Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Harmony and Heart: The Soulful Americana Journey of The Vintage Yell


In the heart of North Texas, amidst the vast landscapes and the unmistakable vibe of a region steeped in musical heritage, emerges The Vintage Yell. This duo, composed of Chris Raspante and Jesse Spradlin, brings to the stage a sound that is profoundly described as soulful Americana, yet their music transcends this label, diving into depths that resonate with the core of American roots music. Their story is one of serendipitous partnership, musical chemistry, and a shared vision that has seen them rise through the ranks of the Texas music scene.

Chris and Jesse's journey began in the confines of a recording studio, where Jesse was laying down tracks for her solo material. It was there that their paths crossed, and the connection was instantaneous. The synergy between Chris's seasoned musicianship and Jesse's raw, emotive songwriting sparked a collaboration that soon evolved into something much larger than they had anticipated. Recognizing the magic of their combined talents, they made the decision to unite their artistic endeavors, thus birthing The Vintage Yell.

Their sound, while anchored in the rich traditions of Americana, is infused with a soulfulness that sets them apart. It's a blend that pays homage to the genre's roots while infusing it with a modern sensibility that appeals to a broad audience. This unique sound caught the attention of Mesquite Street Records, leading to their recent signing, a milestone that marks the beginning of a promising new chapter in their career.

The Vintage Yell has had the privilege of sharing stages with some of Texas's most celebrated bands, including Kin Faux and Whiskey Myers. These experiences have not only provided them with invaluable exposure but have also allowed them to hone their live performances, captivating audiences with their compelling vocals, storytelling, and musicianship.

Jesse Spradlin, with her Virginia origins and Texas upbringing, brings to the duo a rich musical lineage. Coming from a family where music runs deep—her father is a blues Hall of Famer—Jesse's artistry is imbued with authenticity and passion. Her voice, a blend of strength and vulnerability, carries the stories of her songs with an emotive force that is truly captivating.

Chris Raspante's journey in music is equally impressive. A native Texan, Chris ventured to Nashville, where he spent nearly two decades playing and recording with a plethora of artists. His resume boasts performances on the Tonight Show, the Grand Ol’ Opry, and numerous other prestigious venues. His return to Texas and partnership with Jesse in The Vintage Yell feels like a homecoming, one where his experiences and skills find a perfect outlet.

Together, Chris and Jesse form a duo that is much more than the sum of its parts. Their harmonies are seamless, their songwriting profound, and their performances are imbued with a warmth and authenticity that is the hallmark of great Americana music. The Vintage Yell is not just a band; it's a celebration of roots, a journey through the heart of American music, and a testament to the power of collaboration. As they continue to write, record, and perform, their story is one that resonates with anyone who believes in the timeless appeal of music to connect, heal, and inspire.

The Vintage Yell, formed by Chris Raspante and Jesse Spradlin, is a North Texas duo whose music transcends the boundaries of soulful Americana, enriched by their unique backgrounds and experiences. Jesse's early musical influences stem from her father, a Blues Hall of Famer, whose guitar practices laid the foundation for her artistic development. She was encouraged to be original while learning from the best. Chris's two-decade experience in Nashville profoundly shaped his musical style and work ethic, bringing a diverse influence of country, bluegrass, and Americana to the band.

Their decision to form The Vintage Yell was driven by a mutual desire for creative collaboration, recognized through their harmonious work on Jesse's solo material. Their sound incorporates elements of blues, rock, and singer-songwriter genres, offering a distinct take on traditional Americana. Their songwriting process involves both individual and collaborative efforts, creating a unified sound that reflects their combined musical strengths.

Signing with Mesquite Street Records has significantly impacted their career, providing opportunities for growth and exposure. Live performances, particularly opening for bands like Kin Faux and Whiskey Myers, have been key milestones. Their upcoming releases, including two EPs, are highly anticipated by fans, promising a mix of vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

Chris and Jesse also offer advice to aspiring musicians, emphasizing the importance of love for music, hard work, continuous writing, and building community within the music scene. "Wrong Direction," their new single, signifies a musical introduction inviting fans on their journey. Despite early challenges, their dedication and work ethic have been crucial to their success, marking memorable experiences and laying the groundwork for a promising future in the Americana music scene.

The Vintage Yell Socials




Interview with The Vintage Yell

Musical Beginnings: Jesse, how did growing up in a household with a father in the Blues Hall of Fame shape your early musical experiences and artistic development?

a. When I was little, my four siblings and I would often fall asleep to the sound of my dad practicing licks on his strat, hooked to a little practice amp – but it sounded huge to us. As I got interested in guitar later on, he encouraged me to glean from the best of the best, but more importantly to always find a way to be original.

