|Label / Release||Type||Year|
|Grapes & Ghosts||Album||2014|
This is the first of a series of mini releases. It’s a strategy that, according to American front-man and songwriter Wade Lynch, is designed to keep things fresh and exciting. Photograph is an apt title, a band being captured in a state of flux and transition.
Opening track “The Ocean’ kicks out the jams. A fusion of Led Zeppelin style riff based rock guitar with flute that wouldn’t be out of place on a Gil Scott Heron track. Dark and brooding, it signals a move away from the lush Americana of the previous album. The distance grows even further as the band experiment with dance beats and sounds on the title track. Photograph revolves around a hypnotic accordion riff and a huge dollop of Ibiza friendly, Santana style guitar provides the other big musical hook. Vocally this is a sparse, nineties style duet. A tale of heartbreak and breakup. But rest assured the break with tradition isn’t total. Elena is a beautifully crafted piece of country/ Americana bringing us on a lushly played journey through familiar Vinnie's TV territory.
The first full length album from Vinnie’s TV ’Grapes and Ghosts’ is the sound of someone stripping away the polish of a Nashville style country sound and finding a richer, more diverse heart. It serves up the melting pot of influences that Cork, Ireland based songwriter Wade Lynch has come across over the years. These influences include cellos that echo Nick Drake, fluid Grateful Dead style electric guitar, wheezing accordions that are reminiscent of The Band and snatches of Irish Trad in the shape of banjos, bodhrans, flutes and fiddles. These are woven into classic arrangements that tell stories of love, loss, displacement and heartache. It is a dense multifaceted album that showcases a songwriter really hitting his stride.
The opening track, Memory Lapse draws the listener into a world sketched in half forgotten memories. Grapes Die On The Vine is the sound of a relationship being tested to the limit and somehow surviving. The sound of a vinyl LP at the start of Over Time draws us back to the Great Depression, reminding us of the human cost of financial collapse. This is explored further on both Dead Man’s Shoes and Vanishing Man. The depression era theme that Wade Lynch mines for inspiration gets another nod with the Hedy West classic 500 Miles. It features a beautiful duet between Wade Lynch and his daughter, further underscoring the lyrical theme and reinforcing the idea of family and a sense of place.
Hole In My Boat is the sound of Vinnie's TV having fun, though the lyrics might suggest otherwise. It’s drenched in 50's style echo a la Buck Owens and features blazing rockabilly guitar solos, yet at the last minute, it turns on a dime and morphs into a wild Irish Traditional session. From there the album swoons through the waltz of These Walls, a glorious ballad of love and longing highlighting the influence of The Band. Evangeline and Nothing Special delve deeper down this road as Lynch explores the romantic themes nodded to elsewhere.
Featuring a large cast of musicians from Ireland and France, half of Grapes and Ghosts was recorded in Cork at Blackwater Studios and the rest at Studio Rigoles Road in Paris, which is second home to Vinnie's TV. Videos were shot for two tracks by Los Angeles based filmmaker Jeff Freeman, again in both Paris and Cork. The album was mixed and produced by Wade Lynch, Vinnie's TV guitarist Jacques Belghit and Duncan Ó Cleirigh from Blackwater Studios.
Cork based Vinnie's TV is the vehicle for American singer songwriter Wade Lynch. Wade’s journey from Carteret, New Jersey has brought him to the UK and France before finally settling in Ireland. His family background meant that a career in music was always on the cards. Older siblings played in bands and provided record collections for inspiration. By the time he started writing and performing himself, his knowledge of the music of artists such as Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan and Nick Drake was already in place. The first Vinnie's TV EP ‘St Ouen’ really showcased the Americana influences that Wade had absorbed growing up. Songs such as ’Good Place Now’ and ’Idly By’ would not sound out of place on albums by the likes of Lucinda Williams.
The Grapes and Ghosts album is the sound of someone stripping away the polish of a Nashville style country sound, and finding a richer, more diverse heart that serves up the melting pot of influences that Wade has come across over the years. Cellos that echo Nick Drake, fluid electric guitar reminiscent of The Grateful Dead and wheezing accordions that bring to mind The Band, are just a few examples of these musical references. These are woven into arrangements that blend Americana rock with an Irish traditional flair. The influence of Steinbeck is there as well, with songs that tell stories of love, loss, displacement and heartache. It is a dense, multifaceted album that showcases a songwriter really hitting his stride.