Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Summer of 2013 - Hitting the Studio

Hello Again!

   All of us here in Vintage Blue wanted to say thank you so much to our friends and fans that helped make our summer here our most successful one to date.  We played with several pretty awesome bands over the summer including Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, The Punch Brothers, Carbon Leaf, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, Cowboy Mouth and many many others.  It was so good to see all of you out and about around the city and we cannot thank you enough for the support.

   Travel to Ohio often?!?  The band will be making a two night stop in Northeast Ohio to rock right after an Cleveland Indians Game at Wilberts on Aug 23rd and then at the Auricle in Canton on Aug 24th.  These will both be great shows and we cannot wait to get back out on the road to see some of you guys!

   As a final hurrah to the summer we will be headlining the Des Plaines Fall Festival on Friday, September 13th.  We will be rocking late into the night outside in the cool amphitheater set up.  Last year our friends in Red Wanting Blue headlined this great fest and this year we will be as well, in addition to another of our friends Tony Lucca.  We cannot wait to see all of you!

   We are excited to announce that we begin work on our new EP in ONE WEEK!  We will be working with our good buddy Jamie Candiloro again, with the intention of taking a new step forward in the band.  Growing as songwriters and thinking outside of the box.  We cannot wait to get back to work on some new tunes.  Stay tuned and keep checking back for pictures, video, song clips, etc.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Updates / Spring Dates / An Important Anniversary

It has been a while ...

   Glad to be back working on the Vintage Blue blog, as it has been quite a few months since our last post and this seems to be a great platform to share our thoughts, experiences and even opinions, GASP!  What has happened since our last post: we had a killer show at Lincoln Hall, we played with Paper Arrows at Martyrs, our Rock Boat friends set sail with Sister Hazel, Matt and Will celebrated a birthday, and the band began serious work on writing for a new record.

    Apart from all those great things, as a band we have also decided to take on some regional spring tour dates, which we have dubbed the VB Spring Fever "tour."  We have already played a great show up in Madison, Wisconsin and are looking forward to dates in Cincinatti, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Ann Arbor, Ft. Wayne, Champaign, St. Louis and Nashville.  It is the natural next step for our band to continue to spread our music and we hope you all will keep checking in with us on our new dates and letting your friends in other cities know when we are coming through.

    One of the other great things that has happened since we last posted is SXSW.  The band was inches away from heading down this year, but decided to save money to put together these regional trips.  One of our favorite people in the music industry, Dave Grohl, delivered the keynote address, and it was nothing short of fantastic.  Dave delivers, not only in being his geeky and funny self, but he delivered a message that should hit to the heart of every musician, about finding "your voice."  It cannot be overstated enough that what makes music so great and so personal, is the ability for each artist to express themselves as they desire.  We should all be thankful that we have the tools to create, share and experience our music together in a community, as well as on a personal level.  It was a great talk, and in case you missed it, you can click here:

    On a personal note, 19 years ago today, a huge shockwave reverberated through my life.  See, I picked up a guitar for one reason and one reason only, chicks man.  No no no ... kidding.  I picked up a guitar to play Nirvana, the Doors and the Beatles.  That was it.  Those were my bands and the first song I ever learned was "Come as You Are."  As a long-haired pimply teenager, so easily molded by my peers and surroundings, I found the music of Nirvana to be a release of energy through song that I simply had not heard before.  It was the album Nevermind that first convinced me I needed to get a guitar and it was my dream to follow in the footsteps of those bands.  But on this day in 1994, my entire point of view changed, when the fragility of life was taught by the working end of a 12 gauge shotgun.