Nashville Influence: Chris, can you describe specific ways in which your two-decade Nashville experience has influenced your musical style and your role in The VintageYell?

a. It influenced me in all kinds of ways. From upping my game as a musician, to strengthening my work ethic. Musically, I had not been around as much country/bluegrass/americana music, until I moved there. It’s definitely helped me as a musician and my role in The Vintage Yell.

Band Formation: What were the key factors or moments that led you both to transition from working on Jesse's solo material to forming The Vintage Yell?

a. Chris: I was definitely ready for a change from what I have been doing recently. I wanted to get back into being more creative, writing songs, and working with someone else who felt the same as I did. After working with Jesse on her solo material in the studio, I knew that she was that person.

b. Jesse: For me, growing up in a musical family, I recognized what it was like to have musical chemistry with someone and that was definitely there with Chris. We worked so well together in the studio, both creatively and personality-wise, that I was more than excited for us to join forces and become The Vintage Yell.

Sound Definition: Your music is described as 'soulful Americana but much deeper.' Can you explain the deeper elements that make your sound distinctive?

a. We do consider ourselves an Americana band, but our music has elements of blues, rock and even singer-songwriter aspects that color outside the lines of traditional Americana.

Songwriting Collaboration: How do you blend your unique styles during the songwriting process to create a unified sound for The Vintage Yell?

a. We write both individually and together. When writing separately, we’ll pitch each other songs that would fit the band. When we co-write, our different strengths and approaches complement each other, leaving us with something really cool in the end.

Mesquite Street Records Experience: How has signing with Mesquite Street Records changed your career trajectory and what new opportunities has it brought for the band?

a. We were very flattered and fortunate that Mesquite Street approached us after a show wanting to work with us. It’s been a blessing to have a label that strongly believes in our music and wants to help us achieve our goals.

Live Performance Highlights: Reflecting on your live performances, especially opening for bands like Kin Faux and Whiskey Myers, what are some standout moments?

a. Chris: We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great shows, but the show that ended up landing us a record deal still stands out to me. It was a great night, one of our first headlining shows and the crowd was really with us from start to finish.

Inspiration Behind "Wrong Direction": Can you delve into the inspiration and the creative journey behind your new single "Wrong Direction"?

a. I wrote the song a long time ago, about being on a certain path, but realizing that it’s not a healthy one to be on. The creative journey became how to take an older song that originally was just mine, and turn it into a band song. I give credit to Jesse for pushing to resurrect it, and turn it into our song.

Future Outlook: With an upcoming debut album preceded by singles and an EP, what can your fans look forward to in the next year from The Vintage Yell?

a. Actually, we will be releasing two EPs this year! Fans can look forward to getting those two EPs on vinyl & CD this fall as well as streaming them digitally!

Advice for Aspiring Musicians: What guidance would you offer to new musicians aiming to make an impact in the Americana music scene?

a. Chris: My advice would be to musicians in general, which is to do it because you absolutely love it and then, be prepared to work harder and longer than you ever  have at anything else.

b. Jesse: I would say two things: 

1. Write all the time, even when you don’t feel like it.

2. Try to find community in the scene. Make friends, network, feed off each other creatively, ask for feedback, go to other peoples’ shows and support. Half of this business is who you know.

Story Behind "Wrong Direction": What personal or artistic significance does "Wrong Direction" hold for The Vintage Yell?

a. For us, “Wrong Direction” is more of a musical introduction that will hopefully inspire our fans to take this journey with us.

Songwriting Insights: Could you walk us through a typical session of crafting a new song? Where do you usually start and how does it evolve?

a. Every song and session is different. Like many artists, we just sit down with two acoustic guitars, start talking and see where it takes us.

Overcoming Early Challenges: As a newly formed band, what were some significant challenges you faced and how did you address them?

a. I think it’s what every new band probably goes through, just trying to introduce yourself to the world and find your audience. This year we hope to find that audience by releasing our upcoming EPs, playing great shows and possibly hitting the road for a tour.

Work Ethic in Music: From your experience, how crucial is work ethic in the music industry, and how has it contributed to your success?

a. Work ethic is everything. Having good songs and a good band is only the beginning. To be successful, you have to be prepared to work every single day, and a lot of that work is off-stage.

Memorable Band Moments: So far, what has been the most unforgettable experience for you as members of The Vintage Yell?

a. We have a few! Some of our favorites are the little moments, like stories told in the car on the way to a show or when we crack a joke to each other in between songs. But as for big moments, signing our record deal, making our first music video, and seeing our very first single appear on Spotify are definitely top contenders