing:-
1 Partyin' with Strangers
2 Generation of Happiness
3 I Ain't Having It
4 When the Smoke Clears Up
5 Everything I Need
6 Best I Can
7 Traveling Man
8 Help Is on the Way

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