    I will never forget when I heard about the end of Nirvana and Kurt's death.  They had been my musical mentors, my guides, my guttural response to MTV's "The Grind" and Whitesnake.  They taught me how to deal with teenage angst and anger, and to focus my fears and thoughts into song.  I had written my first tune while learning to play Nirvana songs, but after April 8, 1994 I did not write another song for 17 years.  I had not really thought of it until today, after reading Rolling Stone's re-publishing of an article from 1994 ... but I lost a part of my musical soul when Nirvana ended.   I cried for months.  (The article can be found here:

    Today I can say that this band, Vintage Blue, continually inspires me to write and to grow and for that I will forever be grateful to them.  They encouraged me to open a door that I had not even knocked on for over 15 years.  There is still a lot of Nirvana in my soul and their music can take me back to some deep down places, but today I am happy to have the ability to access my inner writer and to share it with all of you.  As always, we appreciate your support and everything you all do for us.  It is not just lip service, and at least for me, it validates that pimply high school kid, who just wanted to inspire others and find his own voice.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Wrapping up 2012

The Year 2012 ...

What a year for Vintage Blue.   

Strike The Mics was released on February 14th after a SOLD OUT CD Release at Subterranean in Chicago 

-  (You have it right?  If not ... 

-  SOLD OUT show at House of Blues Chicago with our now good friends Marty Casey and The Lovehammers  

-  SOLD OUT Anniversary Party for Shoeshine Boy Productions at Double Door

-  Featured on WXRT - Local Anesthetic with Richard Milne

-  SOLD OUT Thursday night show at Schubas

-  Opened for Fitz & The Tantrums at Summerfest

-  Played VIP Event for Dave Matthews Band

-  Opened for Lifehouse at Worlds Largest Block Party in Chicago

-  Opened for Cowboy Mouth at Sheffield Garden Walk

-  Opened for The Revivalists at Boulevard Bash

-  Opened for 10,000 Maniacs at Guinness Oysterfest

RECORD PLAYED ON OVER 160 Radio Station across the Country

       - Nashville
       - Sixthman in Atlanta
       - WOCM Radio in Ocean City, MD
       - Philadelphia
       - Cleveland

       - Costa Ric


-  Great shows at Elbo Room, Abbey Pub, Tonic Room, Old Oak, Navy Pier, Fire on Water (WI) and special events with Ingram Hill, Greylan James and many others.

2013 ...
    -  New Record?
    -  Tour?
    -  International Round Two?
    -  Who knows ...         

      From all of us in Vintage Blue, we cannot thank you enough for your love and support.  2013 is already off to a great start with A HEADLINING SLOT at LINCOLN HALL!!!  Please keep letting your friends and family know about our band and our music.  We cannot do it without you and your support.  Thank you for all you do.

Ben, Brent, Caitlin, Cesar, Matt, Ryan and Will

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 4 - Cleveland Agora

After the longest day of our professional music career, we all had our longest night of sleep yet and woke up in the quiet little town of Bellefonte, outside of State College, PA.  Before we could even sit down to breakfast with the Zimmerman's we were already receiving calls from the venue in Cleveland.  Problems with sound, problems with costs ... the list went on and on.  Nothing like last minute problems on the day of the show.  But given how well the tour had gone so far, we were determined to have a great final day.

On a crisp clear day in Western PA, Benny was outside making phone calls and he snapped a great shot of the bucolic scene in front of us as we ate breakfast.  Needless to say it was a great place for us all to get some shut eye and we are so grateful to the Zimmerman's for hosting us and our giant tour bus.  After we consumed enough food for a family of 20, and most of the venue issues had seemingly been handled, we all took our first "real" showers in a while ... just ... don't ask.

We hopped back on the road for a relatively short drive to Cleveland.  We were extremely excited for this show as the Agora in Cleveland is one of the most famous venues in all of the United States.  The Beatles, Elvis, ZZ Top, Springsteen, The Ramones and many many others have graced the Agora's stage and we were very excited to be playing such an established venue.  Just before we pulled into the Cleveland city limits we encountered the storm to end all storms, with heavy winds, rain and pitch black clouds overhead ... but we still refused to let it dampen our hopes for the show.

The next three hours included, load-in in the rain, meeting Shannon Finch (who brought sweet snacks), one band getting arrested before their set, a broken bass amp, and a host of other "fun" items.

