The Elwood James Band – EP
Philly-based rockers The Elwood James Band drop their five-song self-titled EP. The band is a bit of a family affair with co-lead vocalists Vincent Vescio aka Poppa Vin on keyboards and Dennis James on acoustic and electric guitar. The two have known each other since childhood. Then there’s drummer Danny Wagz, and Vincent’s son, Vinnie Vescio on the bass. EJB was named as a tribute to Dennis’s dad, Elwood.
To get right to it, “Nobody Rolls” has the catchiest hook, but I found “Kinda Lost” to have the funkiest groove out of the five songs. Its focused drums and tough bass provide a nice rhythm bed for the guitars, keys and vocals. This one made my head nod. My personal favorite on here, though, is “Love At All.” I’m not sure if it’s the swing of the time signature or the fact that I kept thinking of Paul McCartney during it. Probably a little of both.
EJB likes riffing, likes showcasing its members’ talents with plenty of solos. I haven’t caught one of their shows myself, but hearing their bluesy sound, I imagine their passion is in the live performance. This is a band that likes to jam. Influences are obviously broad, reaching into many different Rock traditions. There were times the music took on a Beatles-esque quality, and in other songs I could have sworn I was listening to David Lee Roth on vocals.
This is straightforward Rock music. No surprises here. A nice consistent style throughout the EP. Plenty of instrumentation for dynamics; vocals are clean; lyrics are decent; performance is “in the pocket”, as they say. Nothing is done over the top. It’s a smooth ride from beginning to end. If you want a “less is more” kind of experience, and in search of a traditional Rock sound, then The Elwood James Band is worth checking out for sure