The Music Gets Us Thru

Brad Vickers

Independent release, 2021

REVIEW BY: Max Kaplan


Brad Vickers, a veteran of the modern blues community, brings us another helping of rhythm, blues, and vintage rock ‘n’ roll. The title of the album is especially poignant during these unusually blues-y times: The Music Gets Us Thru. Throughout the album, Vickers remains true to the necessities of an essential blues record. The rhythm section screams of authenticity with wife Margey Peters on bass alongside Bill Ranklin on drums (with V.D. King providing the upright bass on tracks four and eight). The guitar work by Dave Gross, Dean Shot, and Vickers himself provides a down-home top layer to the solid under-workings of the band. Many blues enthusiasts would argue that keys are a necessity for the best of blues recordings; as such, they are present on select tracks, performed by Dave Keys and V.D. King. Finally, a funky horn section rides above the air space of several songs throughout the album, providing a city slickness to an already clever album. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Where Vickers excels is in his arrangements and songwriting. On “Take It Slow,” throughout the usual twelve-bar shuffle pattern, Vickers throws in a universal band-lick reminiscent of the blues classic “You Don’t Love Me.” This added flavor distances the track from becoming a regular blues band shuffle. Dean Shot’s flickers on the guitar shine through with some added originality to the track. Per usual, any track touched by Dean recalls two words: ingenuity and authenticity. With the help of a genuine harp solo, the track comes to life.

Vickers continues to contribute more range to the album with early rock ‘n’ roll styled tunes “What In The World,” and the title track, “The Music Gets Us Thru.” On both tracks, the listener is provided with a candid rock ‘n’ roll experience. On “The Music Gets Us Thru,” the rhythm section gives the feeling of a tour bus constantly rolling on, without brakes, and without any end in sight. The lyrics confirm any suspicion of such a notion, detailing the taxing life of a musician on the road. As Vickers assures us however, the music gets us through.

Vickers’ band will not disappoint any passionate listener of the blues. The album displays a variety of sounds, all the while allowing his influences to show unreservedly. Vickers dips deep into the common blues canon that we have all come to love, and comes out with a fresh take reflecting the goings-on in the current political and social landscape. The Music Gets Us Thru – of that, I have no doubt.

Rating: B-

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