 But, reason #41,000 that this band rules ... it did not matter.  Regardless of how long the trip had been, how many hours of sleep we had all lost, the weather, broken gear, the pungent smell of dude on the bus, it all did not matter.  We all agreed that the Cleveland show was maybe the best show we had ever had.  For those of you that were there, thank you so much for the support.  I am continually impressed by how this band comes through even when things seem down.  

We have a new saying inside the band ... "Tokyodome."  The idea is that no matter what happens, no matter where we are playing or who we are playing to, we play like it is the biggest show of our lives.  It all came together in Cleveland and to all the boys in the band I must say thank you.

Some 2,500 miles later, six performances, tons of meetings, 45 driving hours and many many mugs of tea later ... we are still alive and ready for more.

Until the next time we are on the road ...


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 3 - Ocean City and Philly

So ... perhaps we were a bit ambitious on our roadtrip planning ...

We had an excellent time at Sixthman, but after we left Atlanta we had a 13 hour drive to Ocean City, Maryland for a morning radio show at 8:30 am.  You don't need to have Albert Einstein around to figure out it was a heck of day of driving.  For other people it may sound daunting, but that is why this band is so special.  

Even though we were already tired, there was no complaining, no whining, just a great attitude of getting on to the next thing and performing like true professionals.  Instead of a daunting task, this band pulled together to make it into a great day.  Not only did we create the Tour Bus decathalon that included sit ups, planking, bench press and arm wrestling (we dropped the marathon, which would have required something like 12,000 laps in the bus), but we wrote a song, napped and made excellent time, arriving in Ocean City at 3 am.  

The 7:30 alarm was the most unfriendly sound we may have ever heard.  As we shuffled out of our condo/bus with the sun barely shining ... you could hear "zombie Will" groaning "Staaaaaaarrrrrrrbucks" as we pulled out of the driveway.  With time slowly ticking we only made it to a Dunkin' Donuts, which surprisingly had no donuts.  Go figure.  Still undeterred we made our way to the WOCM studios at Seacrets in Ocean City.

Seacrets is one of the Top 10 grossing bars in all of the United States.  There are currently 21 independent full-service bar areas, four stages and around 10,000 non-native plants, including palm trees that are shipped in every year to create the jungle paradise feel of the area.  Within the Seacrets complex is WOCM or, which is owned and operated by the same company.  WOCM is a AAA station that plays by its own rules and was the first station to play our record.  We stumbled our way through the maze of the complex and opened the door to the studio to find an energetic, magnanimous man named Bulldog (we were forbidden from using his real name, FBI stuff).  As we set up for our live set on his show, he consistently was cracking jokes and keeping us laughing as we prepped to perform.  He was so entertaining, friendly and really the perfect host.  

We played four songs live that went out to over 6,000 people in the immediate Ocean City area and reached all over the east coast.  Quite a cool thing for our band and day we are all proud of.  Thanks to those of you that tuned in!

When the radio set ended we were given a tour of Seacrets, had some 11:00 am Gin with Bulldog and then we quickly found Will some Starbucks and grabbed lunch at nearby Macky's.  The restaurant is built on sand and was a 40 second swim from the condo where we were staying ... not that any of us were brave enough.  We were all exhausted and just asked that all the food come quickly so we could take a short nap before we hit the road.  

After lunch we made our way back to the condo and most of us took the opportunity to rest before heading to Philly.  Matt and Brent took the opportunity to relax and set up the perfect shot for a Cialis commercial. 

We gathered ourselves quickly and headed off through the great state of Delaware to get to Philly.  In Delaware ... wait, nope, nothing here to share.  Our drive lined up perfectly as we arrived in Philadelphia just in time for Phillies, airport and Peter Gabriel traffic.  Benny and Matt had to do a driver swith-a-roo when Ben, yet again, poorly timed his bathroom breaks.

