Robbin Kapsalis & Vintage #18

Robbin Kapsalis & Vintage #18

Blues, Rockin Blues

“Stand-out vocals from singer Robbin Kapsalis, a lady who has a powerful probing voice and range steeped in southern blues and soul quality.”
Blues Magazine (Netherlands)

“This less-is-more formula draws all the more attention to the cut-above quality of the band-penned material found throughout the set.” Roots Music Report

"Vintage #18 went into the recording studio and came up with a winner." Southland Blues

Hard-driving blues rhythms and soul grooves fuel the blistering performance of D.C.-based soul blues band Vintage#18. After attending a performance, John Porter, WCVE declares, “Vintage#18 is a band you have to see live in order to appreciate their level of performance.” According to The Alternate Root, “Robbin Kapsalis delivers vocals that slink through a smokey haze of Soul”.

Performing together since 2013, the band sharpened their sound and performance chops in clubs throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In 2016, they represented the Central Virginia Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee and afterward immediately began working on their debut album Grit.

The album reflects the band’s love of classic 60’s Soul and Blues, featuring a mix of originals as well as two covers (ZZ Top and Bob Dylan). Grit debuted at #5 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Soul Blues Album Chart and held the #1 spot for six consecutive weeks, and has floated in the Top 10 since its release; also charting #17 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Blues Albums. The band received their first industry nod in early 2017 - a Blues Blast Music Award Nomination for New Artist Album Debut.

Vintage#18 chose to self-produce Grit, and a framework was in place before most of the album was written. One of the goals when they first started writing, was to make sure that their sound didn’t fit solely into a single genre. Blues, Soul and other familiar elements appear, however they’re mixed in a way that brings unexpected experiences for both listeners and dancers. This idea worked well in live settings, so the album was approached the same way.

Grit delivers soul and passion along with very personal songwriting from Kapsalis and tight musicianship from Holter, Chandler, and Kuldell. Kapsalis oozes soul in the opening track, “Diamonds Are Optional” and “Is This Too Good.” The seductive “Love Hangover” has become a club favorite, showcasing smokey vocals and intricate guitar throughout. The album features their cover of “Million Miles”, a Bob Dylan classic, which is given the slow blues treatment by Holter’s searing guitar, with Chandler and Kuldell holding a delicious groove. Their ZZ Top cover of “Just Got Back From Baby’s” highlights the bands level of musicianship; Blues Bytes declares "This one positively burns with Kapsalis’s soulful delivery and Holter’s six-string fireworks". “Poor Me” is a throwback tune for the broken-hearted delivered with power and raw emotion, showcasing true soul from Kapsalis.

The band’s live performances generated quite the buzz throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Mark Wenner of the Nighthawks declares “Robbin is a whirlwind of soulful excitement backed by one of the tightest trios in the trade”; and Nick “Dr. Nick” Johnson, WPFW declares “Their onstage performance, with Robbin’s boundless energy, will leave you breathless”.

They soon found themselves opening shows for The Nighthawks, Billy Price, Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, Albert Cummings, Selwyn Birchwood, and Coco Montoya. The album features the unique sound of Bill Holter on guitar (a.k.a. #18), while the groove is laid down by Alex Kuldell on drums and Mark Chandler on bass. Soulful vocals are delivered by newcomer and bandleader Robbin Kapsalis.

Blues In the South hit it on the head…”Although this outfit is undoubtedly a blues band, they have a distinctively individual sound.”

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