New Music Showcase: The Vegabonds – V

Misplaced Straws is proud to announce it’s newest feature – New Music Showcase.  The purpose is to spread the word on some great newer bands that may not be on your radar yet.  They don’t necessarily have to be brand new bands, but they will be bands that are new to most of the followers of this site.
The first band up in this new segment is The Vegabonds from Nashville via Alabama.  The Vegabonds just released V, their fifth record, and first on the Blue Elan Records label.  In my mind, V is already a front runner for the Best of 2019 list.  While the band proudly shows its southern roots they are far more than your typical Southern Rock band.  In a recent conversation, front man Daniel Allen points out that the band really traverses genre into what they call “Alternative Southern Rock”.
Each member brings diverse influences, from Kings of Leon to the Allman Brothers to Springsteen, Petty and punk bands.  They found the perfect partner in producer Tom Tapley to weave all of these influences into a new, modern sound.  Tapley has worked on records by Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Mastodon, Sugarland and more.  Allen says that the relationship with Tapley is so strong that he’s almost part of the band, this relationship leads to a cohesive and unique sonic thread throughout V.
Best I Can
A record can sound great, but at the end of the day a band is only as strong as its writing and Allen has worked hard at developing his craft.  The lyrics on V are mature, impactful and memorable.  In tracks like Generation of Happiness and Best I Can Allen paints a vivid picture of  society in 2019 without ever preaching or crossing into politics.  Allen says he tries to capture where we are as a nation and encourage people to slow down and think for themselves. Perhaps the strongest lyric on the record can be found on Everything I Need I bought a gun on election day, loaded up to keep the Devil away. It very well could be the greatest lyric Springsteen never wrote yet the song doesn’t come off as a Bruce rip off.  This is a band that has learned how to draw on its influences while carving its own distinctive sound.
Everything I Need
At their heart, The Vegabonds are a live band, playing about 150 shows a year.  They’ve spent the majority of the last 2 1/2 years working the 8 tracks on V out before live audiences to hone in the perfect arrangements.  Allen surmises that he wrote nearly 100 songs that he and the band ultimately narrowed down to the 8 that make up the record, making a conscious decision to keep the record short and only use the best songs to grab the attention of its audience.
Partyin’ With Strangers
Over the course of their ten years together, The Vegabonds have developed into a band that defies labels and is ready to take on the world. Listen below to my complete conversation with Daniel Allen:
The Vegabonds:
Daniel Allen – vocals
Richard Forehand – lead guitar/vocals
Paul Bruens – bass
Beau Cooper – keys/vocals
Bryan Harris – drums
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