Artist: Vic Young
Album: Resurrect The Troubadour
Label: Independent Artist Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/Resurrect-Troubadour-Vic-Young/dp/B00Q51ZRM4
Genre: Acoustic Singer/Songwriter, Americana
Sounds Like: Bob Seager, Greg Allman, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Cougar, John Prine, Hank Williams, Steve Earle, Waylon Jennings
Best Songs: Grab That Bottle Tight, Brought it on Myself, Song for Amanda
Weakness: Lack of Instrumentation, repetitive sounding CD, Winded Songs, Short Sided CD
(ARIZONA) Vic Young was born and raised in rural Missouri in river bottom country, more hillbilly, than farmer type. Hunting, camping and fishing were a way of life not sport. He learned guitar chords from his grandpa Young around the age of 6 or 7, but didn’t really get into writing and playing until the age of 21. He started writing and playing as a release to vent frustrations and pain from having been a journeyman iron worker and structural welder for 16 years. He lived most of that time on the road, a very rough life. He was raised in honky tonk bars, and his mom was and still is a bartender. He grew up on Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck, Don Williams, Alabama, and Loretta lynn. Vic’s music represents the true roots of country music, and here you will find his first attempt to “resurrect the troubadour”
The CD gently takes flight with “Grab that Bottle Tight” a melancholy acoustic intro piece that serves up solitary vocal delivery from Young that is passionate, up front and very personal. Track 2 “Brought it on Myself” keeps things moving along the intimate path with solitary acoustic guitar ambience and Young’s passionate voice and thought provoking lyrical content front and center. This track along with Track 3 “Ol Black Coal” is a striking piece that flow and ebb their way through emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Johnny Cash, Bob Seager, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and John Cougar delivering powerful songs from a male voice and perspective. The actual musical format is very intimate, up close: a personal snapshot of the artist. Young showcase a conservative rhythm guitar approach that fits his writing style of music perfectly. The songs themselves are very naked and personal with messages revealing the highs and lows of life, love, passion and do I dare say life’s observations. Overall the catalogue is extremely melancholy but brilliant nonetheless. Besides the voice and the acoustic guitar you will also notice brief splashes of Americana-Blues-Folk guitar ambience and mandolin built upon an impressive finger picking playing style on acoustic guitar. The guitar playing abilities from Young are conservative but impressive nonetheless. Timing is spot on within each piece. I might add Young displays an impressive baritone, well timed vibrato and a nitty-gritty timbre. His vocal timer reminds me of a cross between Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen. At times I can even hear Gregg Allman, Steve Earle and even Waylon Jennings. Lyrical content is extremely revealing and thought provoking. All songs cut deep to the core and its obvious Young is also a very capable songwriter. From catchy “Buried My Love” to striking Straight to Hell” to melodic Where Do You Go” to heartfelt “Amanda’s Song” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 8 “Broken Road” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber.
There are risks you take when delivering a bare bones musical performance such as this. It’s fair to say more musical depth is often needed to compensate and fill the empty space. Again I can’t help but wonder what some of these songs would sound like with other musical elements behind them. Instruments such as a pedal steel, solo guitar, fiddles, organ, electric piano, piano. slide guitar, harmonica and a few vocal harmonies here and there would add a much needed musical dimension. All of the above could be delivered conservatively, not compromising the intimate format. Due to lack of musical depth the production goes down a bit dry and a tad bit repetitive overall. Again it takes an amazing amount of talent and skill to deliver a bare bones musical production effectively, and for the record it’s truly impressive what Young has done here with just a guitar and a microphone. All songs over 3 minutes in length feel like incomplete statements to me. CD is a bit short with just 8 Tracks, perhaps 3-4 more songs are needed to make this a fully loaded CD release. Some aspects to the production sound a bit off kilter and amateurish. Vocals sound a bit hot within the mix, the guitar sounds somewhat buries in the background.
The music of Vic Young will work best on days you want a delicate acoustic sound to fill your atmosphere. “Resurrect the Troubadour” is a brilliant, striking and compelling musical production. Its strong suit is its overall consistency, lyrical wisdom and bold straightforwardness. Make no bones about it folks; it took raw honesty to write and perform some of these songs. What I like most about Young is there is no attempt to hide how she feels, or sugar coat the truth. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that has the courage to show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Young is one of those artists. Be advised you may not want to listen to this CD on the day you get fired, but if you like melancholy music that provides a very real assessment of the human condition then you should jump into the CD head first. If I could say anything to Young right now it would be – add a bit more musical flavor to your next production. This can be done without losing the solitary musical foundation.
The real selling point for any song is the (singer to listener) emotional connection. Here experienced artists will execute and make this connection every time. It cannot be faked and has to be totally genuine. At the end of the day people don’t buy plastic and paper, they buy emotions. This sums up the music of Vic Young to a “T.”
Final Score: 7/10 Stars