You’ll doubtless hear nods to the masters in the songwriting of Bryant Eugene Vazquez: Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan. But this local rock and roll dude – who moved to Philadelphia in 2013 after growing up in Flagstaff, Arizona – has a strong and singular voice at the center of it all. It’s husky yet melodic, poppy yet vicious, the sound of celebration and desperation.
In some ways that’s a fair description of Vazquez’s arrival in Philly. He hit the music scene hard, writing and recording, playing and attending gigs, embracing all the excess that goes along with it, so much so that he felt his psyche growing unstable. Vazquez discussed this in our interview last May: “I almost gave up on the whole album. And music. And art. Writing. Everything. Somewhere along those lines, I decided to take the meaning of the album [in a] different light.”
He’s talking about All Damn Day! / The Greatest Hits, which came out last May. His new interpretation: Vazquez gave up the hard partying, and focuses on his creative pursuits all damn day instead. Joining him is his ace live band, playfully dubbed Los Gringos: there’s Frankie Maschockie on guitar, Dean Custer on bass and Scott Haldeman on drums. You hear them in action below, showcasing All Damn Dayfor this week’s Key Studio Session; their live, dynamic renderings of the album’s raw energy and classic-yet-modern sound are fantastic.
Vazquez and the band don’t have any gigs on the books at present, but Bryant will keep busy – he estimates he’s got a literal handful of albums in the works, plus various other creative pursuits, from visual art to poetry. Keep tabs on it all at Vazquez’ Facebook page, and dig in to his Key Session below. There are three videos you can watch care of local videographer Bob Sweeney, and the whole set can be downloaded for free at our Soundcloud page.Bryant Eugene Vazquez, The Key Studio Sessions