Robert Vincent - Life In East Steps
Up and coming singer song writer Robert Vincent released his debut album life in easy steps last month after a long, hard fought battle to be published. Having set out on a musical career path aged 16; it has taken along time to get this record to you. Picking up a nickname of the 'scouse Springsteen' I have high hopes for this man and the record he has produced. I know of the journey from boy to the man who stands before us now thanks to the rather extensive biography on his website that tells the tale of a young man never giving in. Becoming a father at 17, taking a series of jobs to keep his family afloat while balancing the commitments of a band are bound to take its toll on anyone.
The heartache combined with a determination to succeed has aged this record like an oak barrel ages whiskey. There is maturity to the production, which was mastered by Pete Smith of Cheryl Crow, Stevie wonder, The Police and Van Morrison fame. The Springsteen connection is very evident throughout; I would not believe Robert was from anywhere other than Tennessee had I listened to Burns Like cotton In The Fields first. Still, this record is no corn eating one trick pony. There's a very raw and visible early 60's Liverpool feel to Riots Cry harking back to Beatles rifts of a bygone time, yet the song feels modern and fresh.
This is a tale of a life lived on the hard road, but one with optimism even in the dark. A blend of Country, Rock and folk styling's come together to create what is a very credible album. My personal favourite is My Pill, a reverb drenched; reflective look at a failed relationship soaked in bittersweet memories that he emerges from with his head held high.
Back-stories alone don't make good musicians and yes, in this case it features heavily. But it's not enough on its own. It needs to be backed up with talent and good lyrics to narrate the story and in this Vincent excels.