Brad Vickers and The Vestapolitans, offer a good-time mix of originals and covers spanning blues, ragtime, hill country breakdowns, and more great American roots ’n’ roll. Their latest release, That’s What They Say (2015), joins Great Day In The Morning (2013), Traveling Fool (2011), Stuck With The Blues (2010), and Le Blues Hot (2008).
Brad Vickers & His Vestapolitans have always celebrated the roots of the music that they love and that has influenced them: blues, folk, rags, and “great American roots ’n’ roll.”.For That’s What They Say, they go even further back and mine this rich vein even deeper, with Vickers developing one of his earliest-written songs, “Another Lonesome Road,” and Margey Peters writing a (very) short tribute, “Wishing Well”, in the style of folk singer Charity Bailey, who was a music teacher at her nursery school.
Once again they have collaborated with the versatile Dave Gross who jumps in to add color on a variety of instruments from banjo to percussion. Also appearing are master violinist Charles Burnham, horn players Jim Davis and Matt Cowan, Bill Rankin on the drum chair. Within their good-time sound, they enjoy a broad range of styles.
There are new treatments of a couple of the songs they love best. They start the album with a driving version of Tampa Red (Hudson Whittaker)’s “Seminole Blues.” They also feature an old-time sounding string and reed band on a traditional song Vickers learned via Leadbelly, “Don’t You Love Your Daddy No More?” All the others tracks are originals.
This diverse album offers an Appalachian-style ode to a bird, “Mountain Sparrow”, plus a broadly humorous paean to the world’s cuisine, “Mama’s Cookin’”, and the gospel-flavored “Fightin’”—both featuring Mikey Junior on background vocals—and also includes a Gypsy-tinged biography of a post-war couple (“In For A Penny”), where Margey is joined by vocalists Christine Santelli and Gina Sicilia. The Vestapolitans write new material that sounds like time-burnished songs
Brad Vickers learned on the job playing, touring, and recording with America’s blues and roots masters: Jimmy Rogers, Hubert Sumlin, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Odetta, Sleepy LaBeef, Rosco Gordon, and Pinetop Perkins—with whom Brad had the good fortune to play on the Grammy-nominated discs, “Born in the Delta” (Telarc) and “Ladies’ Man” (MC)—to name just a few.
“The music jumps and swings just like an old-time string or jug band, with elements of Django and Grappelli interspersed throughout.“ – Don and Sheryl Crow, DON & SHERYL’S BLUES BLOG