Finally we arrived at Rebel Rock Bar in North-East Philly.  The bar was actually really nice, having been established only some short months ago.  The place was clean, well-appointed with rock paraphernalia and we settled in nicely upon our arrival.  We also got free advertising when everyone headed into the strip club next door had to walk by our rock show on the way in.  haha.

We played a raucous set with local bands Music Box Dynamo and The Great Party, who both really put on great shows and were cool people as well.  Not only that, but they both brought a decent sized group of people out to hang with us.  However, it was the Zimmerman crew that took the cake.  Family, friends and old college buddies swarmed the bar and we gave them our absolute best.  It was a great night, good venue and a truly awesome atmosphere.  It was also the first time we played Unchained as it was written with no mash-up ... more's the pity.

As we were packing up from the Philly show, Matt told us he was up for driving all the way to State College where we could stay with his family.  This meant a 5:00 am arrival time, which at first we all thought was ridiculous.  However, we all went with it, and after a short jaunt to get Philly Cheesesteaks for the hungry bus crowd, Matt operated like a Terminator as everyone else slept the whole way to State College.  Thanks to him we all were able to get a little shut eye and actually got to sleep in on Saturday before we headed to Cleveland.

Such a great day overall with a TON of road miles covered.  Out of it we got a great radio show, new friends in Philly and some time to sleep in at the Zimmerman's in Bellefonte, PA.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day Two - Sixthman

Today we had the chance to tie together a bunch of band history into a neat little package.  Visiting Sixthman was a huge step forward for the band as we continue on our path, wherever it may lead.  The trip was originally an idea by Will Byington to provide an avenue by which the band could introduce themselves, while satisfying all of Hazelnuts that we had met during our time with them.  Funny enough, but we first met Will Byington almost 4 years ago when he took photos at our Halloween party back when we were rocking cover tunes in a different band.

We drove last night after we left Nashville and arrived just outside Atlanta where we shacked up at a Kroger’s parking lot.  After a solid 4.5 hours of sleep for some of us, we woke up, got some coffee and breakfast and took off for Sixthman.

At Sixthman we were so warmly received by Chardy McEwan and the rest of the staff.  The office itself is so open and welcoming, like you would envision the Palo Alto floorplan for Google, except with an added island touch, appropriately enough.  We were given time to set up, get comfortable and chat with a few friends that showed up to greet us and watch us play. 

As for the set, we were asked to play three acoustic tunes and we played “California Road,” “Set You Free” and “Here to Stay.”  We don’t often do acoustic sets any more, so this was a good chance to hone skills and also a good test of how far we have come.  We felt really great about how we played and were really happy that the small crowd of Sixthman employees that gathered seemed to enjoy it as well.

You can find the video of our set here:

After we played we chatted with everyone for a bit and then took off for our long haul to Ocean City, MD.  

Talk to you tomorrow!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A New Beginning - Day 1 in Nashville

Sometimes in life, doing the same things somewhere new, can be like starting all over.

We can remember all the way back when we first started as a little band in Chicago, playing covers and a few originals for friends in dive bars in Chicago.  We remember the nervousness, the palm-sweating and the excitement of our friends who had never seen our musical sides.  

There is a different energy in the air when you are brand new ... people have absolutely no idea what you are about to do and where you might lead them during your set.  It is a unique energy that can only truly be experienced as you pour your heart out into the songs you have carefully crafted for your audience.  As you play, song by song, you can watch as the "uninitiated" turn and watch in earnest as they only now start to scrutinize.  

It is a key moment in the show, when you realize that right then, right at that moment, you have the opportunity to truly display your wares, because you have the crowd's full attention.  So you sing a little louder, wail a little harder and pour even more.

Tonight we had the chance to experience this moment, and to deliver.  Tonight we had a blast playing in front of a great Wednesday night crowd at Hard Rock Nashville.  And we cannot thank all of them enough as they truly gave us their attention and love.  It was a great way to start the tour.

It is late and we all need to sleep ... on our way to Atlanta at 1:00am ... Good night guys ...