25 January 2004
It's a clean machine
What made the Beatles so, well, Beatlesque was their willingness to try just about anything and make it work; they may not have many items filed under their names in the Rock and Roll Patent Office, but you'd be hard-pressed to find another band that made so many different sounds and yet was so readily recognizable in so doing. No doubt this is why most of your Beatles tribute bands stick to the existing canon; a few acts have attempted to synthesize Fab Four-ness from bits and pieces, with varying degrees of success.
Then there are the Vinyl Kings, seven Nashville pros with impeccable credentials these guys have played at the highest level with some of the biggest acts who dearly loved this band and wanted to pay them back with interest. After honing their sound around Music City for a while, occasionally billed as the Del Beatles (!), they committed themselves to an actual album. A Little Trip, issued on their own label, comprises thirteen songs simultaneously syncretic and idiosyncratic, the sort of thing John, Paul, George and Ringo used to do every few months.
And how does this differ from, say, the Rutles? Neil Innes was trying to pull our chains; the Vinyl Kings are aiming for our hearts. A lower level of snark, a higher probability of sneaking this into the CD changer and passing it off as an unreleased Beatles album. If you've ever sighed in mid-conversation, "Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe," you've probably already bought this disc.