It started in November, 2015 in Brantford, Ontario. Darren Gooder was already a writing force in eastern Canada and, joined by his longtime friend, Phil Eastman, put “I’m of Vintage” together... a band focusing on infectious grooves and down home, guitar driven songs. But it wasn’t until April of 2016, when Matt Huddleston joined the band, adding his gritty guitar work influenced heavily by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and Randy Rhodes, that “I’m of Vintage” really found its sound.
Self described as rock, pop, blues, jazz alt fusion, the new album, “Something With Friends” has just been released and it is all of the above and more. The first tune I heard from the new album was “I Ain’t Runnin’”; I liked it immediately for its focus on the groove. Then Gooder’s voice grabbed me and I was hooked. But! It wasn’t until I heard “Shadow of Doubt” - the first track from “Something With Friends”, that I would call myself a real fan. Reminding me of a cross between Dave Matthews and John Mayer, this song burrows its way inside you - an earworm that you’re more than happy to lend some space to... some great bass and drum work here and Huddleston’s understated guitar leads really shine. Gooder’s vocals are never melodramatic; always just the right amount of angst and beautiful tone, with a natural vibrato that doesn’t sound like he’s trying to convince. You just naturally believe what he’s telling you. Real, honest stuff here.
The bluesy shuffle of “Stroll” is storytelling at its best - it’s the lyrics that draw you into this tune, nothing groundbreaking here, just more honesty with a rhythm track that won’t quit. The funkiest groove on the album belongs to “A Night on the Town”. Some really good guitar playing here - Huddleston really shines and his solo is raw, angry and sounds like it was the first take... “Simple Things” is one of the more interesting songs on the album, rhythmically; both bass and guitar sharing the same line - even the drums join in the fun here; gives the track a real united band sound. Definitely one of the highlights here...
“Something With Friends” closes with a song titled “I’m Movin’”, easily the most acoustic sounding track on the album. A great way to end off which suggests to this reviewer that some thought was put into the track listing. Darren Gooder has assembled a great team here: Dan Kotiuk, Phil Eastman, Matt Huddleston, TJ Wiltshire and Darren himself of course come together and represent well on “Something With Friends”. It all adds up to a fine debut release for “I’m of Vintage”. Check it out; support the indies... “Shadow of Doubt” and “Simple Things” alone are worth the price of this release!
Review Written by - Marc Gladstone
Dan Kotiuk: Drums
TJ Wiltshire: Percussion and Vocals
Matt Huddleston: Lead Guitar and Vocals
Phil Eastman: Bass
Darren Gooder: Rhythm Guitar and Vocals